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Grace Jordan Feb 2019
Six years ago, the normal, brainy girl named Grace died. At least, that's when her body was found. It's likely she'd been dead a couple years longer than that. She was survived by bubbly friends and a doting family, who all were wracked by the loss.

Why is this eulogy so late, though, if she was so beloved? Because no one noticed she was dead, really dead, until today. Not even Grace.

When she noticed her brain wasn't quite right, she knew things would never be the same. That's how having a bad brain worked. She'd always be taking medicine, she'd always be watching every little move she made. It was a constant production, keeping all the parts together. Grace was strong and brave and quick to jump onto that.

However, somehow it slipped right by her how permanent everything was.

She knew to stay healthy she'd always have to be working on herself. She knew she'd constantly be changing. She knew she'd be a hard person to love.

But she didn't realize that her brain would stay broken, really broken, no matter how much of a good girl she was.

Six years ago, the girl named Grace was reserved but passionate. Extroverted but in love with her books. A straight A student. A great friend. The perfect daughter. She was messy, but she was focused. And maybe she didn't sleep a lot, but boy did she have so many dreams.

The broken brain took away invigorating, sleepless nights.

The broken brain chased off all her friends.

The broken brain tanked her grades.

The broken brain made her feel safer alone.

The broken brain made her organize everything, because it was the only thing she could control.

But what made it easier was seeing all her progress, watching the graph of her illness rise, even if it was still a jagged line. Grace felt that even if she was broken and moody and difficult that she was getting better.

But today, everything changed.

Looking at all her meds and all her schedules and all her coping strategies and all her perfect practices in place, and still feeling hollow inside, she realized it wasn't just that other people couldn't fix her and make her whole again.

She couldn't either.

No matter how hard she worked, or how much she believed, or how many times she corrected for every little warning sign, she would always be sick. Grace could do everything in her power to make things easier, do everything right, but nothing was going to fix her brain. It's almost like Bipolar Disorder is a chronic illness or something.

After all this hopeful time, she had to accept it wasn't just that past Grace was gone, it was that the ease and sanity that came with her was dead, too.

Being the perfect good girl Grace just never will be enough. Not to make her healthy again. If she spends what's left of her life trying to find that, she'll always be disappointed.

While old Grace, sane Grace, is survived by a neater, hardened Grace, she will be missed. The late night homework and laughing sleepovers and baked goods for classmates and indomitable confidence in the things she loves most are gone.

All we have left is to stand tall and move forward.

It's all we've ever had.
Grace Jordan Oct 2018
Television makes it sound like a fun, 30-60 minute adventure into the lives of our favorite comedy or drama characters. But not for me. For me, an episode swells up through my soul and eats me from the inside out. The story doesn't get a comic relief, or a satisfying arc.

All it gets is cyclical, depressed me.

Where creativity and dreams once thrived, there lives a barren waste of hopelessness. Its like my body is in constant phasing shifts between dimensions. One place, I'm normal. I'm a writer in a dry spot trying to figure out where to go from here. Another, the world and my mind are boundless and I could be on the precipice of becoming exactly who I want to be, whoever she may be. And the last, everything's been gutted and that shadow of a woman dreaming has been reaped of her happiness; there's nowhere good on the horizen, only desolation.

If my moods were a television series, they'd only leave fans dissatisfied and sad. They get to watch a hopeful stargirl dream of the universe only for her body to crush her mind from the inside. Its like watching her sharply get possessed, like watching a hopeful underdog tale with the ghost looming quietly in every shot. Before anyone would know it, this star story turned into a horror-fest.

Like this, I'm so tired. I'm not someone wanting to make the world better. I'm not a writer with big, celestial dreams. I'm not a woman on the cusp of adulthood and the truths of her future.

I'm a wanderer, lost in the nuclear fallout of her own head. And its exhausting.

That's not an episode anyone really ever wants to see.
Grace Jordan May 2018
Its been a long while since I rambled in the night, while my head won't get tired and everything feels like lightening.

But two years later and its just like I remember. Makes my skin itch a bit less, but here I am, alone late at night, whirling about in my in-congruent thoughts. There's an electric peace about it, the mix of its familiarity and its origin.

Not surprising after my first big low of the summer that I have my first big high. Just kinda odd how easy it all feels. Its no pounding, screaming, kicking, biting. Its just like a neighbor stopping by.

I guess now to the ramblings. The expounding expression of my random, endless thoughts to get them out of my head and try to get me to bed.

I thought about love a lot on my way to work. Granted, I work only a five minute walk from home. But I remembered how the definitive point in time where I decided what kind of love meant most to me happened in the worst summer of my life, the most hopeless depression I ever felt.

Mom liked that I was quiet about it.

Dad was oblivious.

Friends forgot I existed.

Then there was him, the one I never expected. He was angry. So angry.

He was so upset he was losing the person he loved to my depression and he felt helpless to do anything about it. He needed me to fight. He needed me to get better. He couldn't stand watching who I was fade away.

He yelled at me.

I don't know where I'd be if he hadn't.

I'd been content to float, to hide behind my childhood walls and use the same tactics that hid my mental turmoil all of my life. If no one saw it, it was ok. Its what my parents always taught me.

Yet he looked at me, heard my mentions of pain and non-existence, and couldn't stand it. He didn't want me to change, or never be crazy. He just wanted me to have a will to fight it. To get better.

He didn't want to lose me just because it was so much easier.

I think its why I began to hate my parents, for awhile. Compared to wanting to set me on fire to save me? How could their naive complacence compare? I hid a lot from them, I grant. But that summer I told my mom I wanted to be hospitalized.

She said no.

If no one saw it, it was ok, right?

I couldn't stand all the years I spent trapped between those walls, feeling like I was hiding some mythic beast inside me, like I had to do everything right because everything in me was wrong. Outside, I was their cheery, sweet, smart, empathetic perfectionist. Inside, I was a passionate, dark humored, fireball of curiosity and imagination and limitless possibilities. The two never quite meshed, but I never got the chance to find a way to do that. Only the chance to force them apart.

Makes relationships hard when you've become two people. And once the other one shows up, everything changes. You're a lie, now.

Things are starting to mesh better, little by little. But its been a long journey.

Seems quiet acceptance isn't the love I like most. Fire is.

And its even wilder now that, after years of moving away from that isolation and pain, I'm finding a new belonging in the things that I used to cope. I thought they were all just silly things I did because I had nothing else. Now I prefer to do them instead.

As if on cue, I'm distracted by some writing and my head is slowly calming. I guess its my cue to bid this adieu. Always fascinating, how a thought-dump helps settle an insomniatic head.
Grace Jordan May 2018
I was ok but I was anxious
I tried to rest to stop twitching, stop groaning, stop my head from ******* pounding
It wasn't worth it
Once my brain stop ticking like a broken clock it settled back down here again
Depressed again
I wondered why this keeps on happening
Not the obvious reason, my bipolar condition isn't the interesting part anymore
But why down now?
Why have things changed?
Then I look outside and am reminded the glaring sun feels so exhausting alone
I only felt better and laid down my crazy head when rain was pouring
I wanted to go outside and drown in it
I was cold
I was lonely
But rain has always made things feel better when everything swings
Most people hate the winter but for me its the opposite
The burning sky
The heat
The loose skin
I'd rather be wrapped up in my sweater and have the sky not remind me how unbright I can be inside
Its hard to pretend to be brighter than you are next to the sun
In the darkness its easier to be bright
Its also easier to feel like the entire universe isn't watching you fail
Easier to feel like even the sky is sad sometimes
I've always felt worse in summers, haven't I?
Funny I never noticed it until now
Funny it fit well with school and college
Now it just makes me feel broken
But a lot of things make me feel broken, don't they?
Guess this is just another
Grace Jordan May 2018
I've overextended
I've expected too much
I live on this tightrope to the stars
Forgetting how far I just might fall

I look at me over the past few months and all I see is
Makes it almost enough to forget
Makes it seem like my head isn't combustible
Makes it easy to act too much like the person I could be
If I didn't have

Slowly, I was falling out of love with normal
But then I realized I was just falling
Toeing too close to the edge of the rope
Stumbling back unto the synapses that laugh at my reach
Tripping back towards the chemicals that break my heart
Toppling that fantasy of normal and remembering I'm not

Every so often I look at the earth below and think
What kind of human would I be without my head?
I'd make more sense decapitated
But instead I'm starry, strange me
But instead I'm alien

Luckily, I'm too familiar with these mistakes to fall all the way
My safety nets were already in place
I find my feet by the Moon
Instead of on the earth, dead

I'm laying in these heavy webs, watching space float by
I'm forced to look inside and remember that
In between my sparks of humanity
And my grass-stained toes
There is the dark void of space and the burning core of planets
There is the stars in my eyes and the lack of gravity
Despite my human smiles and my human face
I'm more star-child than anything earthly

In this weightless winter, blacker than night, I remember
I may find friends
I may find ground
I may find the meaning of human life
But underneath it all, I am an other, an oddity
A woman of stars and space
An asteroid, a moon, a star, given sentience and a body
Not quite wrong but not quite right
And never normal

My arms crawl heavily back onto my tightrope
My core weighed by the reminder of my abnormality
My brilliance
My madness
My feet balance just right, like stepping through stars is instinctive
My place is here, between the earth and the universe

I don't belong quite on earth
I don't belong quite in space
I live a life of paradox and pain
I live to never forget the galaxy in me
But sometimes I do forget
And the stars are swift to remind that
I am not human
I am not normal
I am beautifully, painfully, brilliantly, madly me

The price for the stars is one I'll gladly pay
The price is one I'd never ask another to suffer

I am a star-child and
I am the only one of my kind and
That's exactly how it should be
starchild, mental illness, art, brilliance, pain, friends, loss, normal, odd
Grace Jordan Apr 2018
For a story never to be told, this is my time capsule, my floating space in history, where a never will be meets what could have been and my bleeding heart pours out its buckets of blood before turning back to endless, changing life.

I don't know what to call you.

It feels too sentimental and cruel to call you my baby when from the second I knew you existed I knew you were a bundle of cells I was unfit to hold. That you were a less than 1%, an accident, a medical anomaly that caused my body far more harm than good. Its all so easy and clinical to know if A meets Y then X must occur until the scenario plays out before your baffled eyes. But how can I call you a baby when you were doomed from the start?

Every moment you were in my body, I was painfully ill. I don't know if I've ever been that all-consumingly sick in my life. Coming from someone who suffered crippling bipolar disorder and suicidal ideation, its a hard pill to swallow. But I was dying with you.

Less than a week without you and I feel better than I have in over a month. I feel human again. I feel I can finally be myself again.

So why do I feel something hollow within me, then?

Maybe its less about you and more what you meant. Only a little over a month in and I was miserable, in constant pain, nausea, and exhaustion. Near the end of your tenure I wanted the whole ship to go down sometimes. The only thing that kept me floating, horribly, tragically, was the knowledge it would all be over soon. It would all be over without you.

Living 10 weeks with you made me accept I don't think I can ever have another you. Not my A, not my love's X. I'm too sick. Losing you doesn't hurt when I know you wouldn't have lived well. Losing you hurts because I don't think I could survive 9 months carrying a different one I could keep. Not even if I prepared for it.

The idea of loving a kid someone else blossomed is something I've never minded. Beautiful, smiling cheeks are on all little wild ones. But the idea of accepting I don't get the choice of having one that has its father's devious smirk, or its uncle's laugh, or its grandmother's kind eyes, all because I'm too sick?

It breaks my heart.

Losing you is one more way my body has failed me. It feels like some patchwork tug boat carrying a resilient sailor, convinced to keep it going. And of course I will, I always persist. I just might have to accept I never will be strong enough for any passengers.

I love my family. I love my partner. I just wish I didn't have to throw away their beautiful genetics and chromosomic heritage because my body can't do what it should.

It wasn't just you I aborted last week. It was recent, over-optimistic, flyby dreams that maybe I could have someone like you. At least I learned I was wrong before I flew too far away.

And for now we focus on other things with words and videos and creative explosions. Its no time for wombs and their disappointments. Despite the pain its caused me, its time for me to get back to treating my old, patchy tug boat well. Sadly it had to happen to you, however, the story of me is not aborted.

Like all unsunken ships, I have to carry on.
Grace Jordan Nov 2017
For ****'s sake.

How did we end up here again?

The soothing, annoying word flickers on my blue-back lit screen and I am ****** back to the tumultuous moment when once upon a time it yelled bipolar.

And here we go again.

My thoughts flick, flit, floss between teeth made for biting and real meat. They need plaque, collection, to grow and accumulate mass to progress. But there my flicking thoughts go, flossing.

I've always struggled focusing, but I just got excitable, got manic, and it would solve everything. Mania was my monster, my red bull, and now that its sated and off to Wonderland...

I'm left here, face to face, with a twitchy white rabbit wondering why I would ever think to use my pretty little head when its such a good projectile into the sky.

I had always wondered, in those whispering nights, when my hands couldn't stop moving and my head wouldn't shut up, if something was wrong. But it was silly, I had two already, full of worry then full of poles. Couldn't be another, could it?

Of course, a Grace of Wonderland always knows best, and here we are. Another bottle to drink to keep me sane.

I wonder if my fingers will thank the capsules when I might stop biting them? Or my toes? Is this why my toes always twitch and dance, why they stand center-stage in so many of my mild fantasies? After all these years, the divas that my lower digits have become may not appreciate losing their star titles.

I just want to be fine. I want to figure out how to move beyond all the strange misfires in my head. How did I survive so long without a notice? Inflates my ego to know I should have been caught by now.

Guess just like the White Rabbit, despite my widgets and worries, no one can stop me from running when I'm madly, absolutely, refusing to be late.

Graces only knows to fight with fire and fists. Tis the state of my Wonderland, and perhaps now things will only get better.
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