August 12, 2012

Some days I find myself craving waffles and then suddenly, there I am– lying in my room at Holy Spirit hospital, counting the large waffle shape ceiling squares that offer no comfort and no answers. There was a lot of time to count them and unfortunately I didn’t keep tabs…

…but I’m pretty sure someone’s laying there right now gazing up at them.  

I frequented inpatient upstairs on three separate occasions, one other time at Phil-Haven and I spent two ‘tour of duties’ at the outpatient program here at Holy Spirit with vastly different results. I wasn’t prepared for the first trip through the program, and I believe this is the key- you simply can’t go through the motions. My second journey was completed after one of the worst years of my life; and it was pivotal in my recovery and with the success I’m experiencing now. I needed outpatient, and it made a huge difference.

Life is constant evolution, but only if you accept this rite of passage.

Living doesn’t rely on objectivity. Life is either happening all around you or you are watching from the slits between your closed blinds– the spare daylight; an enclave reminding you that isolation is reality.

Recently, I crossed paths with an old friend, someone who I hadn’t seen in a while but I appreciated a few moments of catching up. Thankfully he never asked what I had been up to, because honestly- how could I spin it in a way that didn’t set me back: small talk and trivial flashbacks. The moment where no one knows but everyone knew that it could reflect their own tragic steps, so we just smile politely and go back to our day; without ever really looking back.

Mental illness isn’t a splinter that gives you an initial prick, slowly purging itself out of your body. It’ll hang around for a while- but it certainly doesn’t own you. Most mental illness lies dormant with medication and practical living and this is where we want it; a slumbering animal hibernating where darkness and oblivion offer escape.

Yeah, I might have an ‘episode’, get depressed or even have an anxiety attack, but I’m not living in fear anymore. So, in a sense, I’m “living” for the first time in a long time.

 Never forget you were a person before you were a diagnosis.


The path deflects the sunlight,
as I watch you drive away.
What a strange occurrence that brought us here together;
and the same polarity moves us onward.
Upward. Hopeful.

I loved you in my heart but needed to find that my road was paved in waves of blistering highs and lows.
The minutes and hours in free-fall.

Every time I got up- I needed to fall back down myself.

And then pick myself up.

But here we are. Somehow knowing that we could never leave- the syncopation of our insides stirring, churning slowly at sixty beats per minute

Time stood still in the brief moment when deliverance segues into revelation.

We are each others keeper.

Dead Reckoning

Corrupt this place, the ceiling burns phosphoric and you glare into the spaces that dampen the air.
“I’ll be back another time, maybe I can view the hash marks in pastel”
We can fantasize that we’ll never return to the chaos, so inviting to pick up where we left off.

You know this changes everything.

I escape my own reality and the wind outside brushes the sun off my cheeks- the powder of my forehead no longer a torrent of reflecting skies…. and rampant mistakes.

Everyone knows me here, and that can’t be so bad, right??

We deserved so much more.

I saw them take you on the elevator to the third floor, where people communicate in mimes and fixed glances, trolling the corners and cleaving the walls. Fearful that you’ll be spit out into the world, the depth of all your misfortune taking hold of that last piece of serenity.

Love is a Postcard to a Childhood Friend

Regenerate skin, grating teeth under peeled layers- fleshy decay, latex and sweat;

this place where you thought you’d find love.

Make up a story where debris floats in lucid dreams you wish to sleep off, lost your dignity long enough -the seconds of release.

Feel bliss for the moment, fleeting sheen of penetration, sure to become a lost memory- and that’s good.

You don’t want to remember these single minutes– shallow moments. They swallow you whole.

The day after, tile and sediment- so much to wash clean- won’t mimic corrosion, just waxy, smooth and slick. You retain every last breath, every caress- the exhalation of each pore.

The expense of love, defeated you long enough to run.

Inside the curtain the water runs cold no matter what the steam says, and the indifference won’t allow a single lesson to be learned.