We all live in these vessels that carry us to the grave

Souls occupying until it feels like the right time to leave and start over

Leaving behind mourning of who was once in this now shell

My body has endured me opening it up in attempts to let the unease fly free

The chemicals my brain has been known to produce are out of date

The boards of this ship creak and let water in – only replaced when I am but nearly drowned

My skin is decorated with tattoos for a love I can no longer whisper the name of

His name still feels like a house fire out of control in my chest

I no longer wish for him to recognize my soul as one he once so intimately knew

This vessel I own in this life is littered with stories told and those yet untold wait to emerge through the old, the weary, the hand-me-down

I have not sank yet but dear god I know people are waiting to see the day I no longer exist on the same plane

But this worn out body has not seen its last days yet


Love Notes

My body –

I am still learning ways not to destroy you

You are the vessel that carries me to the end

When you are gone, so am I

I decorate you to forget I once set fire to you so I could feel the warmth in my bones again

Because it was so cold


J.D.B. –

Love letters signed by you still litter my floor

All tear stained with the memories I try to block out

You were my worst mistake

I hope she tastes sweeter


A.M. –

I am sure I was your worst mistake

I want to plant forgiveness in your heart

But I know it won’t change your mind


J.S. –

When I imagine my wedding, you are standing there at the end of the aisle

Come home soon


My skin –

Your need to be red all the goddamn time gave people lots to pick apart

I tried to hide your imperfections with no avail

Deciding to be proud of you was my greatest achievement

Collisions of people are mapped out on you

Generations of triumph and hardship are written out on you

I am so sorry I ripped you apart for so long


Life –

I regretted being brought into you for years

You made me feel your weight too early

But you handed me laughter when I needed it

I am forever grateful for your gift

Even on the days I want to retreat into the darkness

A Time Capsule

For every year of mental illness I have endured



Each scrap of food left on my plate

Turning into nearly entire meals

I am sure they have decomposed by now


The bones starting to poke through

Her aggressive hands

The toxic words forced down my throat telling me I am nothing more than her friendship dictated


The first drops of blood staining my bathtub

Dozens of razors, knives, and scissors representing an addiction and all the stark white scars they left behind

Frozen veins from each time she buried my heart further into the ground

Dozens of bruises carefully crafted by her hands

Every skipped meal my body would wish it had years later


The hospital bracelet

Mapped out plans of my funeral, thought out in black ink in what I thought would be the last remnants of my life

Weeks of therapist visits and psychiatrist appointments

All the anxiety attacks induced by the slightest mistake

Every pill I tried with failure


Each hallucination from bugs under my skin to phantom voices and sights

Fears of human touch and living

Hundreds of scars making a home of my skin

All the pills ingested to keep my head close to above water

A year’s worth of cigarettes


Lost love and gained love

His gentle words turning violent yet tinged with roses

Each positive coping skill trying to overthrow the negative trying to still kill me

Intrusive thoughts whispering sweet nothings about how I won’t amount to anything

A year’s worth of cigarettes and additional scars

More pills


The first joint I smoked

Scars and cigarettes engraved on my body

A love so volatile I thought I would drown in his poison eventually dying out

Learning to be alone and to be ok with it

Thoughts of death and self hatred

Trying to love myself the way I should be

A high school diploma


Thoughts of death intermittent but acceptance of the day

Pills, scars, cigarettes

Another love blossoming and wilting

Anxiety attacks over nothing in particular


Wishes of happiness but acceptance that happiness is a passing emotion rather than a permanent state of mind

Another year of pills, scars, and cigarettes

His words still haunting my dreams, waking up sweating, checking for his blood on my hands knowing he’s still alive somewhere

Flinching at hands on my face and arms

A constant state of being on my toes ready for fight or flight


A hint of a smile lives on my face, so no one asks

You haven’t set foot in the world I see

The now lily white relics of nights pouring myself out into drains I thought were listening no longer bother people

Once they were a screaming red, now just an asterisk not worth looking into

You ask why you’ve never seen inside the home of my memory

I spent years pouring rivers of myself out to people who didn’t bother staying

Teaching to lock the door behind me

Darkness should only be reimagined by the person in which all the lights decided to turn off for

Returning sunshine to the world that stripped them of it for moments you can’t even recollect the duration of

I will not offer you pieces of my darkness for that is not all of who I am anymore

I am the kindness I didn’t recieve

Keeping my arms open for your heart to rest from the storm of the world

If I unlock that door for you, then you’ll have a reason to leave me behind

Just like the rest

Tap tap tap my fingers find something to stop the shaking in my hands

Crowded spaces make it hard for me to breathe

Ready for an attack that never comes, heart racing, gazing over my shoulder

Post traumatic stress still lives in this body despite the eviction notices I keep leaving at its doorstep

No one asks about the stories written throughout my body anymore

The wheeze interlaced with a laugh because where I’m from they’d rather have 14 year olds smoking under the bleachers rather than open up the discussion about mental illness and addiction

Turning a blind eye to the plague silently killing off my friends, my generation

Fading scars from a day gone by

The bleeding takes your mind off the yearning to die for but a little while

My parents think I’m alone too much

Worrying about an impending attack all the time is tiring

It’s impossible to tell them I’ve been trying to rid myself of the pain developed by a lack of chemicals in my brain

By inviting new toxins in

No one wants to talk about mental illness and addiction still

It’s been 6 years

One Sided Conversation With my Therapist

After Desireé Dallagiacomo

I am so afraid

Bruises bring me back to days I remind myself to forget

When I wished some accident would cease my existence in the present tense

Memories folded up in pockets, crinkled in the crease of the shirt they wore the last time they saw me laughing

I’m still afraid to eat but I weigh more than the wings of a bird now

How do I cope with not being good enough?

Kids younger than me are inventing, discovering, changing the world

All I do is scratch lines on dead trees pretending I’m making a difference

People are afraid of me

But the only thing to fear are the diseases nobody warned them about

Don’t worry – they’re not transmittable, I tried gifting them in a little box to the people who ripped my heart out of my chest

I tried coughing them out of my lungs but that hasn’t worked yet

My fight or flight reflex has gone haywire since the days I was riddled with handed violence handed down from people I thought cared about me

Now I can barely remember who’s air I’m breathing, the planet I’m on, the time I belong to

Her hands weren’t gentle, his words were the poison I wanted years earlier when the only thought I had was about death and how to meet her

How can I cope with addictions I was gifted?

Mania will take any mind altering substance it can get its grimy hands on

Taking me higher or tethering me back to Earth, anything will do

Depression loves anything that brings it back to its feet

I have watched too many people I love destroy themselves like this


How do I live in a society that looks down on the mentally ill who rely on medication to keep them alive?

Old Habits

The darkness that became us was a test we weren’t prepared for

Sending out the distress signal but no one could speak that language

Demonized for picking up habits we knew we shouldn’t

We weren’t taught any other method to light up the world that became dull with us

I wasn’t suppose to make it

The past living beneath my skin is too terrifying to uncover

So many years not knowing happy left addictions no one wants to fix

My smile remembers all the years it spent lost

I was lucky enough to see today

Many of us still can’t see ourselves 5 years down the road but that doesn’t mean we won’t try to stay

Recovery doesn’t always mean a will to live

I still feel as though I am not meant to exist here

Addiction is one hell of a monster I have yet to conquer

Why do I still go back to what I know will hurt me in the end?


Depression is not a beautiful boy holding you in his arms pleading for you to stay here with him

It’s 2am muffling your sobbing

Tears dripping over a goodbye

No one is awake at this hour and you learn how lonely 2am actually is

I thought everyone could see through me

But they were blindsided by the thought that I was ok

Movies lie to make it look prettier than it actually is

You’re not going to find love running through the halls of a psychiatric ward

Those twin beds make you wish you were on the outside

The ward, outside being stuck in your own delusions

Depression is a disease but people still treat it like a choice

I didn’t choose to live in enough pain to see death as the only option

There are chapters of my life I chose not to read

Depression is not pretty enough to be reread like that

Through the medication, therapy sessions, doctor’s appointments

Sometimes you wish you cracked enough to stop living

Suicide wasn’t in my vocabulary until I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital at 14 under suicidal ideation

All I could feel was a severe empty nothingness

Spiraling in and out of a reality no one wanted

With addictions no 14 year old should know about outside of health class

If I don’t keep my hands busy I fade away into a world no one exists but myself

I doodle, write, crochet just to keep myself here

Suicide was once a part of me I knew would snap into place one day

It was a date, it was a home I had built myself, it was a reality I was sure of

Now it only exists as a memory that surfaces days that I don’t think I can push through

She still visits me but only in my dreams



“To heal a wound you need to stop touching it.”

— Unknown


Five years later there are still shards of her left under my skin

I couldn’t bleed them out no matter how much blood I poured out of myself, down the drain

Trauma’s shock can only erase so much from your memory

And I keep trying to drown those memories

But they always swim to the surface when someone asks why I flinch so much

I wish it could be understood without words

As if I could transfer my memories to their eyes

If only I could give away the pain on a USB so I no longer have to remember

My body still recoiling from her knuckles painting masterpieces of black and blue onto my skin

Everyone says I should have used my voice but I hadn’t found it yet

They don’t tell you about abuse until you’re 6 feet under with flowers growing at your head

Because the fists kill the flowers in your mind

And you couldn’t bear the winter cold anymore

I mapped the blueprints of my death

While they all ogled the angles of bones poking from under my skin

Starving will only let her plant her nails deeper

No one tells you how to forget

But they can’t forget the look of your shattered body