ptsd in me

years back
some awful stuff
i witnessed
i lived

i carried a diagnosis
ptsd

a gang of sensations
still oppress me
from time to time

this inability to relax or feel calm
for days on end. particularly around dreaded
anniversaries

i check the deadbolts again and again
and still cannot feel safe

in my own home
in the fellowship of friends

in my own head

despite the love
of family

i hope they go away
but if they do not
i can be thankful
i survived

Advertisements

depression.ex

I won’t allow my depression a millimeter, a fraction of a second, an incomplete thought, a syllable, a single note, a lapse of judgment, a crumb of cake, a seed, a drop of water, a feather to float itself out on… all my depression can have is a one way ticket to a polar ice cap, where it may freely melt itself out of existence.

seeing blue

what can i tell you when i feel discouraged and you feel discouraged, too? all i can tell you is look, we all get down and see blue. all i see in you is you are real with that feeling, you are holding, exuding the pain. this is making you more of who you are. someone i can love. you are real to me. i can see your struggle in your eyes and hear it in your words. the depth of your blues mirrors my own, and you touch me where before i was alone.

it wants me

it wants me to stay in bed
the trespass of hope
it wants me in my head
dispatching despair

it wants to convince me
i am worthless
i am nothing it wants me to stop
answering the door
and the phone

and i don’t stand a chance
it wants me to die
each new day
and again

when i am worn out and have no more to give
it wants more out of me

it wants my dignity
my self-respect
my laughter
my smile

it wants what i cannot give
what i no longer have
’cause it took it from me
already

i say

just go away!
be done with me! 
move on!

you will keep on wanting and wanting
and i will be someone
you helped me become

someone who knows how to survive you
outlast you
outshine you

someone whose pain people
see in my eyes and
draw closer

make me

make me get outta bed

Getting up last night for work turned out to be the same as getting up was last year, this year. I felt simply unwilling to push the blankets away and step into the cold unheated air. I thought what with my incredible anti-depressive mentality things would be different this year, but they weren’t. The logistics are always painful. Once I got outta bed and put my malt-o-meal on the stove and took my meds with leftover cadillac (the chocolate residue on the bottom churned back into the mix with some flexible wrist action), I could breathe again. The cats were all crying for food and I must provide. Otherwise it will be a claw to the neck when you least suspect.  Life is demanding as always. And faith is still there, waiting to be called upon, to get you through.

K. #6099 CIM

review

Review: An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and MadnessAn Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kay Jamison has spent most of her adult life studying mood disorders and living with bipolar illness. In this memoir, she faithfully shares her experience. She takes us inside a manic episode as she remembers it, and then the subsequent deep depression. Even breathing becomes a chore. She details the times she spun out and how the beauty of the world through fresh mania soon becomes lost in a whirlwind of racing thoughts and confusion. Anyone who has needed medication may relate to the resistance to taking it Kay describes so well, and the consequences of refusing meds when you need them. For years she started and stopped Lithium, and even when she knew she needed it, she would stop when either she fell dreamy in love with the memory of her mania, or the side effects became too much to bear. Turns out she was on a much higher dose than she needed. But the side effects of Lithium were nothing compared with the devastation which came of allowing her mania to resurface. Her marriage and friendships were poisoned. She maxed out her credit cards. Her professional life suffered. She wanted to end her life.

Miraculously, with the help of family and friends and therapy and meds, she was able to run a mood disorder clinic at UCLA, gain tenure, and today stands as a highly regarded clinician at Johns Hopkins. But most importantly she survived it all. Bipolar illness, aka manic-depression (although the latter usage has fallen out of fashion in diagnostic circles, she believes it sums up the experience), takes lives. People get attached to their mania, they dream of their mania, and some never come around to accepting they need meds. This book is a must read for anyone with bipolar illness.

View all my reviews

(i and my country) no longer depressed

I and my country, no longer depressed

What becomes of us. Pine Sol was applied and life began to smell chemically sound. All the memories of the unnaturally clean gave an egregious sparkle to my calm. Anxiety B. Gone. Outstandingly purified past a point of recognition, the chemicals ran into our pharmaceutical futures. Sometimes I put the coffeepot under the tap, if I was lazy or rushing to get to work. What a mistake! My thoughts went sideways and up was down. Only the headlights of the car could save me, pointing into the rain. I saw the materials filling in the light, each raindrop one hundred thousand part prozac. I and my country, no longer depressed.