To my Mental Health

Thanks for being my longest friend. You have been here for six years, starting out by kidnapping my mind as a young eleven year old in the heart of figuring out how to go about this life thing. You gripped my brain and molded it into what you needed it to be like in order to control me. You had me right where you wanted me and you got me. Congratulations.

 

Thanks for being the only one that loved me. Or so I thought. You trapped me inside of myself and let me live in ignorance. Made me believe that no one cared, but you my friend, you put up a black sheet in front of my sun. In front of my only hope of light. Smothered me in darkness away from my family, friends, and those that realized something was wrong. You sheltered me from what I needed most. I thought you took away my reason and those who loved me, but they were there the whole time.

 

Thanks for keeping me up at night. Yeah. You. The one with the painted on grin gazing into my soul absorbing my confidence and turning it into shame. The one that wraps my dreams into nightmares and brings my worst fears to life. I found a lot of new music because of you. I learned that if I listen to it loud enough, I can tune out your voice and finally allow my eyes to close.

 

Thanks for taking away my sense of reason. The lack of sleep I got just up thinking about you drove me insane. It took my reality and wrapped it up in terms of unrealistic expectations and nonsensical worries. My insanity meshed the shapes of people that I had grown so fond of and turned them into the demons that haunted my nightmares. A dark box that blurred my hopes and dreams.

 

Thanks for going on adventures with me. You were there in the heart of my birthday parties, all my social gatherings, and my nights out with friends. You are there as I stare into the mirror each morning and you are there in the smooth reflection of the water on my lake days. You are everywhere past and present.

 

In all honesty, thank you truly. You’ve taught me how to depend on myself through good times and bad. You’ve taught me that I don’t always have to be okay and I don’t always have to explain my feelings. You’ve made me learn that I can’t be so fast to judge other people because I don’t know what they’re going through. Last but not least: Mental Illness isn’t the end, it is just a start to a new beginning and I will always remember that. Thank you my friend.


(this was a collaboration piece written for Roads We Take- they share the life stories of others in order to try to help people feel less alone. Highly recommend reading the things they have on their site and check them out 🙂 )

Also, I work 2 jobs and am a full time student. I’m okay I promise and regular posts will be coming soon. Thanks to all who have been checking up on me. xx

Lots of Love

Kales

Can You Hear Me?

Can you hear me?
I called for you
I whispered softly
as my panic grew

Can you hear me?
I'm falling apart now
reaching for you
screaming loud

Can you hear me?
I am nothing
my thoughts are holding me up
trying to make me something

Can you hear me?
I'm dead to the world
and all around me
heaven twirls

Looking Back

looking back
my laughs were louder
my thoughts were purer 
and my parents prouder

looking back
I have your hand in mine
your heart held tight
and a love I struggled to find

looking back
I was sad
falling apart
and at life I was mad

looking back
down upon the planet
people are laughing 
as I proceed with my last transit

Screaming In Silence

I'm screaming in silence 
my hands grasp the invisible
as I close my eyes tighter 
to hide all that is visible

I breathe in tears
and feel as if I'm drowning
I feel the burning in my soul
and my heart is pounding

I reach inside my brain
to smother all I know
but am resisted by the vines
by which my panic grows

The stems reach up 
and around me close
my sanity is leaving 
as the shadows enclose

Wind

What is in the wind? Science says its just moving air. 78% nitrogen. 21% oxygen. 1% Argon. That is the chemical makeup of something far much greater than a moving mass of air. Embedded in every gust of wind, there are breaths: breaths of life and breaths of death, breaths of homelessness and breaths of royalty, breaths of change and breaths of constants. A swarming mass of life absorbs us every time we walk outside and yet we just complain about it messing up our hair. On this same brisk blast of air, one may have gotten proposed to, it could hold memories of a first kiss or memories of a last, it could hold particles of a last goodbye, but the wind is too cold; it is time to go in now. We stay inside sheltered from the lives of others as we stick our noses into a laptop or put our heads under covers to sleep. We try to forget about the hardships of others and their triumphs as we focus on us and wanting ourselves to come out on top. The next time you’re outside and that wind picks up: think about everything that could be happening right now, to people you have no idea about, people you have never met before and let it wash over you. The wind holds far greater wisdom than it gets credit for.

Memories are Painful

Memories are painful
stored up and away
but what hurts the most
is their tendency to stay

They wrap themselves around
and hold fast to your brain
never allowing you to forget
and leave on your heart a stain

All around you there are
places that will prick you inside
but what you have to realize is 
you aren't that same person you're still trying to find

So gather those moments
and treasure them well
because one day very soon
they won't be the key to a living hell

Finding Your Own North Star

 

North Star: a star that is used as a reference point in navigation or astronomy.

A necklace. That’s all it is on the outside. A necklace that we found on sale for $30 towards the end of what would’ve been my first semester of high school. It’s nothing too special: it has no monetary value, the chain is severely tangled, and the pendent is dirty looking beyond the fix of a simple cleaning. Yet, this necklace means so much to me. Why? I was in line at Target a few days after I got it when the lady ringing up my purchases told me she liked my necklace and asked if it meant anything to me. I told her no it didn’t actually, I just thought it looked cool. That turned out to be the last time I ever said that.

For about three months before buying the necklace, I was in the hospital for a swallowing disorder that has a super fancy name that I honestly don’t remember. It was brutal. I was told I was lying, that I was wasting money, and that I was ultimately killing myself for “refusing” to eat, drink, or speak. This was the first time I was introduced to the phrase “find your own North Star” that I heard in passing conversation in the Children’s hospital wing. That phrase sunk in and then it was forgotten in the bustle of medical tests that I was enduring. Flash forward.

I’m sitting in English class in my first day of high school (three months late) rubbing my new necklace between my thumb and forefinger (which for some reason calls me down a great bit in stressful situations), and thinking about the question that was written on the board “What keeps you going?”. I was stuck. I had absolutely no idea. My life had been a living hell the last few months and I didn’t want to keep going. But here I was. So why was I here, what kept me on this Earth right now. It was in that moment that I went back a few pages in my notebook to try to jog some inspiration and saw where I had absentmindedly scrawled “find your own North Star” between notes and a study guide. I didn’t remember writing it, but in that moment those words hit me deep. Find your own North Star.

My necklace is a compass. It’s a dainty necklace with the cardinal directions on it, and in all honesty I had no idea the other directions were on it until just now because the others didn’t mean anything to me. Fun fact of the day 🙂 The find your own North Star meaning to me goes a little like this: No matter what situation you’re in. No matter where you are. No matter where you go. No matter what tragedy hits or celebration occurs or if you lost motivation or if you feel empowered. The stars are always there. They never go away. The stars in your life can be a goal, a dream, aspirations or anything else you could possibly want. In life, there are times you will feel lost, like you have no where to go. You’ve lost where you came from, your sense of direction and feel like you’re ultimately spinning in circles. I encourage you to look up. Find your own North Star. Keep moving. Move towards your goal, dreams, or aspirations. Move towards what you want. The best thing is: it’s your North Star. No one can tell you which one will take you the right way or what decisions will bring you closer to it because their star is different from yours, they’re going another way and that’s okay. North Stars will guide you home.

This necklace (see picture) and its symbolism has guided me through a lot . It’s been through two boyfriends, the loss of a house, the loss of family and friends, two surgeries, more hospital visits than I can count, two trips out of the country, and has inspired me to share my thoughts with you. It is my hope that those of you who read this, whenever you see a compass remember this and look for your North Star and if you’ve gone astray get back on the path. I have faith in you to reach where you are going. You are capable. Find your North Star to bring you home.

Driving Away

I'm driving away
down roads that line
my heart that's 
beating in perfect time
to the memories of my past
beginning a new 
present and future 
destroying the person I grew
to be now
and retreating to hide
behind the curtain
of who I actually am inside

Struggling to Breathe

We breathe in an excessive amount of air every single day. Most sources report an average of about 550 liters, but yet many of us forget how to breathe. Life comes at you welding tragedy, suffering, and hardships and the simplest thing, the thing we have been “practicing” all our lives ends up being the hardest thing that we as people will ever have to do. Breathe.

Life is full of intricacies. You have the solar system, the laws of physics, magnificent buildings, and the human body. The human body is built to keep itself alive and do the bare minimum functions to keep it going. The average human does not have to think to breathe. We go through life and our body without us thinking about it breathes for us. Steadily. In and Out. So why when hardships come we find it so hard to do what was so easy for us to do all along?

I have faced many hardships in my life and I know I’m only seventeen and haven’t faced true hardship or whatever and I get that. I believe hardships do not discriminate. At the age of seventeen I have faced: foreclosure, death, an abusive relationship, mental illness, and an uncontrollable dangerous family member. This list isn’t all inclusive and it isn’t meant for you to pity me, just for you to get perspective on why I’m talking about this tonight and why I struggle to breathe.

Foreclosure. A scary word to most home owners who aren’t sitting comfortably and something that I had to learn about the hard way eleven months ago. When you get foreclosed on, you forget how to breathe. Life as you know it is being ripped away from you and it’s scary. You feel the need to find something you can control, something that you thought you had, something you thought you couldn’t lose. That it was guaranteed. You turned to your breath. You long to hear that steady flow of movement draw in and out, but it’s gone. Only a faint whistle sound remains.

Death. An eternal lasting consequence of living in a broken world. When someone close to you dies you feel wrong for breathing, for having something they no longer have. You wonder why and how. Why did they leave you and how does this breath that is supposed to be locked inside their chest cease to exist for them and still thrive for you. You try to stop. You focus so hard on trying to stop it that your breathing gets irregular and rough and you’re not winning. You won’t win. You’re unsure of how this can ever be normal and your chest go back to a slower rate. You are struggling to breathe.

Abusive Relationships. A living hell on Earth. When you are in an abusive relationship you’re told you’re not worthy to breathe. You are not worth the air to sustain you. You are worthless. Every day you fall toward the idea that they’re right. That you walk this earth as a burden and you’re a waste of what was put on this Earth to keep creation alive. You struggle with the concept of what you’re worthy of and this puts a sour taste in your mouth. The taste of failure. You try to breathe in but are constantly reminded of how unworthy you are. You struggle to breathe.

Mental Illness. When your mind takes control of a false reality. With Mental Illness you are not you. Your body is a child’s toy in the hand of your mind, moving and breaking all to the same beat of worthlessness, panic, and failure. You move like a robot breaking at the joints and being stuck back together in a haphazard fashion. Your mind tells you what other people cannot and tells you the truths of a make believe world. Mental Illness throws you through a roller coaster of insanity and lets you reach for that bottle to escape. Allows you to throw those pills back. Allows you to inhale deep and exhale once and for all. Breathing has almost ceased.

An Uncontrollable Dangerous Family Member. You are locked into your house with a person who might as well be Satan himself. He comes bearing knifes and threats, with fists and heavy objects just waiting on you to fall asleep. He’s an outside normality with a built in monster. You’re told you won’t be breathing much longer and you believe him. You count your breaths as you shut the door between him and the knife. You count your breaths at night wondering if they will be taken from you before the next morning. You breathe heavier when you leave the house finally free. You count your breaths because you don’t know how many are left. You are struggling to breathe.

 

Raise Your Glass

Raise your glass to those
who ooze with courage 
who destroy stereotypes
and who brave society
because us others
us who stand down
us who are firm molded
and us who hide
we are living life
through the storms of others
and through the looking glass of our peers