The other day, as I was going through and cleaning up files that I had accumulated over the years, I came across something of my past that was slightly jarring and yet a reminder of who I was. To some extent, that person still is me.
And on this 2018 Bell Let’s Talk Day, I wanted to share this poem that I wrote on October 18, 2016. It was on this night that, after nearly a year of what I thought was healing and progress, I had a double panic attack which sent me on another process of healing and finding clarity.
trying to break up with my beloved, my anxiety
I told myself that I could do it
That I could be stronger than this
That I could be anyone that I wanted
This was what I wanted
To be able to go through life without
Fear of falling
Fear of not being good enough
Fear that people will see right through me
My mind races trying to chase
And peace of mind
Something that I have been trying to find
Since the moment I saw the light for the first time
I was running towards the light only to find myself running away
From my reflection
From my own rejection
I’m trying to embrace myself but
I’m only embracing pain
I told myself that I could do it
That I would be able to move on from you
But with each passing day the hurdles come
Faster and faster
Higher and higher
I have this voice telling me to jump
But my feet never leave the ground
I’m stuck in this perpetual cycle of bad luck
Don’t come any closer
Because I don’t want to hurt you
I don’t want to be responsible
I’m always running from these responsibilities
Over-analyzing things way too critically
They always tell me to think more simplistically
But I can’t because realistically
I have to be prepared mentally
I can’t be ready for what comes next
Without thinking of the worst case scenario
I need to see everything burn to the ground before my eyes
Before I can be satisfied
That it can’t get any worse than that
I need you to fall apart before I do
I need to feel secure in that
So good-bye to my sanity
I bid my self-confidence farewell
As I embrace you, my anxiety
A relationship so loving and so unforgiving
One that never leaves
I find myself hating every part of you and yet
I find myself clinging to you
(October 18, 2016)
There is always more that can be done to break down the walls of stigma and shame around mental illness and going to seek help.
There is always more that can be done by way of providing a listening ear, compassion, and empathy, especially towards our family and friends.
I may write on this in the near future, but recently I have been struggling with some recurring issues of my own. While the journey is never easy, I can promise that there are moments of triumph. You will find yourself one day living your best life and fearless. And in those moments, the drop back down to lower moments isn’t as far down as it once was. We gain new tools, like parachutes, to help us prepare and cope. We build up networks and support systems and compile resources so that when disaster strikes, we are ready to face it.
Whatever you may be facing in this very moment, even if you feel like you’re all alone in your corner, I want you to know that I am right there behind you. You are an incredible person, to the world and to the people in your life, and the dynamic of the world changes when you’re down.
I encourage everyone today to make some space to reflect and talk about mental illness, and from today, move towards a time where talking about struggles and seeking help is the norm, and not the exception.
Get social! Use the hashtag #BellLetsTalk to show your awareness today! 🙂
Lead image from Pyradyne.