I wasn’t always this lost, my days consumed by chaos
An era where everything makes me nervous
And every other day my mood drops, and rises
It’s always a fight to find my way through this mind fog
Struggling to connect the dots, why this or that or whatnot
Now, I don’t know about you but this may cause me to write until my hands fall off
I don’t just want to get my point across
No, more than that I want you to understand what’s wrong, that telling you can do no wrong
I hope you find somewhere nice and quiet to ease your mind, to sit back, relax, and read this on your day off
If you’d only tilt your head so many degrees, squint your eyes, you’ll see the picture I’m painting with these words, how I’m not trying to disagree
You know me and that’s not me, not really
Let me tell you about the future I foresee, a future where I’m free of all that inhibits me, all that cuts me down to size
There’s a never ending argument taking place in my mind
It’s like my brain on fire, trying to set off fireworks and light my funeral pyre at the same time
Like there’s a space inside my brain where the neurons misfire and something’s misaligned
For so long, what’s been eating away at me has gone undefined
But no longer because I’m inclined not to let it devour me this time
I refuse to fall victim, refuse to fall behind
So many days I chose to hide, only made it impossible to sleep at night
Hid my tears but I always cry
Today, I’ll shed some light
I always questioned it myself, why I’m different from everyone else
Loud and happy, that’s my shell, trying to combat an inner hell
I’m hindered, brought down at the heel
Double edged is the sword I wield, when I attack, I also kneel
A ghost is bringing me down, and I'm just beginning to understand how
Only bits and pieces I'm finding out
Give me something to hang on or I might just drown
Is there something going on that I don’t know about?
Is it all just in my head and my feet never left the ground?
So many variables now, adding to the crowd of possibilities
Am I not allowed to experience peace?
Have to sit down and breathe deep
Please explain what’s happening to me
I'm crippled by the weight of not knowing
I just want out of this confusion, want an answer that’s resolute and not another perfect excuse
I don’t mean to be rude but I'm not amused with all the runarounds and personal views
It’s as if somebody lit a fuse, and from the explosion something’s broken through
When all I want to do is recluse
I need to get out or these blues will consume me
Giving hands, have you felt me yet?
Felt the songs on my cassette, felt my worth in all my debt?
Emotion that leaves me spent, leaves me in a cuvette to find out I'm colorless
Touch me out under the faucet of the sky, touch the water under my eye
Fingers aged, look of the wise, feel my lows and feel my highs
For you, are they strong like the tide?
Does this have the power to knock you sideways?
Is it able to withstand force and pressure?
Can it push through even the worst weather?
Does it carry you like torrential downpour?
Do you feel your feet leave the floor?
Do your thoughts rock back and forth, confusing you evermore?
And I was a church goer
Now shouts and screams followed by the slamming of the front door are more than I bargained for
There’s a fault in my code, there’s a flaw no one knows, and for all my
effort, there’s a darkness that grows
I try to turn a new leaf over, want to so badly but somehow can’t
Like there’s someplace I'm stuck in, some pattern I can’t get out of
I'm caught bouncing between a delightful songbird and a mourning dove
It’s time to make decisions
I'm delirious in the division, thoughts in a head on collision, engaged in combat
My physician won’t make any elisions, won’t leave my word out of this
The goal is to send my sickness well into remission
The question is, where to make the first incision
To pick me apart would be nuclear fission
Are these parts to the whole of my own volition, on an inevitable path to self perdition?
Or is there something more to my disposition?
I’m at the crossroads of agreement and opposition, reading the signpost where it points to transition
I'm uncertain in my supposition, and I find it hard to believe in anyone
Distant lands fill my fantasy
I haven’t become yet who I want to be, and already my battery is losing steam, void of feeling
There’s a crack in my pottery, a fork in the clay where none used to be
Following a path possibly found on a branch of my family tree
This is the way we get out of bed, late to rise and late to dress, anxious for the results of the test, this is the way we get out of bed
This is the way we like to sit, bouncing our knee and counting each breath, scratching the same spot on my skin, this is the way we like to sit
This is the way we speak to them, with our eyes and quivering lip, unsure of what’s about to be said, listening to everything closely
This is the way we take the news, at first scared but hope infused, then knowing disbelief accrues
This is the way we live our lives, every day a new surprise, wanting to be carefree as the birds up high, but down below we live our lives
My bed calls me back inside, “Sleep, and be relieved”
The waking hours exhaust thereby my nervousness and wary eye
Sometimes, I just want to curl up and die
I never asked to be this way, so sometimes, God, I ask why
Why make me such a wreck? A symbol to human sin and neglect?
I must confess, I don’t see what’s perfect in me
My head’s so full that I just want to rest
Say it again
. . .
I cut my hair and painted my eyes
I’m a manifestation of all those left behind
And a word to the weak from the mouths of the wise
What you’ve lost isn't always what you find
Kinder than my past allows me
Brighter than the days before we thought we fell in love and built a family
Thought we were ahead of the curve but we fall down in the streets
Crowds are gathering, please don’t look at me
Or us, as the truth is unravelling
Those who can’t speak wish they could gradually walk out of the silence and into the sound, the sea of words we breathe in and out casually
The loud go unheard by the deaf and the nervous, who wish to listen to the chorus of angels and warriors
If only their ears weren’t covered for this:
I’m schizoaffective and bipolar.
Haven’t you noticed?
This poem is my submission for The Hate U Give Poetry Slam Scholarship. I found this scholarship through my sister, who gave me the link to PowerPoetry.org. I'm standing up for those who struggle to be understood by family, friends, and society just because they have a mental illness/disability, often tagged and labeled with freakish terms and battling against stigmas against the very human being they are when we are so much more than simply our illness/disability. This story I take from my own experiences and those like me.