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Can you see me?
I’m standing still while running circles,
fixated as if I'm looking through you,
Can you see me, yet?

I’m sorry you can’t understand,
Maybe it’s better off that way.
I can’t have you feeling this pain for it choke you,
You my dear are strong,
but this takes a deeper strength.
A weight only people like me can carry.
I could never ask you to walk in my shoes for that might still sometimes isn’t enough.
I still feel smothered,
In a lifeless body.
Can you see me floating?
Can you see me arguing with myself?
I have good days, but I have just as many bad,
The bad takes over at times and wears out its welcome.
Can you see me?
I used to be full of life,
I miss me.
I know you miss me as well,
But I’m on pause,
And with that I have no answers,
because without fault you'll never see me,
for I'm afraid that that girl just may be dead,
by no means to be seen again.
Trying to get through to my husband that my depression is so severe that I'll never been that girl he fell in love with again.
Sitting in wait in a silent room,
glaring at a bright screen alone,
Wondering will you return my message?
I've always longed for what you hide,
even the things that have haunted you inside,
we're family after all; I could forgive your secrets.
Rummaging for a name never heard before,
maybe what you know will make us sore,
break our hearts in two or more,
so maybe it's a good idea you leave it vacant,
delete it all and don't call,
do what you have done best,
and just let me fall,
I’ve come to learn how to pick up the pieces.
However, there’s someone who’s always been conjointly alike,
Never been a doubt I couldn’t count on her time,
I fear the day she sheds her skin,
For that day we lose a mixture of strength and compassion,
For that woman is mother and father,
For she the hybrid we see all too often,
that can't be replaced by your presence belatedly,
for after she’s gone,
even if I had what was left of your absence,
she you could never replace,
because she knew from the start,
what had significance right away.
a poem to my mother. Who was a single mother. Even though I know my father now. Being 32 and knowing him for 8 years will never match what my mother did for us.
You rush to check on grandma,
To make sure she’s okay.
They say don’t stress her out,
She’s too delicate to say.
You clinch your chest,
From the unbearable pain,
You ask to sit down,
You say not today,
But with your short life there’s no way you’re sick!
You’re faking it they say,
It’s probably just a bug, anyway.
I can’t help, but wonder and maybe be envious,
her long life deserves to be handled,
more delicately than my short presence?
Because I haven’t had the years to age,
I’m left feeling anxious,
Not just because I feel more alone,
But I’m left feeling like a fake,
Trying to live an ordinary existence,
They don’t know of the smile I forged,
That my tumble I said was me being clumsy,
Is just the faint feeling I receive consistently,
the yawning wasn’t from a late night,
that no matter how much I sleep it could never be enough.
The grabbing at my chest isn’t heart burn,
But an irregular heart-beat that was above average for no cause.
That I sit because the blood pulling in my legs feels like needles
not because I am lazy,
for I’m burdened with an illness that my youthful skin hides,
and the pain caused from an embodiment of an uneducated mind.
I suffer from Dysautomia/POTS and not a lot understand it. Sometimes my ailments get the best of me and while I may seem and look normal. You never really know just how bad it can be.
They lied.
They lied when they said time heals all wounds,
Or maybe there hasn’t been enough time away from you.

Almost two years to the day,
yet I still find myself keeping tears at bay.
Why did you go? Why couldn’t you stay?
You were just coming around,
You seemed okay.

Yet, I know deep down that feeling you felt,
I often feel it too and left with a remorseful head,
Full of regret,
I could have said something,
I did nothing instead.

I’ve learned a lot while you’ve been away.
I was too late,
I should have never received a call that day,
A life full of guilt because my mind mended,
after you chose to escape a life unfinished.

I couldn’t help it,
Our genetics tell all,
you see,
Those months I had been suffering,
just like you,
I begged for it to leave.

My life continued while yours departed,
Waking day to day,
to a photo of your smiling face,
with that everlasting tear,
that may  never be tamed.
It doesn't feel like two years since my brother passed. I can't help, but miss him every single day. I don't know how to get over it. So I wrote this down really fast after a big crying spell.
Can’t you see what you're doing to me?
I know you are aware from my increasing tumbles onto the floor.
Your constant backfire leading to my demise,
When all you need to do is change the oil.
Doctors say stress will **** you,
it’s scarier that you’re aware.
I wonder if this is what you want?
I wonder if you even care?
You say you don’t want yelling,
when there is peace it’s as if I’m not there,
when you want something your self-entitled ego that’s fed by your own blood tells you that you deserve more.
I see your age doing more and being grateful for less,
you get straight F’s while owning every electronic to exist,
still believing it isn’t fair.
You take all you can with not even a blink of empathy,
for what you want you will get.
not because we allow it, but because if we don’t; someone will.
If you don’t see what’s depraved with that,
then you’re part of the defeat,
Of what’s left of morals, humility and integrity.
My morning as a mother in this generation.
We are aware of the darkness that a judgmental mind could never interpret,
regrettably a sympathetic one whom may never understand,
the unfortunate occasion that you may never comprehend,
nevertheless, the inconsolable thoughts taking possession as we ill-advisedly perceive it all.

We plead with our wits next to the shadowy void to pull itself together for the considerate rope, thrown by the aiding, observant heart, whom questionably believes they may be witness to a faltering mind.
Observing the consciousness of the defeated soul that appears to be in despair without hope,
whos only aspirations seem simply to be a desire for a purpose, if not just appreciated for unobserved accomplishments,
but as the Darkness appears it’s difficult to grasp the disoriented, desolated mind that was ******, abruptly upon us.

As much as you try to alleviate the agony you attest to see, handing over your own strength you long to be received,
There is still the over-whelming pull of our defective mind,
discouraging thoughts that blind the help being offered that we push aside,
we feel the need of fight or fly, as we flee to our merciless evacuation,
It’s in that moment we freely descend,
Diving into the captivating abyss,
With the knowledge of knowing we may never ascend again.
You can’t hear the darkness’s dialogue, but we listen to the seductive silence as the chemicals misalign,
the reckless, misguided drop into the blinding dark hole that feels numb in awareness, but aching to touch,
the darkness can speak for as long as we reluctantly consent,
despite the fact it leaves us feeling insignificant,
we let darkness define us and at times its abundant touch is imprudently enough to keep us retreating to darkness’s lair for refuge from our detrimental behavior.

We reach, we scream, we dig our nails into the muddy wall, but the hole is too deep; the rope isn’t long.
Maybe it’s a test as you climb the roots; but the darkness is still there grabbing at your legs, whispering to you that you’re meant to be here instead.
“It’s safe here!” Darkness says.  “They can’t get you here! They may get past that concrete wall, but not in this destitute of twigs and straw, but if they do, they could get stuck, too, maybe I’ll haunt them instead of you?”
I should have known how easy it was to fall so gracelessly into a shadowy hole that I know shows when prompted by self-possessed triggers in life that you can’t help but let devour the night.
We find ourselves asking if we should even reach up.
We began to wonder if the hole was meant to collect what we feel is broken and left for dead.
Some find us weak, but they have no clue,
When we do choose to be, we fight this battle almost daily, so you can’t say what weakness is,
When you’ve never needed the strength to fight the dark to begin with.

Natalie M. Lawrence
I suffer from manic depression and when I become manic I write. I am also an advocate for mental health and try to find ways for others who don't suffer to understand what it's like while at the same time letting those who do know that they are not alone.
So in this Darkness is the fight we are up against. Always.
For a moment I forgot.
A beautiful moment I imagined you would be there, too.
In that moment you were breathing, and everyone was having a good time.
A loving moment we were all smiles, photographing memories.
A moment of peace that nothing was wrong,
For a moment we were whole.

The following moment came with a sting of pain and tearful eyes; for when that moment passed I realized none of that would ever be.

How could I forget?

The following moment felt as if it had happened all over again.
The harsh reality of the moment that everything was real.
That following moment stole any new memories we wanted to make with you.
In that following moment a piece of me had left again because there would never be any future with you. One I wish we had; if only to let you know you were loved.

In this very moment, my heart broke for the second time for you, because in that following moment, you were gone again.

    Natalie M. Lawrence
My oldest brother died in 2017. A couple months after I actually was speaking with my sisters about taking a huge sibling photo. Including my two siblings from my father's side since we hadn't taken a sibling photo with everyone since we were little and even then never with my new found siblings. I had said that and it hit me. We would never have that photo because he was gone and I felt so guilty saying it to my sisters and because I had forgotten for just a moment. It hurt so bad that I went to write in my journal.
This is in honor of my big brother, Jeffrey! I miss and love you!

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