Over the crack in the pavement I walk, four more steps, again.

Carefully scanning every familiar environment for threats; they are all around me.

Devils inside whisper gruesome thoughts that poison my mind and fray my nerves.  

Insecurities plague my body, demanding to be acknowledged and obeyed.

Scratches appear on my arms; deep trenches from last night’s terrors.  

Maybe I forgot to vacuum… or check for locked doors…  

Yelling erupts inside my head, I need to go back to reassure these persistent voices.

Moving towards the wall, I give four taps; this will silence them for now.

Overwhelmed again, this time my mouth starts to count aloud: one, two, three, four; an endless loop.

Needless washing all day- dry, aching hands scrub again and again, then reach for more soap.  

Sacrifices are made faithfully, I lose more of my passions and friends as this hellish nightmare continues.  

Time flies as I organize… three hours to make the bed and straighten the lines on my uneven comforter.  

Every routine is completed to agonizing perfection; all are followed until the next day when I  


Mandy Arc Nov 6

My soul seeps onto clothing
The blood is muddy, murky, gross
So much passion
That you could say it even seeps through my skin
My wrists
My heart
My mind
The words i say to myself are sharp
A blade and cut to the touch
I hope that one day i will see
That i am just enough
The atmosphere around me’s cloudy
The wind is brisk and sharp
And i am all alone
And screaming in the dark

I don't believe in the never ending consequences
I don't believe in the depth
I don't believe in the endless sinking
Of all that is ruined and wrecked
The seams have come undone
And i break and tear to ends
I don't feel whole
For i am a scattered mess

A mess with no starting point and no ending point to foresee
You can’t overlook the thought of me for i am all but unseen
I am alive in a fragile state
A moth caught by its wing
I hope to be okay with me
And all i have to bring
But the bag of tricks that are up my sleeves
are emptying by dusk
But i want to show everyone
That i am just enough
The sappy story of what i entail
Is one i hate to bring
But i have nothing more to offer
Than what i can already sing
I hope to prove to someone
To anyone at that
To even just myself
That i am all i have

Hasani Oct 30

He sat there on the train,
palms sweating, lips trembling
under pressure
to say the desires of his heart

She sat In front him
with her smooth dark skin,
beautiful eyes both captivating
and inviting

He wonders;
if it's possible to get a minute  of her time,
an opportunity to immerse in a conversation
A chance to unravel her mystery     
Yet it all seem impossible                          
He knows he is unworthy
an imperfect being  
                        amongst a stream of options.

Nathan Tuy Oct 21

3am. 2 hours till dawn. 3 hours after midnight.
They sleep. I'm awake. I'm awake and I'm fighting. I'm fighting with myself.

3 am. 2 hours. 3 hours.
Please stop. I beg you please. Please just stop. I'm too tired. I'm too tired of this.

3 am. 2 hours. 3 hours.
Numbers are beautiful. So are words. They flood my brain, they fly around it flapping their black wings.

3am. 2 hours. 3 hours.
Three. Two. Three.
Three. Two. Three.
Please stop three.

3 am. 2. 3 hours.

"Youre making too much noise, we cant sleep". You cant just sleep. I can't breathe. Can't  you see that I can't breathe?

Three. Three. Two.
Three. Two . Three.

3am. 2 hours till dawn. 3 hours after midnight.
It's too loud please stop. I don't want to do this anymore, please stop.

3 am. 2 hours.  3 hours.
I look at the razors, I stare at the door. I remember the days when my mind was still silent.

Three. Two. Three.
I'm reading. I'm remembering. I'm reading. I'm remembering. Will I remember?  Will I be remembered?

3am. Two hours. Three hours.
Bells start ringing in my head. My heart is racing,my body shaking. Three two three.

3am. Two. Three hours.
I cant smile. I can't cry. Because when I do, you'd just think I'm trying to justify. I'm not trying to justify. I just want you to know that I'm not trying to justify. Justify. Justify. Justify.

5 am. Dawn. 5 hours after midnight.
Another day. More suffering. More words. More numbers. More hours.

Three. Five. Two. Five. Zero. Zero.
Lord help me, zero.

Clouds of thought
Gripping tight the skin of my throat
Thick clouds of whisping anxiety and panic;
Upon which I choke!

Smoke of insanity
Of eyes shifting in a sandstorm around the room, always. Forever.

I choke.

I stumble. I choke.

The taste of blood from obsessive consistency becomes momentarily, forever.

The hatred I feel for my experience is forever, momentarily.

Clouds of panic grip my mind.
Clouds of anxiety gag my throat.
Clouds of obsession rob my time.
Clouds of sorrow kill me slowly.

Upon clouds, I choke.

Lilly O Oct 16

Anxiety is a monster
Inside my mind
Its claws scrape my skin.
It tongue traces my
Clock and rewinds
Its red eyes glow
When I grin
Makes me wonder
Who I am?
When it’s angry
I aspire to change
My body vibrates
Like a crashing wave.
My nails
Nip and pick
My head spins
My hands are in my hair
Pulling from the stems.
Anxiety you are a beast
You live inside me
Burrowing deep enough that
You are a part of me
You are the roots and I am the tree.

Anxiety is a real life struggle that seems to stay in the background. To anyone struggling you are not alone always try to remember that.
Grace Alford Oct 12

Today is the day
National mental health day
One of the many days I regret

I should speak out
I want to
But my mental illness has me chained
So instead I pull
Pull my way closer
But the chains keep me back

Closer to the truth
Closer to the hesitation

For me, pulling is my release
I read online that the rough ones-
With black bulbs were bad ones
The “wicked witch” ones
So I started

Pulling out my fears,
From my head- one by one

Until I laid there helpless
In a cloud of my mistakes
Somehow seeing all my worries in front of me didn’t make them go away

Instead, I became more aware
More aware of my failures
For the unknown future that lies in store
One by one

October 23, 2016
I kept the receipts
A friend- not a close one, more of those friends of friends
She chose me to tell her story to
She was raped
By a guy we all knew and trusted
A “good guy”
I lent her an ear, or rather a willing text
I thanked her for her bravery
For allowing me to be a small fraction of her story of overcoming
I might be one of twenty she told, or maybe just two

I don’t know. I may never know.
But what she may not know is that night
She became my one
Someone I knew almost nothing about
I told her my story and asked how she told her first

I hoped of getting some of her strength through some sort of Twitter DM telepathy
Alas you can’t gift strength like that
Oh God, I wish you could
I go back and read those messages all the time trying

I read my TimeHop every day
Sometimes for the memories
But more often than not they bring back the nightmares
I do it for the relief
The streak number tick ticking higher
Counting the days that have gone by
Or the hairs I’ve pulled

Tomorrow is National Coming Out Day
Is there a day like this for those who came out to their loved ones about their mental illness?
I will also not be participating.
My mental illness is keeping me from doing so
I am buried deep in my closet, hiding under clothes and forgotten tags
My fingers raking through the carpet
Finding that momentary release
The glorious relief lasting a moment
I run my fingers through the rough fibers searching for more

My family doesn’t know
Or if they do, they don’t want to break our perfect mold
I pull discretely
Around my head, just a receding hairline, no bald patches

I never get my haircut
At least, by a professional
The last time I went, my stylist said it was new growth
Not my past coming to haunt me.
She pulls at them showing me, calling them baby hairs
How do I tell her that each one represents shame, frustration, guilt
Each one represents one party, one good time with friends I’ve missed
Hiding behind those fears, covered in guilt
Back in my closeted mind

Sometimes, I wonder what would happen if I cut myself open
Would blood run out or the words I meant to say?
When it’s a bad day, I pull at large sections of my hair
Wondering what it would be like to rip it all out in two sections
It makes me cry in pain, but the voices tell me about the sweet relief it may bring
I almost give in

What hurts me the most is noticing the people around me who have it
Does the girl sitting in front of me know
One day she may have to get surgery
To remove the hairball in her stomach from eating at her hair?
I see her run it through her lips, feeling the same texture.

Does the boy, scratching away at his knuckles
Understand what’s underneath his skin?
I wonder what his blood would say
Would it tell my story?
Would it tell ours?

*trigger warning*
Mandy Arc Oct 9

You tap the lights three times
Because the world around you is dull
And dangerous
And cruel
And the number three is safe
And spontaneous
And comforting
But you look like an idiot tapping the lights three times
And washing your hand five times
And reciting numbers people can not hear clearly under your breath
And they look at you
Like the rare deformity
In the city zoo
Because things that are different
Don't fascinate people like they should
But they scare
And repel
And deflect others
And I can't help but feel alone in a world
Where the tide pushes against me
Trying it’s best to get me out of their vicinity
I don't mean to think over things that are dangerous and scary
And I don't mean to fall into a deep hole of endless sinking
But the words around me are groggy
And thick
Like fog
On a hot humid day
It’s so thick its feels like swimming in quicksand
But I don't know how to swim in quicksand
And the number one rule when caught in quicksand
Is to not panic
Because then you will drown
But no one tells me this when I need to hear it most
And I am the queen of panic
So I struggle
And fight
And flail
Only to fall to an endless doom of deep dark nothing
Where blood is thick like maple syrup
And people are as concealed as concrete
My insides turn into this consistency
Of dog shit and bleach
And it burns my throat
And makes me cry
As I choke on my thoughts
Because by the time I reached the pit of the quicksand
I begin to absorb it
And I then become
The things people call me
When they are most upset with me

be afraid, be very afraid
Jane Most Oct 5

There's something that doesn't feel right
When I moved out and told you this was best for me
Or when I didn't say goodbye to my little brother because he was outside playing
are both things I did for logical reasons
But if it was so logical
Why am I laying here alone questioning my reasoning for what I did?
Because now things just don't feel right.

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