A Poem Called “The Five Senses”

Finally,

There’s nothing.

Pounding vibrations shake my core and shatter my essence

As other soulless bodies sway to the same soundless beats.

I hear nothing.

Smoke swells in my chest,

Engulfing everything in its path from the inside out.

I smell nothing.

Black is periodically pierced by paralyzing white,

Momentarily searing into my skin the somethings I’m trying to escape until I’m relieved with the absence of light.

I see nothing.

Shards of glass bottles slip across my cracked lips

As liquid amnesia slides down my throat and around my thoughts.

I taste nothing.

Sweaty skin suctions to mine,

And I am reminded that physical proximity and emotional confinement are directly related.

I touch nothing.

 

I’m willing to pay the price,

A lack of senses for a life unfelt.

I feel nothing.

I am

Nothing.

I’m collateral damage in the war for sanity.

I (Don’t) See the Light

“What’s the matter, you don’t have enough rain to make up a storm? Whatcha look so sad for? Where’s that light I used to know?” (Song: Slip; Artist: Elliot Moss)

I didn’t know how to start this post because my feelings are everywhere right now. Or maybe they’re just in one place, but I can’t pinpoint where that is. Either way, I was listening to calming, sad songs, as I do when I’m feeling this way, and these lyrics spoke to me. I don’t have the mental capacity to formulate my indeterminate feelings into deep metaphors and flashy poetry right now; I want to write my thoughts as they come to me: literal, real, vulnerable, immediate, unfiltered. That’s how I figure out my feelings best: just writing it out.

Elliot Moss must’ve crawled inside of my brain, stole my inner dialogue, and put it in a song (Elliot…can I call you that? If you’re reading this, I want compensation). Let’s break it down:

“What’s the matter, you don’t have enough rain to make up a storm?” This is putting into words a fear of mine. My life these past seven months or so have been the best of my life, and I’ve been terrified of that until recently. Two questions: 1. Why is an improved life terrifying? Well, I fear it regressing back to the life I was living. I was an acrobat, and I was emotionally abused daily by my coach and by myself. This caused me to develop anxiety, and almost everyday, I would uncontrollably sob. No, no little cry; I would be in the corner, hyperventilating. I hated my life, and I hated myself. I finally quit seven months ago, and that’s when my life started improving. When my happiness reached a certain level, I finally recognized it, and it was the oddest feeling to me. I hadn’t felt happiness more than in a fleeting moment for about two years, and all of a sudden, my baseline emotion was joy rather than depression. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t need to cry myself to sleep every night. I didn’t have to force myself out of bed. I didn’t have to struggle through the torturous day. And I was terrified. I had gotten so used to, and dare I say comfortable with, being depressed that I didn’t recognize myself when I wasn’t. I just knew it had to come back. I knew it was lurking around the corner, waiting for my guard to be down so it could hit me at full force. Any time I had a moment of anxiety, I panicked, believing fully that one little mishap would send me down a dark spiral headed straight back to where I was seven months ago. 2. Why am I not terrified of an improved life anymore? Honestly, it’s because it hasn’t been so great recently. I guess this is what I’ve been waiting for. Heartbreak, panic attacks, depression, lack of sleep, self-loathing – all these and more melded together to create a poison not quite lethal, but strong enough to make me feel like shit until it becomes lethal. So, the lyric – when I’m happy, I fear not being who I’ve pictured myself as: a depressed person with plenty of rain to make up a storm. When I’m depressed, I feel as though my problems are too weak to be classified as a fully-fledged storm.

“Whatcha look so sad for?” I’m terrible at hiding my emotions, so recently, I’m sure I’ve looked like a walking dark cloud from one of those anti-depressant commercials.

“Where’s that light I used to know?” I wish knew, Elliot. If anyone finds it, let me know. I can’t get out of bed, I ‘m obsessing over past mistakes, I’m panicking during workouts again, I’m unconfident in my looks but at the same time don’t care enough to wear more than a t-shirt and yoga pants, I’m bs-ing all of my schoolwork and couldn’t care less about my grades, I’m feeling extremely close to being peer pressured into doing things I don’t want to do, I’m paranoid that everyone around me hates me…so, that light. It’s been a bit diminished lately. God, and I just had it in my grasp.

I think, though, that the light has just barely moved out of my peripheral, because from time to time, it likes to play a little game of peek-a-boo, even in this downward slope on my progress timeline. I was afraid of my happiness being temporary, but now I know that pain is, too. Honestly, I had forgotten happiness existed, such as when a hospital-bound patient forgets the warmth of sunlight kissing their skin. Now that I have been reminded, I want to experience it again, even if I have to battle the fears my depression and anxiety create to hinder me from finding a new comfort zone rooted in joy.

A Poem Called “A Premonition”

You found me in my best state

Joyful, confident, unafraid

A state that you’ve helped craft

Like I’m a piece of clay and you’re the pottery-maker

Running your hands along my sides

Smoothing out all the bumps and bruises with a simple touch

But smoothing isn’t healing

And my scars run deeper than the surface

Eventually you’ll have to sculpt the inside

Where shards of abuse and nails of self-loathing are found

Don’t ignore the DO NOT ENTER signs

Their brilliant red will transfer to your hands

And blood will trickle down your arms

Where you used to hold me

But where you now wipe clean

The truth you didn’t foresee

 

Just as you smoothed my surface

You cleanse your own

 

You’ll leave me in my best state

Smiling, understanding, still caring

As my shards and nails sink deeper

To make room for more

A Poem Called “A Knot Around My Finger”

I was given a key in a bathroom stall.

A strange hand reached out to me, my back flat against porcelain at the sight,

Only turning so tears could turn to vomit before hitting the water below,

My face so close I could see a reflection,

But it wasn’t my own.

 

Fingers stretching, palms soft,

Unfamiliar, inviting,

I couldn’t stop myself.

I reached back.

In a moment, my fingers desperately clung to her wrist,

And as she placed the key in the center of my hand and guided me to accept what I hadn’t in so long,

Unintentionally, but willingly,

Warmth traveled from her fingertips through my veins,

A surge of light I had forgotten existed.

 

After further inspection, I noticed

A heart carved into the center of the key

Open

I laced a chain through it and around my neck,

Putting the heart on display for more strange hands to grope,

Some kind, others not,

But you can’t have one without the other.

 

Before the key,

There was a lock,

But before the lock,

There wasn’t need for a key.

No magnifying glass, no scalpel, no detective nor doctor necessary,

Watchful eyes blinded and prodding hands punctured,

Shocked out of existence by the freedom I granted my story.

 

Open then and open now,

But now there’s more spilling out.

Without a sleeve strong enough to carry my ever-bleeding heart,

I use that key instead,

Resilient by the warmth given to it on the day I was reminded of a feeling called

Hope.