sleeping with the light on.

Some nights you sleep with the light on. 

Some days are followed by nights that demand more than a metaphorical light piercing the darkness. So you leave the light on. A tangible weapon to defend yourself from the darkness that threatens to overtake you. 

Tonight I sleep with the light on. 

Bombs dropping. Children murdered. Cities in uproar. Lives being taken by hands of others and lives being taken by our own hands. 

Oh God, it’s dark. 

And as much as I would like to stand up against it all as a beacon of hope…tonight, I cannot. 

Headlines are one thing. Reminding you over and over how everything seems to have gone to hell. It’s a whole other thing to see the demons staring back at you in the mirror. Depression stole another {prominent} life this week. And you heard about it. Chances are your phone buzzed multiple times letting you know that a life was no more. And we wept. And rightly so. It is a tragedy. 

But. What doesn’t make the front page of your newspaper are the not so prominent ones who choose to take their lives each day. Your phone doesn’t buzz. Video montages are not readily available. No one dedicates a twitter feed. And you don’t see a slew of Facebook/twitter/tumblr/Instagram posts proclaiming that the world “lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings.”

I sat in my car tonight, alone, and I thought about my story. My name would never make CNN or Foxnews or your Facebook timeline. But my story isn’t that much different. Depression is a relentless bastard. Caring not of tax brackets or job title. He doesn’t give a flip about how many movies you have made or how well you manage your home. He lies and cheats and steals. He steals your hope. Your joy. Your sense of direction. He leaves you feeling trapped and suffocated and alone. And after he has whispered those lies for a good long while, he whispers that there is a way out and all too often we choose to believe him. Because, honestly, we just want the shit in our heads to stop. 

So. Tonight I leave the light on. 

It’s the only thing I have right now to combat the darkness.

It’s the only thing I have to tell the whispers – the lies – to stop. 

I leave the light on because the headlines are too much and the despair is so heavy. 

I leave the light on because, while I cannot be a beacon of hope, I believe one still exists. And this lamp is just a reminder. 

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limits

healing is slower than you imagined
harder than they explained
frustrating as hell

this
is not difficult
and yet
it is too much

healing is rarely painless
accompanied by pounding fists
shouting in the dark

this
is not difficult
and yet
it is too much

healing is admitting weakness
asking for previously unnecessary help
realizing limits

this
is not difficult
and yet
it is too much

and right now, that is okay

rest
take a break
don’t push yourself
knowing your limits is good
healthy
right
and wise

so for now
this is not difficult
but it is too much
and it’s all okay

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lost at sea

dear god,

it has been 147 days. it has been 147 days since i opened my hand. it has been 147 days since i let it go. it has been 147 days since i did what you asked and i don’t feel one bit different. in fact, god, things seem to be heavier. harder. i know that you didn’t say it would be easy. and i know that you didn’t say my heart would be healed. not right away, anyway. but i expected something. a shift. a movement. a budge. i would almost take anything at this point. because, god, if i am being honest, i want it back.

i hear it whisper in the middle of the day. i hear it whisper when the sun is shining and everything appears right in the world. i hear it whisper when the breeze blows my hair and the leaves rustle under my feet. i hear it whisper when the rain is falling and the cold forces me to tighten my coat. i hear it when the sun rises and when the sun sets. the world goes dark, but it’s voice doesn’t rest. it promises control and freedom. it promises validity and safety. i know, i know, god. it’s a lie. but right now it sounds so convincing and i long to be free of it’s taunts.

right now, in this moment. tonight. i feel like i am drowning without it. a wave. another wave. hitting me. taking me under each time. gasping for breath i resurface. all i accomplish is the taking in of more water. my lungs are filling and i can’t breathe. all i want in this moment is a breath. so you know what happens next? it promises breath. and i want to take the deal.

i don’t, obviously. because it has been 147 days of labored breathing. i hear you say, quietly, “labored breathing is still breathing.” but then i think – “doesn’t labored breathing concern doctors?” i’m sure it does. however, i am no doctor. in fact, i have no solid knowledge of how lungs actually work and i am sure that at one point i learned that the human body is made up of approximately 60% water. could i be dehydrated? is that why my body continues to take on water? is this part of the plan? maybe i could just drink water instead of breathing it into my lungs. maybe if i stop fighting a bit this might get a little easier…

except i don’t know how to rest.

i don’t know how to unclinch the muscles in my body long enough to float. i am not cut out for this sea life. my legs can’t stand the swaying and my lungs can’t handle the salt. would you please, since you can, pull me back over the ledge of the boat and sail us to dry land? if you won’t do that, would you at least walk out over the waves to me and reassure my heart that i am not alone? because, god, i am drowning out here and i cannot see. everything looks the same. the horizon has faded and the waves confuse and frighten me.

i don’t know how many more times i can go under.

i don’t know how much more water i can take on.

and i don’t know how i can live on gasps of air.

god, it has been 147 days. the seas have been still from time to time. but my fingertips are prunes and my legs are weak. my eyes are burning and my heart is tired. i still hear the voice calling to me. promising breath. or maybe it is just trying to convince me to go under. maybe it is pulling me under. so, i am asking you. pull me out of the water. or send an air tank. or do something. because i am drowning out here. and i need you. fast.

sincerely,
lost at sea

i am still…safe

tapping
rapping
rustling outside my window.
winds of today
becoming yesterday
suddenly
I’m in tomorrow.

soft is the hum
gentle
forceful shift
strong
carrying a chill
onward
forward.
always onward.

out of fear
ran the sun
from the winds of change
hiding, cowering, waiting
another day

burning
yearning
warring against
frost
threatening to freeze solid
burning ball of fire

suffering through
flames –
sheds light, casts shadows
illuminating darkness

fear does his worst
convincing, persuasive
fleeting victory remains his reward

hoping
groping
searching through darkness
not lost, still remembered
i am still
safe