‘High-Functioning’

it can be quite a cross to bear — no – to haul

into this small office every day

with a smile that doesn’t quite reach the eyes

my silent crucifix of ‘expertise’

no one knows of yesterday’s lorazepam

or the sharp-edged fangs of today’s plan

so i scrabble on the cobbled streets

to keep my precious cross with me

This Work

It feels awkward to type with grief sitting on my shoulders.

The ghosts sidle in, mutter Write a line for me.

Half – paralyzed when someone asks what’s up? Why

have things been hard? what’s going on u good or ??

Not really? idk

how to say it without second-

third- fourth- hand vicarious traumatization

So I say just part of this work. Which maybe is true.

Maybe everyone else is all burned out too.

no reason

it is no one’s business what i do to my body
with my body
or with knives
if smothering my wrists in bruises keeps me alive

how many times will the hospital take me in?

my sister is on another continent
humming with jungle creatures
and i am tempted to go to sleep in the snow
they say the body feels warm again
at the end of hypothermia

please don’t ask why
i hate trying to explain that i’m sad for
no reason
some things can’t be explained
there’s no reason

one best friend is in portland
one best friend is on another continent
buzzing with rickshaws, i guess
i am tempted to fall asleep in a bottle of wine
they say you feel very tired
in the final stage of cirrhosis

Hospital Bed

In the ER, the lights are always on
and despite it all, the nurses laugh
amongst themselves. I am sobbing
without sound, as I have been all day,
to rinse the pain out of my skull.

Taylor drains some blood from my arm.
They say the curtains must stay open,
so they can see in. I know I am selfish
because I will not go back to school.
At home the unfinished books have been
crowding my space.

My friends aren’t here with me,
so they will never know. I wonder
how long I have left.

to process

to process the grief
sometimes i need to let my fingers
my eyes
do the talking, instead of my mouth
which fumbles for vocabulary and spills
out something i’m still not sure about

i need to water myself like a jade plant
and perk up, greener than before

i need to hold myself tightly
and never let go, trusting
that i will always be here

Resolved

Why did you leave me that night
terrified, all alone in that big house
sloppy and stumbling and then throwing up
and not remembering and chewing pills
and taking long gulps of gin and vodka, why
did you leave, how could you?

And when she asked, “Resolved?”
I said yes.
And she marked it down on the chart then
said, as an afterthought
“I guess those things are never really resolved though.”

Regrets like Stones

1

Regrets like stones slick from the tide,
polished clean with time and rumination.
If I bent to collect each glimmer in the surf,
my pockets would split and arms overflow.
Ever so often I might crouch on the salty kelp
to examine an especially bright agate veneer,
dust and brush dry the surface with my palms.
One thousand heavy possibilities lurking
in such a smooth oval of caramel consistency.
At last I must lay the stone down cold
and straighten myself to continue my walk.
It would be too easy to gather every rock in a great tote
and scatter the bitter regrets throughout my life.

2

Fear from the window

Throw open the curtains of fear and doubt–
your eyes take in your future as they look out.
The window glass heavy and tainted with time,
the Three Fates are weaving line after line.
Breathe in bright hope and hold your lungs full,
for resignation calls out with a leaded-hand pull.
Ask fire from your lovers and strength from your friends,
for none of us knows if this fear ever ends.

Affirmations to Counter Anxiety

I’ve collected these from around the Internet and adapted them to resonate with me.
Please use them if you find them helpful!

P1010600

-I don’t need to fight my anxiety. It is just a habit my body reacts to. I will find feelings of peace, security, and confidence and accept them.

-I am capable of solving any problems I face.

-This might seem difficult right now, but it will become easier and easier over time.

-Everything I need comes to me at the right time.

-Pushing myself outside of my comfort zone brings me amazing opportunities.

-I let go of the judgements I make about myself, and others will do the same.

P1010638

And my favorite…

I can do this. I am a badass boss bitch!

———–

Credits: http://www.dumblittleman.com ; https://www.powerofpositivity.com ; http://www.anxietynetwork.com