A Slam Poem.

This is a little something I came up with — my first “slam poem”. So far, it is untitled. I have added an audio file of myself performing it (at 2 in the morning and after being sick, so apologies) so that you can hear what it is supposed to sound like. Enjoy!

Today I woke up, took a shower, put on some makeup and went to class.
I greeted friends, smiled at strangers, and noticed the trees.
I remembered my books and my keys and my shoes.
Today was a good day.

Many people will say your freshman year of college is one to remember.
They say that is where memories and friends are made.
I made neither.
I don’t remember much of my very first semester.
My days back then felt so dark that now I can’t see through them.
First it began with excessive sleep.
I convinced myself I was just catching up on all of the sleep I didn’t get in high school.
I knew it was a problem when sleep started as a way to relax and turned into a way of escape.
My dorm room, the 10 by 15 area they call your new home, began as a safe haven but turned into my self-made prison cell.
I was my own worst enemy.

Phone calls weren’t returned, classes weren’t attended, friends and memories weren’t made.
There were days where I would finally venture out of my room only to realize I put one shoe on and forgot the other.
There were nights spent with my head buried in a tear-soaked pillow, my lungs collapsing and the room closing in.
I felt like I was in the movie Gravity, floating around in a black void and instead of pieces of metal being hurled at me it was pieces of words I could not connect, pieces of words bombarding my mind.

Pieces of words like crazy and broken and worthless and unloved.

I would feel guilty for my feelings, and feeling guilty for my feelings would make me feel more guilty and there I was, out of control in space with nothing to grab on to or slow me down.
I would wake up and be chained to my bed, panic-stricken and unable to move.
I was told later anxiety could manifest itself by shutting down limbs.
My brain was trying to save me from myself.
And I kept saying I was fine.

But look at me now, standing here, arms and legs moving, back on earth. Anchored.
It started with a therapist who was a bit of a Freudian enthusiast, where I walked into the room and was met with a blank stare as I poured out my feelings and his only response was “How would you describe your relationship with your father?”

and continued with another Christian therapist where we started out with a prayer and I was told my depression was a result of my inability to cope with an angel touching my mind.
What the fuck?

And it continued with the man I meet with now, who soaks in every word that comes out of my mouth as if it is the most interesting word to ever be created, with a man who has given me the tools to kick at the darkness until it bleeds pure, sweet daylight,
A man who has told me it is not my fault and it continued with me finding my own strength and realizing I can live.

To those who do not understand my illness, let me speak to you plainly.
I suffer from depression with a sprinkle of anxiety just to spice things up.
I tell you all of this not for the pity, I have plenty of self-pity to last a lifetime.
I tell you all of this for encouragement of others.
I tell you all of this to take the shame away from others.
I tell you all of this for the understanding.
To those who do not understand my illness,
I am twenty years old and I love myself.
To those who do not understand my illness,
I go to school, I have two jobs, I have friends and I have memories.
To those who do not understand my illness,
Do not tell me I am single because I show the crazy sooner than other women.
Do not tell me I shouldn’t have kids so I don’t pass the crazy on.
When you tell me all I need to do is socialize with people, I answer “Thank you for curing a disease I have been trying to figure out for 5 plus years.”
Do not tell me to perk up, as if I hadn’t thought of that.
Do not tell me to suck it up and hide it and show it later.
When you tell me it is all in my head, I answer with “Of course it is, where else would it be, my kidneys?”

To those who do not understand my mental illness,
I suffer from a mental illness.
I am not my mental illness, and it is not me.

To those who understand more than anyone else in the world,
I salute you.
I feel for you and I feel with you.
To those who understand more than anyone else,
To those who understand but feel trapped,
To those who understand but are without help,
I beg you to speak up. I beg you to raise your voice.
You are not alone. I am part the 1 in 4 who suffer. You are part of the 1 in 4.
We are part of in 1 in 4.
1 in 4.
You are not alone.

Stretch out your hand and someone will grab on and anchor you back to the earth.
To those who understand more than anyone else,
To those who suffer from anxiety,
Bipolar disorder,
Eating disorders,
Schizophrenia, just to name a few:

Reach out your hand, and if you want I will take it and we can be anchored together.
Because even if I do not know you, I love you.


About returntoneverland

All around procrastinator, screw-up extraordinaire.
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