Addendum: Victories

Victories is a poem based on a journal entry from last year, mixed with thoughts and emotions from journal entries this year, about the worst of my depression. I sought help and am here today to share my story because of that. In posting these poems that might seem urgent or dark, as if I’m in crisis, I’m really just trying to share my story because so often the stories of the mentally ill are left in darkness. I want to be vulnerable, because for so long I believed any indication of vulnerability would break me.

I believe some people in my life will be shocked to learn that I’ve struggled with suicide ideation quite frequently since I was sixteen. I would like to assure everyone that I have never self-harmed and don’t believe I will. However, I don’t believe self-harming is something to be ashamed of, even though it is a violence against yourself and your body. I’m not condemning those that do, those who have, or those who will.

I have tried to kill myself and I failed. I was eighteen. I have not tried since. I will not go into the details and I will probably never share that story on an open platform.

I still have days where the saying, “The best thing I can say about myself is I didn’t kill myself” is true. I will continue to have those days unless my brain is magically given a “normal” potion – whatever that would mean. I don’t say this to alarm anyone. I say this to be truthful, to be open. To be vulnerable and to maybe, just maybe, show someone else struggling with a similar situation that their feelings and thoughts aren’t shameful or something to hide.

I say this because this is my life, for better or worse. And while the dark periods can be so, so dark, the light periods are always coming. The darkness never lasts in perpetuity.

Victories

The most I can say for myself today is
I didn’t kill myself
I stopped taking my medication
Because I was tired of observing my emotions through a brick wall made of fog
I’m still alive
Because for yet another day I’ve conquered the desire
To strip myself of my own life
I’ll add this battle to hidden tally on my wall
Hidden where others can’t see it
A scar so perfect no one knows it’s there

The Chasm

This month I shine
I fall in love with everyone around me
Nothing is too big or too much or too scary
Everything is divine

This month I stumble
The garden shed of my existence is bereft of seed
On the inside I bleed
My emotional current operates silently, without a rumble

I oscillate, never knowing how long each phase will linger
Or how each phase will abandon me
Wondering who I am and who I’ll be
Or if I’ll recognize the warning sign: danger

The future is an abyss
A place I cannot fathom
I’m afraid to jump, afraid I’ll miss
Yet still I jump across the chasm