Quiet Retreat –

“Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?” ― John Keats, Letters of John Keats
Forsaken by sanity, forgotten by humanity, she fought just to keep from fighting. Barely one step ahead of the encroaching madness, weary from the race, she laid down her arms. Passive resistance to no avail, giving all to go beyond today but consumed by fear of tomorrow and an unspoken dread of a foreshortened future. Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout her beautiful body hung from a leprosy filled soul. Her mind wasn’t empty but overcrowded with thousands of thoughts every minute, from the mundane to the complex, the raucous sound filled every crack and crevice of brilliance and care. She died long ago, resurrected once, only to be crucified again by the same love that brought her life. This cross she bears through life, stumbling in the crowded streets with the roar of the past and the horror of the future the foreboding songs of the morning. Hear her silent scream, silent lest the world hear the echoes of her demise. In the end, only God knows why she’s alive, why she persists, why living is a threat and death a quiet retreat.

 

First published at Opinions of Eye

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Awkward Reasons –

God may forgive sins, he said, but awkwardness has no forgiveness in heaven or earth.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Great endowments often announce themselves in youth in the form of singularity and awkwardness.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

There are reasons why at times my interactions with people seem strained. I say the wrong things. I limp through my social circles, everyone making way for my awkward presence. I bring up subjects deep and poignant. I provoke thoughts, thoughts you’re not accustomed to. I speak in a way you find odd. My accent tainted, not pure, not from any one place. The same with my mannerisms. I fidget with my hands in a crowd, unsure of how to hold them. I wonder if the way I’m standing is threatening. If a purse is left close to me, I walk away, believing you’ll accuse me if something is missing. Trying to drive with a thousand choices that are made instantly, provokes these social swerves that seem ungainly and make others uncomfortable. 

 
Do you know that this isn’t me? This isn’t how I am, constrained to behave oddly, chained to a limp of the soul and mind. Do you know I’m injured? Do you know I almost died because of love? Do you know I fought for my life many times, not from just physical beatings but mental torture and illness? Do you know that I’ve argued for my release from beatings given, many, many times?
 
Do you know how these scars make it hard to smile? The hardened skin refusing to release the joy struggling to stay alive in the poisonous atmosphere of my melancholic soul? Do you know the thousand thoughts I think just to go out the door? Checking my clothes, the color of my skin, the dark circles under my eyes, the length of my nose, the girth of my belly? Do you know that walking to my car creates anxiety? I grab my keys like a weapon; I make sure I always have a knife, though these things have never delivered me from violence or comforted me. Do you know that I struggle with violence a hundred times an hour? Not only my self-imposed violence toward me or others, but of the perceived violence I see directed at me in every face? 
 
Do you know that I always try to help others? Do you know though having been burned 99 times out of hundred, I still reach out, thinking that everyone believes I’m a sucker? Thinking that they all talk among themselves, working out plans to rob me of my time, energy, and money? Do you know that I know you are using me? Do you know that I still give in spite of this? There are reasons, stop and consider why.
 
Take time to realize that the people you know and see everyday are hurt and wounded. Look out from your struggle and know that a friend, a family member, a bartender, a cashier, is on their last thread of hope, wanting to die from the pain they feel. Reach out with compassion on those who irritate you, understand that the scars they bear make it difficult to respond with graciousness toward you and your problems. We are all in this together, make room in the survival raft for those drowning in despair. Act without requiring a suicide note or a midnight call from the police before you reach out…

Also published in Broowaha Magazine
First published in Opinionsofeye.com
02082012

No One Can See

“It’s just some instinct as old as fear: you seek the dark when you hide, you seek the light when the need to hide is gone. All the animals have it too. (“New York Blues”)”
Cornell Woolrich,
Night and Fear: A Centenary Collection of Stories 
 
i3 – ytimg
Flee my soul into the tide
Dive my soul into the night
No one can see
 
Float again, soon to be
The flavor of lust again in thee
No one can see
 
Something beyond calling to me
To gather my strength and give esteem
No one can see
 
Hiding alone amongst the trees,
again I rejoice in the fallen leaves
No one can see
 
Flying through the depths of seas
in the caves are heavens keys
No one can see
No one can see
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Restless

“I am so tired – so tired of being of being whirled on through all these phases of my life, in which nothing abides by me, no creature, no place; it is like the circle in which the victims of earthly passion eddy continually.” ― Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South 
forensicate
Exhausted, breathless from every chase
Every path comes back on itself
I’m no farther down the road
Then when I first began
Lessons learned but hard to follow
I repeat them again on this crazy journey
I suppose the simplicity of what I am
Is clearest in the darkness of wandering
If I’ve found one thing that’s sure and true
Peace is precious and hard to find
Harder to get and even harder to keep
If the wars on the outside put me in
The wars on the inside put me out
There is no rest and perhaps
That’s the next step
This rest that evades me
Will continue to hide
Until I find the peace
That cries in the night

Grey – A peek from under the wet blanket

It’s an art to live with pain… mix the light into gray.” – Eddie Vedder
late-on-time

Listen, while I tell you a story of grey. The grey wraps around my soul in a haze of unwanted anxiety, a watered down black, like dark swirls in spoiled milk. These streaks of deteriorated joy cover my lens, my warm blanket soaked with fruitless tears. Feelings are sharp and cutting, nothing is gained by the sorrow. My grey love backfires, I point it toward her but the pain is set loose on my soul. This grey soaks me, in vain I try to keep myself warm in the breeze of cool emotion. Grey is my elixir of madness. I drink deep from the drought of darkness gone bad. Stormy clouds gather, a condensation of holiness evaporated from the lake of my soul, leaving it a lifeless puddle of unfathomable sorrow. Now you know of my affliction my curious companion, my lifelong condition of grey. Pray that you escape its mesmerizing effects and that you with the brightness of healthy hope, avoid this quicksand of a tortured mind.

For help with depression: Symptoms, Warnings, Solutions
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Diary of a Mad Man – Living with mental illness

“No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.” ― Aristotle

sagennext

They said to me, “Walk!”. My feet wouldn’t move, frozen by the accident. Appendages that are normally useful, mobile, and independent, I drag them along, taking care that I don’t injure them. The accident, as I call it, was not an accident, but a purposeful intended act, inspired by lust and hate. What they did to me I cannot tell, the acts so horrific. Regardless of the details of their brutal incursion, what I was left with is a handicap, one of the mind, not the body. Having to make do with a shredded normality, crawling through my life, instead of walking, never able to run. What was taken for granted, now became a challenge for me. While others run, leap, climb, and move about with impunity to mental mobility. I must develop new ways, ways that hurt, ways that require intense concentration, intense discipline. Still they taunt me, “get up and walk”, “why can’t you just be like the rest of us”. They can’t see I’m disabled, bound by forces that were neither chosen, nor desired, but forced on me in a cruel and harsh manner.


My injury cannot be seen, my useless legs are a shattered self-esteem, a mind crippled from ever thinking in a sane manner again. Insanity, psychosis, visions, voices, nightmares, self-deprecating thoughts, and accusations invade my every waking moment. Perceptions of reality and fantasy mix together, making the deciphering of fact and fiction a huge effort in itself. All day, every day, I roll around in a mental wheelchair, like one with paralyzed legs, committed to implements of bothersome necessity. I watch the heads wag, “Tsk, tsk. Quit being a pansy, just get up and walk”. Damn it! Can’t you see I can’t freaking walk? Can’t you see that it takes me longer to do normal things? I must make preparations for the ordinary, that which you do without an effort takes me great pains to produce, to perform, to succeed.

I’m not feeling sorry for myself, I’m a success and exceedingly happy, and in these I’ll continue, but the insensitivity of others upsets me. Refusing patience with, or acceptance of the fact, that I’m not like them. I cannot get up in the morning and be without fear, I cannot go into a crowd and relax, I cannot be in the dark. Paranoia haunts me, I sense conspiracies coming from everyone, from everything. Shame burns in me, flushing my cheeks at the least exposure of my faults or idiosyncrasies. My mind races with thousands of thoughts a minute, deep thoughts, all of them.

I ask for no special treatment, just for a bit of patience with me as you accompany me on my journey through this world. Please, not only with me, but with the many others afflicted in a like manner, be sure you understand that although the pain of mental illness is not visible, it does handicap us from doing things in a normal manner. Be patient with crazy people, we really are cool, even if it takes us awhile to work our way through the battlefields of life.

Also published in Broowaha

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