Stream of Consciousness

Mental Health Break

So last week I didn’t do any blogging or step into Twitter because I just

could

not

anymore.

 

And you know what? People were pretty cool about it.

I just want to celebrate that for a moment.

 

We are a crazy society that sometimes causes pain out of thin air, makes bad situations worse, and uses hate to fight hate.

But we are also adaptable and beautiful and capable of healthy change. Of coming together and lifting one another.

 

Yeah, there are nasty people in this world. Hateful, bigoted, dangerous people who just want to spread pain and misery.

BUT there are wonderful people in this world, too. People who fight for what is right, people who would NEVER step on someone else to get higher up the ladder, who comfort those that need comfort, and mourn with those that are mourning.

There are lovely people who truly SEE those around them. Who support and lead and spread joy and hope in ways that touch hearts and invigorate minds.

 

A simple smile. Someone talking to you like you’re really there, like you’re human. A hug (when it’s welcomed). Someone to sit with you while you cry and just BE there.

There are wondrous human beings.

And there is hope. No matter how much life hurts. There is hope.

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Stream of Consciousness

what to do?

what do you do when your reserves are bone dry

and all the answers you’ve received aren’t helping?

 

what do you do when your best just isn’t good enough

and your hard work and effort haven’t produced anything?

 

how do you live when you’re caught between a deluge of pain

and the struggling knowledge that you need to be, you must be optimistic and hopeful?

 

how do you live

when all the energy you have left is going to survival?

 

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Stream of Consciousness

i live inside a cemetery

i had given up. thrown in the last scrap of a soul i had and let myself die. no more embers to search for, no warmth regardless of where i searched.

i had written my name in the book of the dead, with a gun to my head. under extreme duress, i guess i had nowhere to turn.

you took it all away, piece by piece, bit by bit. you slithered into my body and broke everything down. until breathing became the only measurement of success. but that’s not a purpose, now is it? that’s not joy, no matter how you spin it.

you destroyed me and dropped me in the expanse of emptiness, left me to wipe away the waterfall of blood and submerged me til i couldn’t find the surface. it’s an inky little vibe, drowning for no one to see.

that’s the kicker, isn’t it?

that i can follow my own footsteps into a soft and cavernous valley. i can lay back in the water and let the ocean waves take me. but you won’t let me feel it, will you? i can’t have peace when i’m nothing more than a body on life support, living inside a cemetery.

i had given up but you wouldn’t let me have that either.

 

so i put one foot in front of the other and kept going until i found myself right here.

i think i hate superhero stories because they don’t exist. not for me anyway. no one and nothing is coming to help me, not even when i ask for it. not when i’m begging for something to get better, lying in the bath and wondering if i’m any cleaner.

the evil moved into my body and took over. it’s inside my blood, running my insides into the ground. i’m fighting a devil that lives inside my cells and no one can find the key to fixing me.

i’m not supposed to be bitter or struggling to survive. i’m not supposed to be lost behind fog and smoke and mirrors, not supposed to be crying on the floor and crawling on broken skin. these fingers lash at me, pointing out all my flaws and shoulds, like i chose this, picked this broken box up and jumped inside.

i didn’t. i’m running and running and fighting to break free. but i open my eyes in the morning to find i’ve woken up in yesterday, my body broken and my heart taking another hit.

i know this anger won’t serve me, so i stuff it in the closet and behind furniture. i don’t want it, plea with it to leave me be. but you always find it, don’t you? i can’t scream, i can’t find a moment, not a sliver, just for me.

i’m supposed to feel better. i’m supposed to be hopeful and bouncy and talk about how grateful i am to be alive.

but am i?

alive?

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Stream of Consciousness

The Secret to Stories

If I give it claws, we’ll talk about the monster in us.

If I give it fangs, we won’t look away from what society tells us is too uncomfortable to linger on.

If I make it a world we don’t live in, we can look at the things we don’t want to talk about. Perhaps we can find the strength to do something about it the next time we see it.

If I make its eyes glow, we’ll think about the pain we want to hide. Maybe we will find a way to deal with it too.

If we have to suspend disbelief, we can poke at our childhood programming, our insecurities, our secrets.

 

Stories don’t judge us. They open us up to the possibility of change, connection, hope, and purpose. They give us new perspectives on things society labels for us (as if we don’t have brains or hearts to decide for ourselves). Stories give us the option to define our own life, our own self, and realize we’re not that different after all.

A black grandpa can read the same story as a white single mom. They can both recognize love when it’s being denied, the pain of a child dying, the need for someone in this world to see us for who we truly are.

 

Stories show us what’s broken and what’s beautiful. They give us a safe place to peel back the layers of this life without anyone mocking us or telling us we’re wrong or bad.

Stories give us heroes with fantastic abilities, somehow making it easier for us to love them when they mess up, hurt, and prove they aren’t perfect. It gives us a little more leeway to be imperfect ourselves.

 

There’s a certain magic to a story, whether there’s anything fantastical or whimsical in it or not.

If we read a story about a monster with a heart, it doesn’t hurt so much to look at the monster within ourselves. Only then can we do something about it.

Shadow Poetry

My Lips on Your Lungs

There isn’t black black-enough to cross it out.

Sitting like a king on the horns of doubt.

Does anybody know what I’m talking about?

 

If I set fire to the moon, would you notice?

Could I sacrifice my pain to see truth, to know this?

Misery is the only home I’ve had but it’s one I wouldn’t miss.

 

It’s a little crazy, isn’t it?

Grinning to ensure you fit.

It burns, doesn’t it?

 

Almost like the world wants us to live. But it doesn’t.

Realizing I’ve walked in the skin of someone I wasn’t.

Until I became you to stay away from what I mustn’t.

 

Mustn’t, little miss.

Good girls and boys all know this.

 

Mustn’t be a mess

Pretend you have no stress

Got society to impress

They might ask you to undress

Must always answer yes

And speak a little less

Win this game of chess

Ignore your heart’s abscess

Yes – you can breathe, I guess

(Just not in excess)

Climb to my your success

Must make everyone obsess.

 

I tired your way, discovered something –

I don’t want this life and I’m fighting.

Everyone ready? You might need better lighting.

 

I’ll undress alright, unzip my skin,

Drop it on the floor and let the horror settle in.

Pull up a chair, take a seat, I’m about to begin.

 

I’m a mess, I confess, no doubt about that.

Can’t just pull mental health out of a hat.

And something’s making it worse, let’s talk about that…

 

You want who I am to be the mask you used to see,

But that’s just not me and I’d rather be free.

Instead, I’ve started stepping into me.

 

You’re angry but that’s okay, I expected the worst.

But this shabby glass bubble, I’m going to shoot, it’s going to burst.

I need some space. My soul needs to be nursed.

Sometimes all this compassion makes me feel cursed.

I’m drowning in pain ‘cuz I never put myself first.

I wish all these wasted years could be reimbursed.

When I speak up now, it has to be rehearsed.

Feeling so spineless? Let me tell you, it’s the worst.

 

Have to climb a mountain just to open my mouth.

Always afraid the situation’s going to go south.

 

Then there’s this other part of me that wants everything to burn.

‘Cuz maybe if they hurt too, they’ll have to learn.

With their pretty plastic melting, with nowhere to turn,

Maybe they’ll remember some respect, some human concern.

 

If I’m honest though, sometimes I just want them to hurt.

Yeah, I know, it’s childish. I’m trying to divert.

No, I won’t smile and no, I won’t revert.

I’m thinking it’s time to draw some lines and assert.

 

Let me just slide it down like lace,

I won’t force but you’ll embrace

Or I’ll leave, erase every trace.

I’m using my own two feet if I’m running this race.

You can’t have my voice or my face.

Won’t sell my soul, get off my case.

Think I’ll eat it? You’re off base.

 

Won’t take it for the crowd or sit like a lady,

Won’t wait politely in line for a bowl of misery.

Think you can stop me? Then you never knew me.

 

Sewing my own skin now and it’s Mizz not missy.

You want into my life? Show me!

Think I should go back to pretending? Try me.

Think I’m too messy? I’m so not sorry.

Think I’m too open? Don’t follow me.

 

Throwing husks into the fire so I can see inside myself.

Taking all these voices off the shelf.

Going to work. Shattered mind won’t fix itself.

Watch me stitch them together into one self.

 

Double sided, bipolar, multiple personality,

Jekyll and Hyde. Yes baby, that’s me.

Normal to be more than one thing, you hear me?

 

Not enough whiteout to cover me up now.

You could probably extinguish me, but I’m not sure how.

Kill me but changing me’s not something I’ll allow.

Killing butterflies and making dignity bow –

That’s not for me, I’ll stop you somehow.

Bottom line is, you won’t have any part of me, I disavow.

 

Silly shadow eater, you thought I was done?

I’ve got my ribs to crack open and wars to have won,

Barbed wire to come open, velvet to slide on,

I’ve got my boots to lace up, some hearts to shake, hon.

Walls to break until your fears come undone,

I’ve got heavy nights to bleed through to meet the sun.

Oops – that’s not what you meant by some edible fun?

My lipstick on your lungs, I’ve got a reckoning to run.

 

By Daphne Shadows

 

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Stream of Consciousness

Open Up

Some people will tell you, you’re not enough, not worthy.

They are wrong.

You are beautiful. You are good enough.

Open up. Be vulnerable, even if you get hurt. Don’t sign yourself up for getting hurt. But don’t close yourself off from everything real because it risks the sting of a broken heart.

You have an undeniable boatload of potential.

You are eons of life stuffed into a small carry on that people want to stuff in a box and ignore. They’re afraid you’re brilliant.

Be brilliant. Be you.

Stream of Consciousness

Choose Struggle, Choose to Create

Pain is a given.
No one in this life will escape without hurting.
No one enjoys pain. No one orders up tests or trials in this life. No one jumps up and down in line, hoping they’ll get selected to have another trauma or misery, scar or issue to add to their life.
Doesn’t matter.
Pain is a given.

Within this pain, we have two choices. As always, we have to choose.

 

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ONE
Denial. Bury your head in the metaphorical sand. Seek distractions. Never live in your own body, in the present moment. Don’t work on your issues. Don’t face your demons. Never face your secrets. Hide. Avoid. Refuse to believe. Push others away. Refuse to grow, work on your failings (because we all have our failings).

TWO
We do the work. We struggle through our challenges and fail we may, but we get back on. We let go of what has died. We move forward to what we need. We learn from the past but leave it there. We take the punches as they come, and we figure out how to work around them, hit back, or turn everything upside down and create our own arena of war. We face our demons, our failings, our mistakes. We learn from them and we learn how to destroy shame, turn it into something brilliant and vibrant.

If we choose option one, all we feel is the pain of this life.
If we choose the second option – yes, we’re going to feel pain. But we also get this spectacular, miraculous, gorgeous, chaotic, mess of joys and peace, possibilities and these amazing experiences we never thought possible.

We always have the option to either create or destroy our own life.
Pain is never an option in this life. It’s a given. Why not go through pain to grow, change, and become, so we can then experience joy, peace, and the ability to thrive? Passiveness isn’t going to get us anywhere. No one enjoys treading water, playing the waiting game. No one enjoys hurting for nothing. Well, no one enjoys hurting, period. Gather your hopes, dreams, touchstones and friends. The pieces of yourself that anchor to your very soul. Pain will come regardless. But please, don’t allow it to rule your life. Live through it until it breaks open to magnificence. This life is livable if we choose to stretch past what we think we can do.

 

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