Small Leather Purse

 I clung desperately to my purse,

Protecting my precious, my world,

You see, sir, I was the worst,

Without my pills I surely would hurl.

 

My purse housed my treasured child,

A piece of me I could not live without,

If lost, I’d go mad, I’d turn wild.

“WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU?” I’d shout.

 

I had once loved my dear baby,

I promised I would never leave,

Demons had threatened me, maybe,

What could I possibly achieve?

 

But then I found a new lover,

A man who made my heart smile,

He gave me time to recover,

He longed to walk me down the aisle.

 

But I could remember the feeling,

Of my small, smooth leather bag,

I put an end to my healing,

“I don’t fucking need him,” I bragged.

 

A year later I found myself back,

In the very place I once slept,

Holding my small bit of smack,

I saw my reflection and wept.

 

So, tell me what kind of person,

Can give up a man for a fix?

My addiction surely had worsened,

He had fallen so hard for my tricks.

 

Then there came the day when I saw him,

My heart, it fluttered and flew,

The drugs made me look so damn slim,

He shot me a look and I knew

 

I am a big fuckin’ loser,

I know I deserve no devotion,

I am also a big fuckin’ boozer,

Who lacks empathy and emotion.

 

So I cradle my purse in my arms,

My first true encounter with passion,

My beloved could do me no harm,

But it was time for me to cash in,

 

 

 

He found me with my head smashed in.

 

 

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A Ride That Never Ends

My mind is a rollercoaster
I begin traveling slowly up
Anticipating euphoria, anticipating exhilaration
Once I arrive to the top, Once I reach the peak
I fear how fast I will plummet
Then I fly down, down, down

Down to depression and fear
Down to hopelessness and suicidal lows
Afraid I will not make it up again
But surely enough I do

Next time I fly up the tracks
I feel my elation returning
My jubilation rises rapidly
As I reach the second peak
Before my chance to experience joy
I once again plunge into darkness
Then I fly down, down, down

Once again

My mind is a rollercoaster
Unpredictable, stomach-wrenching chaos
I cannot stop the ride
I fly up and down as I remain in fear
I feel the exhaustion take over mind
On the ride that I cannot control
My mind is a rollercoaster
My bipolar tendencies remain
A disease that will never cease

I Found You

And so I wait
Wait for the morning sun to come
Wait for the morning birds to sing
Wait for tension to end

Insomnia tears me apart
Every night praying for rest
Every night begging for change
Every night pondering when the pain will cease

And then I imagine
Imagine what it’s like to be normal
Imagine when vigil will cease
Imagine the feeling of peace within

And then I cry
I cry because I am misunderstood
I cry for empathy
I cry because I am hopeless

And then I found you
Someone who puts me at peace
Someone who gives me hope
Someone who takes my pain away
And then I found you

Strength

Daisies grow dainty eventually
They lose shape and petals then their desire to be
Once will is lost, a daisy’s dignity ends
Pruning sheers slice the daisies, they disappear in the winds.

Roses were born to reside in the wild
They once lived in the wilderness, below the sun as it smiled
A man plucked the roses for their beauty and fragrance
The roses were slaughtered due to the man’s growing impatience.

A carnation provides good luck and pure love
Once known as “Flowers of the Gods” they had risen above
Their beautiful petals were cut down and serrated
Yet they clung to their honor, for years they patiently waited

Now, the sunflower shines radiant as can be
They turn their face to the sun, in fact, quite like me
They stand strong in their stems, pedals embedded in gold
We are sunflowers, sisters, so strong, so bold

Falling

Time is an interesting thing. Time, according to Merriam Dictionary is “the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues.” I recently re-read my first post written over a year ago regarding anxiety, insomnia and addiction. I stated I had overcome anxiety. I wrote that with time, you can accept anxiety and deal with it. The truth is, you will never overcome it.

Anxiety/addiction/whatever your vice is — can never truly be conquered. It is an individual’s Babadook. Ignoring it gives one’s vice strength and power. Acknowledging it yields truth and helps one accept their transgression and puts their given monster at ease. What has changed since my initial post is my perception of being able to control my anxiety. I realized I cannot beat it. I cannot overcome it. I cannot predict it. It has become clear to me that all I can do in the interim of time in between episodes is change my perception. Understanding time is a key part of this perception.

The truth is no one truly understands time. Even the most credible scientists admit time is relative and undefinable. As we get older, time seems to go by faster. This is due, of course, to time being calculated relative to our age. When we are young, a month is a large portion of our lives. As we grow, a month becomes a smaller fraction of our lives as a whole.

When adding anxiety or addiction into the mix, one can feel that the amount of time spent worrying seems smaller and smaller in comparison to the rest of life. But, this has not been proven to be the case. Anxiety does not cater to time. Anxiety is not proportionate to how long we have been alive. Anxiety always exists, and it is our perception that makes it more or less relevant.

As the last year has passed, I have realized my rock bottom was not my rock bottom. Things get worse. Life fucking sucks sometimes. Horrible, rotten things happen to good people. Anxiety/depression/addiction does not care about how hard you try to beat it, nor does it care about how long and hard you have worked to prevent it. With this in mind, there is truly nothing one can do to stop it. All we can do is value the time we spend not experiencing it. This is a novel view in comparison to how I felt a year ago.

I spent my time meditating, attending therapy, taking drugs that would help me be more positive, surround myself with strong people who had overcome trauma similar to my own. It helped at the time, but I fell back into my deep, dark, unimaginable hole. I fell hard.

The point of this post is not morbidity. I am not suggesting there isn’t hope. I am, however, admitting the reality of time. Not truly understanding time is directly correlated to not understanding the nature of the beast of anxiety. It is not relative. It is not predictable. Fuck, it isn’t fair.

Instead, what those of us who suffer can do is live in the moment. Cherish the time that you have with people/activities that make you happy. If you are like me, you do not truly know what makes you happy. But, it sure as hell does not make you happy to live in constant fear. Happiness is not lacking the ability to live in the moment. Happiness is not to be taken for granted. Happiness will never be something that comes with time. In fact, it is the opposite. Happiness is the ability to live in the moment and enjoy that moment. To trust that you will be okay. Acknowledge your evil, corrupted side and do not ignore it. Understand that the provisional time in between your fear/doubt/hopelessness is the time that truly matters in this life. Understand that figuring out what makes you happy is what life is truly about. Find what makes you happy and hold on tight. Do not let go. Do not surrender.

Green Chair

Leather chair, with it’s color faded
A gun spun round — things escalated
The floor, so dusty, how unkept
A toilet, where he softly wept
Hearing hurling switch to husky dry heaves
Sounds of silence once he finally leaves

My green chair — so smooth, so cold, so safe
Don’t tell Mother, he sneered, you’d beter behave
But by then it was too late.

Slow Magic

I have fallen in love with you
The way you smile, the way you move
The way angels sprinkled upon your face
The sweetest of freckles in just the right place

The tiny space next to your canine tooth
How you held me in our youth
I love your brain, the words you use
The way you shield me from abuse
And now I look back on these things

Your slow magic it worked,
And now my heart sings

Stick to your ABC’s

Before I go into my piece about meditation, let me just say this:  I get it.  I’ve heard it.  I know.

I KNOW the hot gal from high school who magically profits from posting pictures of herself in her sports bra doing hand stands on random beaches while the rest of us sit on our asses at our 9-5s as she’s #gettingherzenon.  No, I’m not bitter.

I know that I’m a stereotypical asshole.

But…what I also know is that meditation changed my life.  Hell, not even meditation but deep breathing.  If you are new to meditative practices specifically geared to ebb your anxiety – I want to introduce three basic activities that helped me immensely (and remember, it’s OK to start small):


1. 4-7-8 Breathing

Many have heard of this technique, which serves to calm the body and keep you from hyperventilating during times of panic.  Here’s how to do it:

-Start by taking one deep breath in through your mouth while counting to four.

-Hold for 7 counts

-Breath out for 8 counts (if you feel comfortable enough, through your nose)

-Repeat for roughly 2 minutes

This little trick has many benefits.  First, it helps to keep you from hyperventilating, building up carbon dioxide in your bloodstream and eventually plummeting to your unavoidable death (kidding…about the latter).  As you begin to panic, you shallow and quicken your breaths.  As you notice yourself doing this you panic and quicken your breaths even more.  4-7-8 breathing slows your breath and calms the body.

Next best thing about the good ol’ 4-7-8?  It lowers your heart rate.  As you freak out your sympathetic nervous system (think fight or flight) kicks in, quickening your heart rate and tightening your blood vessels.  Pretend you are a caveman and see a big ass tiger – your body needs to prep you to run the fuck away.  Fast.  The modern-day panic attack has evolved to you prepping to run the fuck away from something much smaller than a tiger.  In fact, many times you don’t know what you are prepping to run away from at all (we will acknowledge this phenomenon in a later blog).

Last, this activity is easy to hide.  If you find yourself having a panic attack during your 4:00 sales meeting, you can calm yourself amidst your coworkers with no second looks.


2.  Grounding

Grounding is the act of pulling yourself out of the anxiety spiral and into a simple circle of reality.  As your panic attack progresses, your mind goes haywire.  You can’t turn your brain off.  Your thoughts ricochet off one another into a snowball of worry and…you’re fucked.  I like to call it tangent thinking.  I was particularly affected by this psenseshenomenon at night.  Usually this was followed by physiological symptoms – numbing of my hands, shortness of breath, dizziness.

There are SO many different grounding techniques that help you to hone in on everything that is happening around you AT THAT MOMENT by using your senses.  Here are a couple easy ones to try:

-Use your five senses to describe what is going on around you.  For example, right now I see a bright computer screen and black keyboard; I hear sounds of RJD2 on my Spotify playlist coming from my phone; I taste mint on my lips from my chapstick; the keys on my keyboard feel smooth; it smells like the sesame chicken lean cuisine I made a half hour ago.

-Keep something near you that you’re familiar with.  I had a “Hang loose” wooden keychain my friend brought me from Hawaii.  I always had my keys with me or near me, and when I felt panic set in, I found it comforting to hold the familiar object in my hand an describe it.  It was almost a safe place.  I could describe it’s weight, smoothness, coloration, etc. time and time again.  Having it near me felt comforting.

Get the gist?  It may seem simple and even silly, but sometimes simplicity goes a long way when you’re in a state of hopelessness.  See more here.


3.  ABCsabc

As a sufferer of insomnia for most of my life, I understand the contribution anxiety makes to sleepless nights.  Turning your mind off is a challenge.  Turning your mind off when you’re laying in bed and everything else is quiet is a major challenge.  I wanted to share with you a little mind trick I play nightly to help put my mind to rest – the ABC game:

As you lay in bed at night try going through your ABC’s with different categories.  We’ve all played this game before:  A is for apple, B is for banana, C is for carrot, etc.  It may sound mundane but keeping your mind busy with something trivial helps you to relax.  If you make it all the way through without dozing off, move on to a different category (i.e. girls/boys names, cities, countries, colors).