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Venn Jul 2015
(tw; hypothermia, death)

Having depression is like being caught out in a blizzard.

At first, the cold seems like nothing.

You're all bundled up in a fluffy coat,
scarf wrapped around your face,
hands slipped into gloves and tucked under your arms.

But then the snow begins to fall,
and the temperature drops,
and it's like the chill is stripping you down, layer by layer,
even though all your layers are still there.

It gets colder, and you start to feel the effects of the chill,
the fierce winter seeping into your bones,
making it seem as though you only walked outside
in a pair of shorts and a tee-shirt.

Your body begins to numb as the cold starts,
the weakest parts of you losing their feeling first.

Your nose,
your ears,
your cheeks and your face and your fingers,
all becoming completely numb,
as if they aren't there anymore.

And then your legs stiffen up,
and you have trouble walking,
even though you try so hard to keep moving,
because you know if you stop, you're doomed.

But you lose your ability to function,
the cold causing almost complete ****** paralysis,
and no matter how hard you try,
it's impossible to keep moving.

You fall to the ground,
curling into a ball in the snow,
trying to keep yourself warm,
but the cold is too much.

And as the hypothermia sets in,
your brain tricks you into thinking you're actually warm,
and you strip off the layers that were the only thing
keeping you alive.

And then it's over.
Kat 1d
Recently my chronic illness came back —
A collection of symptoms out of many,
That I had hoped would stay gone for years,
Less severe than before
But disturbing nonetheless —
I cannot do my schoolwork.
I worry how my family will react if it gets worse.
I think back on how hard it was.
I think back on how bad it can get.

I’m in a far better place now —
I see a specialist,
And a physical therapist,
And my counselor,
And I understand this far better than I did
A year and a half ago, when it first started.

And despite all this,
I am still feeling okay.
But I am afraid —
Not just for my physical health
But for the power of my mind;

I worry as my symptoms grow and the fear and anger mount,
And inside me flares the tiniest flame of impulsivity;
I fear that under my skin lurks the fire of self-destruction —
Under my skin is a person who throws her possessions across the room,
Cuts lines into her skin and dreams of tears and blood,
Gets out of a car in the middle of the street,
Fantasizes about taking all of her pills,
Shouts and shakes and sobs, consumed by the blaze inside.

I worry this person is not gone.
I worry she will come back to devour me and those I love,
Just as my physical illness is coming back.
I worry what will happen when I change my medication,
Which I know I will have to do soon —
How frustrating that something that is good for my mind
Could be bad for my body;
What will happen if, when, chaos grows with COVID cases and rage rears its head again?

What will happen if, when, I break?

I know I can be too pessimistic.
I know I can be dark, even when I try to hide the darkness —
I listen to songs about death;
I read memoirs about mental illness;
I create D&D characters with tortured pasts;
I write poems like this.

I have been trying to embrace who I am, all that I am, and
I see what I once saw as proof that I was broken
As proof that I am brave, and
I wear my scars with pride.

But it is still hard
When I worry
Like I’m doing tonight.

I need to know that feeling upset, feeling flickers of impulsivity, are not a sign
That I am falling, or failing, or that I have lost control.
I need to know that a relapse of an illness or depression or anxiety or even self harm
Is not a backslide to square one.
I need to know that I know so much more than I did
Even a year ago.

That no matter what happens,
I will be okay.
I will be okay.

I will be okay.
my therapist told me that I should
try to imagine my mental illness
in the form of a person.

she said that sometimes
it's easier to fight these things
when they aren't invisible.

she said that maybe
doing this would help me to
remember that I am not crazy,
and that a mental illness is
just as real as a physical one.

she's told me over and over
about the chemicals in my brain,
and how my ****** literally
changed the way that I function.

she told me that he put
my body into a chronic state
of fight-or-flight mode.

she made sure
to use the word "chronic"
and not "permanent."

she makes sure
to remind me that
recovery is possible.

but when I try to picture
my mental illness
in the form of a person,
it has his face.

all of my demons
have his face.
It is a word
That means
and total
and joy
It explains
a feeling
of immense pleasure
this feeling
I know
when I touch
my bones
and hard
beneath my skin
it's not as if
I reach through
and find them
between the sinew
and skin
No, they rise
to meet me
as every day
I eat a little less
and each day
the bones
so pale and white
they show
just a little bit more
My collarbones
start to press
against my skin
as if pressing
through paper
my ribs
against my skin
so delicate
or at least,
they will become so
my hips
will jut out
just a bit more
and my stomach
better than flat
it is concave
it only becomes so
when i lay down
but perhaps
if I run
an extra mile
then tomorrow,
I will see them
each day
I go to work
religiously counting
calories, bites, chews
cups, pounds, ounces
I carefully measure
each aspect
of who I am
because I am not
who I want to be
but I will be
If I control
what I do
then I can control
Who I am
And if you can see
the sunset
between my thighs
and the mug
between my fingers
on a cold morning
sipping coffee
black and bitter
I will be good enough
for just a moment
a breath
a fleeting second
in my eternity
I will be okay
because I am enough
Kat 5d
Body —
I love you but I cannot contain my frustration right now.
I tell you I am fine, and happy, and safe, so why do you shake like a leaf in the wind, make me dizzy when I try to read, weigh me down with heavy exhaustion, make me feel that I will faint or fall —

Body —
You respond to fear to the sensations you create — racing heart, shallow breaths, physical symptoms leading to more physical symptoms;
You do not need to panic, so why do you panic so and set my thoughts racing in turn?

Body —
Why do you hurt when you are not supposed to,
When I walk or bake or speak or type or laugh —Teeth aching, muscles tightening, back burning, making me fear that you have been injured again?
You have taken so much from me — couldn’t you have at least spared my hobbies? My voice?

Body —
Was it not enough to make you whole —
The year and a half I spent out of school,
The visits to the hospital,
The meditations and the PT and the acupuncture and the walking and the resting and the dozens of doctors and all the other things I have tried to make you content,
To make you go back to what you were like before?

And maybe this should be a letter to my mind instead,
For it is not my body but my mind that does not work as it should —
My muscles are not torn,
My bones are not cracked,
My joints do not swell;
It is my mind that creates the pain and the tremors and the dizziness and the fatigue and the migraines and the panic and more —
But I feel that my mind has brought suffering enough,
Years of mental illness that I have written about in dozens of poems,
So I will turn instead and write this letter to my

Body -
You are beautiful, not broken, even though some days it is hard to believe,
Hard to believe that you do not want to hurt me,
Hard to believe that you are not some sort of cruel punishment from the universe,
Hard to believe that I can love you as much as I should —

But see, body, I need to remember that you are so ******* strong —
You have been starved and cut and bruised and poked with needles more times than I can count and yet you still allow me to
Write poetry and walk and breathe and eat and drink and laugh and love and this is a gift —
And by showing me what it is like to feel sick,
You have shown me how grateful I am for the things that I can still do.

Body -
You are not fragile, a twig to be broken under a shoe, a feather to be weighed down in rain —
You are stronger than I could ever imagine,
And as the years go on, I know that I will come to witness even more
The capable wonderful thing
That you are.
if you tell me that you want to know
what it’s like to live the way that I do,
I will laugh to myself, because
the truth is you don’t want to know.

you don’t want to live the way
that I live, or feel how I feel.

and even if you did, you can’t.
you can hear about it
and learn about it,
but you can never feel
the way that I do.

don’t keep trying to understand
the way that my mind operates.
don’t keep trying to feel like me.

be thankful that you can’t.

but if you must know,
imagine this:

it’s early in the morning
and you’re at the end of a dream,
or maybe a nightmare.

you’re kind of awake,
but not quite. you’re groggy.
you haven’t gotten out of bed yet,
and you don’t feel like it.

and then you hear your
alarm clock going off,
and you realize, oh ****,
you’re late to work.

you need to get up now
and you know that.
but when you try to,
you suddenly can’t.

you’re stuck in your bed,
unable to even open your eyes.
you’re not paralyzed.
you seem physically fine,
but you’re stuck there.
you have an overwhelming
need to wake yourself up.
you don’t know why you can’t.

you’re stuck in your bed for so long,
you begin to think that maybe
the dream that you’re in is now real.
maybe the real world isn’t there anymore. you can’t think of a logical explanation.
it doesn’t make any sense.

yesterday, you woke up
and got out of bed, and you
made it to work on time.
you were even a few minutes early.
there was no problem at all.

but wait, how long ago
was yesterday?
you don’t know
if yesterday was yesterday,
or if yesterday was a year ago.

you’ve been stuck here,
frozen in your bed while
the earth keeps spinning.
you have no way of knowing
what’s going on
in the world around you.

you know that this feels wrong.
you should’ve been able
to start your day.
you shouldn’t be stuck.

you know that you can’t
be living in a dream.
that’s not possible.

you know you’re not asleep.
you’re wide awake, but you’re stuck.
you can’t scream. you can’t move at all.
you’ve lost control over your body.
you can’t wake yourself up.

imagine that no matter what you do,
you can’t wake yourself up.
I want to recover.
I want to open up in therapy
and take my medication like I should.
I want to feel again.
I want this numbness to end.
I want to, I do.

but for that to happen,
my disorders and diagnoses
would have to go away.
I would be left to face
the real world all on my own.

this safe world that my disorders
have built around me would be gone.
I would no longer feel so
disconnected from my body.
I would no longer feel so
disconnected from the world around me.
my disorders would leave me.

I can’t lose any more friends.
I’m still hurt from those endings
that I never saw coming

and whether I like it or not,
these disorder are my best friends.
I can’t lose them yet.
I’m not strong enough.
Beckie Davies Oct 15
the madness crept into your reality
clouding the truth
corrupting your soul
stripping your innocence
the madness took over your reality
now your identity is blurred
and who you are
is not
who you were.
the madness changed her.
victoria Oct 12
In the dead of the night
When there's no one around
Nothing clanking
Or making a sound

That's when the night pains
Begin to creep in
Tortured bones
Aching in skin

Diazepam and codeine
Bring no relief
My sleep is stolen
By the pain giver theif

These are the things
That others don't see
I just want my life back
I just want to be me
Shin Oct 12
We are always watching little sinner.
Look out your window at the old oak tree.
Do you see that faint goldenrod glimmer?
Embers leaping from the branches in threes.

You see and understand how close we are.
We stand here, waiting to strike from afar.

You will know nothing but paranoia.
As long as you breathe we're comin for ya.
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