Lingering in silence, I am my worst company
But am I my greatest enemy?
After all is said after all is gone
Did I do my best
For what is done?
Pain besides me it lingers in my breath
For every word unspoken
For every death.
Forgetful dreams and wishful tears
For all the things I miss
For all of those years.
Through the pain and the glory of all the battles, I have seen
The worst defeat was for those
who have never been.
Whose ashes sway in the wind through the day and the night
Through the darkest hours
And through the light.
As time carries me on my feet shall fall
I know I still go on
I have given my all.
Even in the silence I still hear their cheers
Their almighty roars
Of all their forgotten fears.
You come over at 3am and I’m tired.
Whilst drinking my gin, you tell me stories of your night and fill the ashtray with your cigarettes.
It is 7am and you leave after one kiss.
So I’m sat here finishing that drink and smoking the cigarettes you left.
Now I’m wide awake, wondering how the hours went by because you always come.
Then walk away.
I lay beside your body and your silence filled my lungs.
I can feel the tingle of my fingers as I stroked your chest.
Your heart beat protruded through your skin and I felt the pain of a thousand dying stars.
In the glory of death, they have never glistened so bright. They were beautiful to the naked eye, just as you were naked.
You were beautiful.
In that moment, sorrow swirled through your tired eyes and I knew, I knew the pain you felt.
How it crippled your lungs and made your hands shake.
I knew what it had done to you, how it had encaged you in a life of broken dreams.
I knew what it was doing to you.
How it was tying your tongue to your throat to choke the words that could set you free.
I knew that I could not fight it for you but be there by your side, to see you through the war against your mind.
The moonlight laid against our skin and our eyes met, your lips parted and a shiver ran through my veins.
I could hear your thoughts through the shadows of the room as if they were projected onto the walls around us.
You did not talk but you pressed your lips against my skin and that was all the words you could never know how to begin.
I can’t find the words
I can’t begin to sympathise
My tongue is tied
Into a thousand ties
So far beneath the clouds
In this lifetime that has passed me by
I forgot how it felt to be loved
You taught me to try
Falling so fast
Consumed in your allure
I know that my fragile heart
Could find the strength
To love again
If you held my hand
People say dreams can come true
I never believed in them
I never believed until I met you
To my broken smile
You are the cure
My wings out wide
You taught me to fly
I am never afraid
For your eyes are the diamonds
In my pitch black night
Your arms are my home;
Your voice is my lullaby
I could never soar so high
You breathe life into me
I hope you already know
This is our destiny
The beating of my heart,
You are the pressure in my chest
I can’t sleep without you in my eyes
You are the reality at its best.
Within your heart I am young,
I am defenceless.
Words can’t find my tongue,
I am breathless.
Like any relationship, the one between mental illness and ‘self’ has its ups and downs, it has its own balance or sometimes an imbalance, but it takes work.
Sometimes, more work than the ability we have to do so.
I don’t want to sugar-coat anything I write, for I do that with my thoughts every day and I want this blog to be the ‘safe place’ where I am honest and not just with you but myself because sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do.
Writing this post has taken several attempts and drafts for me to feel like this is a true representation of my relationship with mental illness. I wonder whether I have said everything I think I need to say but that’s the beauty of having this blog, there is another day.
So as I write this, I’ve had a week full of rapid-cycling. Which means, I can shift from depressed and exhausted to eagerly energetic and productive in the space of one day, or sometimes even hours.
There are times I don’t recognise myself, I don’t recognise my behaviour, but I am aware of myself. Sometimes more than I’ve been aware of anything else.
My relationship with mental illness has not only taken its toll on me but my relationships with others and not just romantically.
I used to only know who I was when I was in a relationship with another human being but now I look back and I know that I wasn’t who I really was. Sometimes everything about me was just a representation of either the greatest parts of me or my worst.
In times of mania, I was found stripping wallpaper at 2:00 am. Or sat writing in the dark blasting rock music through my headphones. I was energetic, I was happy, I was driven, I was the best parts of myself amplified.
In times of depression, some days I could barely get out of bed. I am withdrawn, I am tired, I am the worst parts of me, on full display.
I am not my mental illness, it is simply a part of me. I may be bipolar, but that’s what I am, not who I am.
I am a creator, I am an artist, I am a writer. Even without having a mental illness, I would still be these things and it may change my ability to do them well, but I still do them.
Some days when I can’t write is the right time to write and sometimes I can’t paint, I can’t even pick up the brush but that is okay.
There are days when it is okay to say “today is not the day”, it is okay to know that you aren’t feeling your best, because one day, you will wake up and recognise yourself.
You might not see the balance, but you will feel it.
So just like every other relationship, this one takes work, it takes dedication and perseverance but the only difference is that you can’t run from it, you can’t break up with it as much as I’ve tried.
Mental illness has tested me more than anything, it has pushed me further than I thought I could ever go, yet I’m still here. I may not be standing but I’m still here and if you’re reading this?
So are you!
It’s a part of you, but it’s not who you are, remember that and your half way there.
I sat on the cold ground of the smoke filled room.
I can’t see your face but I can hear your whispers. For they scar deep beyond my dreams. To the bone, your broken promises cut my porcelain skin.
Your voice lingers heavier than the smoke. I can feel your breath crisp the air I struggle to take in. The echoes of your stumbles fall into the darkness. Where you hide, it is no lie; no-one needs to see the broken soul that is trapped beneath.
The quiet whispers begin to rise; they begin to cut through the thick smoke in front of my eyes. I am within your reach, I hear you speak. Vibrations of your touch shake the ground beneath my feet.
The ground starts to crumble. Daggered cracks separate us.
The darkness is my saviour, yet it is the fear that feeds the devil inside of you.
I hear you scream for me to save you. The first glimpse of innocence I have seen in your eyes. I can see the lonely child inside. Waiting to return home, waiting for an open door.
My outstretched hand almost meets yours but the ground beneath our feet collapses and I find myself holding on to the edge of infinity when you stand above my lingering soul. The child inside has realised; it came too late.
As her whispers erupt through the darkness there comes a light. Blinding my fresh eyes, I cling with weathered hands. Holding on for what I thought was my life, yet I find, I am holding on for your hope in my lies.
The only thing that I have, was the strength I hold on for I fear an eternity in the pits of the underworld. I pray to live for the chance to return the grace I was given, for my wings had failed me.
For I had failed myself, my fingers embrace the infinite sorrow and let go. Seconds pass like a century of pain. The smoke begins to rise, for your hands meet mine, my body between two worlds.
For my grace was yours and I could not see; the wings between the shadows of demons that roam free.
The innocence in your eyes returned, your voice peaked.
The child inside of you was, in fact, me.