United States
41° 50' 54.1248" N, 87° 45' 59.3748" W

It's the same old thing again.

A teenage girl with "nothing to complain about",

Complaining about the things no one sees.


They see a roof on my head, shoes on my feet,

Food on my table, clothes on my back,

And they say, "You don't know how good you have it. We give you everything you need."

What they can't see is that I'm sick.

I don't need a doctor to tell me;

I can feel it in the way my heart pounds, lying alone at night.

I can feel it in the crawling darkness inside my head, writhing, making my thoughts race,

In the frantic glances at the clock, waiting for morning,

Begging my mind to let me sleep.


They see me on a stage,

And they say, "You have so much talent. You should be proud of it."

But I don't feel proud.

Prancing around under bright lights like a prize-winning pony

Just doesn't feel as good as it used to.

I only do it to make myself feel some shadow of the old excitement.

The darkness in my head makes it all seem so dull.


I run to work and school and rehearsals and churches,

And I run myself down.

They say, "You work too hard. You need to rest."

Has it ever occurred to them that maybe I can't?

My life is one big chase.

I run from event to event, place to place,

In order to run from the darkness inside my head.

But the thing about darkness living within you,

Is that you never fully escape.

It's just a distraction for the moment.

And when it gets dark and the house becomes quiet,

It's there.

Waiting for you.

It mocks you with its terrible voice-

Some days I swear it laughs at me-

And it tells you all the ways you're worthless, no matter how much you do,

And it reminds you how good it would be to rest, because you've forgotten what rest feels like,

And it tortures you with the constantly racing thoughts and pounding heart and the knowledge you've dug yourself too deep and now you can't get out, and you become overwhelmed but there's nothing you can do.

There's nothing you can do.

Your need for distraction and fear of failure keep you pinned to its existence.

You feed off the darkness and the darkness feeds off you.

Some days, you wish the parasite would finally kill you.


On the worst nights of my life,

I cry in bed,

Scared to move,

Scared to breathe,

Waiting for more of the apparitions to emerge

From the shadows and the woodwork.

And on those helpless nights when no pill can save me,

I pick up the phone,

And call the only stability I have left.

He answers and I call him Angel,

Silently thanking him for saving me again.

He talks me down from the cloud of darkness,

As if talking me off a ledge,

And he tells me it'll all get better someday.

If only he didn't live a long train ride away,

He might be more convincing.


I live with a terminal illness.

But no one cares,

Because no one can see it.

If there's not a cast on my foot, then it's not broken.

If there's not a pill bottle in my purse, it's not a sickness.

If there's a smile on my face, then there's nothing wrong.


If only they looked behind the smile, they'd see my darkness.


And if they saw my darkness, then maybe I could live.



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