The Chaos

Ink smudges as I crumple the paper for a fifth time. I’m silent and unmoving while I contemplate eloquent phrases that could make your eyes shine.

But I can’t be like you.

Though I pride myself in pieces that accurately describe each part of me, it is nothing compared to the breath you exhale. It’s living in the company of someone I admire, and someone I strive to tear down at the same time. But these stories are common to us. I want to hear all the grizzly details of demons that mark our skin when we are alone; you know, I understand the chaos.

If we close our eyes as our stories unfold, it starts to feel like we’re not alone. Still, I write these codes to further myself from any understanding. I can’t seem to let go as you have; so here lies the barrier inside my brain that I hope you can break down.

I could describe a metaphor of a storm that would knock you back, as if I had punched you square in the mouth. And as blood dripped from the corner of your lips, I’d simply stare and wish you’d see the chaos of what I’d done.

But I can’t be like you.

Because every fascination I find in who you are, is chaos that you cannot control.

She

She remembers every forgotten moment. Every nook and cranny is eaten away by acid and filled with memories she can only comprehend on paper. It’s what she does and who she is.

This girl battles behind her eyelids every day, but loses herself in fantasies during dreams. The warm breeze of a forgotten land electrifies her scarred skin, sending shocks of life into her frozen body. She wins each day with these hope-filled stories. It’s what she does and who she is. Because nights lasted for years, and though she has befriended the monsters, her trust is long gone. Nobody should live through these moments; of that she is sure.

A harmless touch is a struck match to her body. She couldn’t crawl out of her skin faster, if attempted. She sits back against the wall with a paper barely clutched in her delicate hand. Admitting fears to strangers never seemed to make sense – and sitting there years later, only strengthened her belief. She swam to the bottom of any bottle around. Laughter was abundant and happiness – apparent. She won awards for being the best, but once alone, tape was stripped off the bottom of the trophy.

Liar. 

Only she knew.

Only she knew that life could give you everything ever wanted, but at a price. The lamp and genie sat smirking in the corner each time. When she wanted love, it was made to crash with hatred at freeway speeds. But like an addict, she kept returning. Now broken records play whenever peace takes over. All she knows is this repetition.

But forgotten memories are all she remembers…

Every smile that wrinkled your cheeks has been imprinted in her brain. Every successful attempt at being a warm shoulder has reduced the frost covering her heart. All these little moments take her back to the dreams that gave her enough reason to go on one more day. She was a complicated wreck, barely making it to next week. She despises the shadows that dance on the walls. But she is happy in her being, to the point that maybe she no longer has to just make it to next week.

2AM Silence

I wonder in if we’ve all experienced it at some point in our lives. How many people have stayed silent at 2AM, as life tried to overwhelm them?

I remember sitting on the bathroom floor, my arms pulling knees to my chest, silence eating away at my brain. I told myself I was alone in this pain; that nobody could possibly understand how the dead of night was my enemy. Maybe I was right. I didn’t meet many people who slept on cold tile, as I had. Instead, I met people who searched for happiness in someone else’s heartbeat, and kept getting beat down.  I met people who smiled and cracked jokes for people like me. They all had their version of my 2AM silence. These people never showed signs of pain…pain that I understood.

I never was alone. I realized that in 2010, when a sleepover at my best friends house turned into a much needed therapy session. I never imagined that she could feel isolation as our friends surrounded her each day. Cuts on her arms suddenly became a warning sign that too much silence is deadly, and that silence is not restricted to 2AM purges in the bathroom.

She began my search for a cure. I may not have understood how to stop my pain, but I wanted to break the silence for her and any replications I found later in life. That’s why I’m speaking to you now. I never had someone hold my hand as tears dripped off my puffy cheeks. I like to think that if anyone had, maybe I would have stopped before all I knew were scars. But, fighting for a recovery I’m not sure I’ll ever know, drives me to this blog. This idea. And as I sit here now, at 3:30 AM, the silence that once told me I was alone, no longer has a voice.

You can beat it. And if you find yourself stuck in that 2AM silence – remember these words: Hope Is Out There. You’re not alone in your pain. Someone is always there to help, and if you think there’s not, look to this post.

https://twloha.com/find-help/local-resources/

http://www.crisistextline.org

https://www.7cups.com

Little Girl

I’m tired of feeling like such a failure. Like I’m wrong for not attending every family gathering; or for not calling every Sunday, each family member. I’m so exhausted trying to be perfect for all of you that I hardly have time for myself.

You don’t see my daily struggles, my constant, fighting a depression that’s trying to kill me. Nine dollars an hour doesn’t afford frequent trips across the country – I’m sorry.

I’m sorry I can’t be perfect: the daughter and sister you wish you had. I never show it hurts me too, because if we’re all in pain, who is there left to blame? I’m tired of being a failure because you want something different. So when we talk on the phone and your voice falters because I’m not there, just know I’m dying inside; being torn in two, because I may not have visited lately, but you’ve also never traveled 900 miles just to say “Hey, it’s great to see you”.

Money was always a problem, even before I was homeless. I’m almost twenty-two and barely making it paycheck to paycheck. I have no money for doctor visits, even with insurance. I can’t even keep my brain on a steady level, because a psychologist costs $100 a visit and I have to shell out $1,500 before those visits are covered. But my sanity is less important than seeing my nephew. Who is this aunt he’s never met? I don’t know, because neither does she.

But I should be so much better, because I’m bright and I have a family who loves me…I have places to go, but not one place to call my home. Because home is this life I’ve created with my friends, and though it may not be the best option, there’s not one thing I’d change.

One thing I always lacked as a kid was a happiness of my own. Be a straight A student, go to college. Never get arrested or break the rules. Always be civil and suppress your anger – despite the secrets you know destroyed your image of family. My happiness was what you wanted of me, not what actually made me happy. And here it is again. It drags me down, further from my own future when you beg me to return home to Michigan. Instead of growing and living my life, I’m expected to step back because there’s an old life waiting for me to come home. And though aspects of that life mean everything to me, you have to understand I wouldn’t be returning to the life I remember. I’m not okay leaving a life that makes me happy, to a life that made me happy for one part of it.

I’m not saying goodbye or that I’m not grateful – trust me, I wouldn’t be me if it weren’t for you – I’m simply asking you to listen for once.

If I had the opportunity to visit more, I would. Because my god do I love my dysfunctional family. But I’m not even twenty-two, and I need to take care of myself. It’s not selfish, it’s needed. Because I’m not a little girl anymore…

Records

“I don’t want to be labeled.”
“You know, they follow you your whole life.”

So stigma becomes a life worth living. A life where the voices bombard your brain like world war six; because plans D and E didn’t work.

Let the record show, that ice cubes in the corner of your arms only physically showed the numbness encompassing your soul. It didn’t help. It only distracted you further from the growing frustration of not finding a cure. But…believe me…a record is far more fear-worthy.

The ink dries on crisp, white paper, on the desk of a doctor only trying to help. But you’re running from that room as if spikes appeared on the walls and began closing in. This simple, little paper with a solution to the disease in your brain. This is what you fear.

You carry a sign around your neck, labeled “Troubled”. People avoid eye contact and cover their moving lips. It’s everything they claimed. You tear off this sign, determined to hide a past, that is actually a reality. Starting over is easy. Bury the papers. Smile. Be a functioning puppet, as you have before.

Let the record show…patient is happy and healthy.
Let the record show…nothing is wrong.

People have stopped staring, finally. And you tell yourself there’s a more discrete way…because the voices are back. But that must be the price to pay. It’s okay.

Let the record show…patient is happy…and healthy. At least on the outside. See, I never understood this ‘record’. It controls our belief of what’s acceptable. Don’t be faulty – that’s not what makes an upstanding citizen. So 43.8 million people must decide if sanity is worth a tarnished record. Tell me why this is okay, while I sit and watch the 10th leading cause of death, destroy lives each day.

Solitude

See, it’s a war,
A battlefield of one.
I reach out for a hand,
hundreds touch,
millions fall.
I stand alone.
Fog clouds all that I know
I beg for something,
anything at all.
But I’m not one to swim in self pity.
So who am I now?
My exact opposite,
My only enemy,
my certain destruction.

Memories

You left us.

So suddenly, we never understood when it hit us smack in the face. You became so quiet, crawling into a bulletproof shell. It wasn’t us who felt betrayed – only sadness washed over our souls. And you never spoke a word, but we never asked. We begin to wonder what it was we could have done…to stop you. To save you. And now we stand over your memorial, constantly telling you we miss you and love you, but we spoke too late. We wish you a peaceful rest and learn to only see your ageless face for the rest of our lives. We mourn not one day, not one month, but one lifetime.

We wonder: Why’d you leave us? We wanted you here, not out wandering. But you lost sight of that and gave in. Now we are left with nothing because you didn’t quite understand how to cope like the rest of us. It is not a fault bestowed upon only you – anyone could have seen the signs and done something to prevent it. The only problem: we see what we want.

So here I am, telling you why you should have stayed and wishing I told you just in time. We miss you, and don’t quite understand your reasoning. We love you, and would have been there for you if we had bothered to pay attention. Now we stand here day to day, talking to the stone that marks your burial. If you somehow decided you wouldn’t be missed – you were wrong. If somehow you decided this was the best option – I’m telling you there were more.

If you decided to leave us ever again, and let the memories take over your mind, it’s these words I’d be saying…and some I hope to never have slip off my tongue. You’re too good of a friend to be left alone. We are here, and always there to help. If you ever need…we’re not that far away.

Recovery vs Relapse