Every Day, for Three Years

My hands tremble again as I try to open a prescription. More Valium.
It’s the same as it always happens—the complete fear, the loose-jointed-hanging by a thread over a large hole. And then the sweat, the racing heart, the distorted perception of my peripheral, and I can no longer feel. Self-mutilating is often the cure for this, but I’m becoming too heavy in the drugs. I shake more as suicide creeps into the back of my mind again. My psychiatrist calls this dissociating. I call it Thursday.

Jillian Audrey Design
Jillian Audrey Design

Another day in these rooms, pacing (lots of pacing). I spend most of my time alone. I say it’s because of this and that, and this, but the truth is I’m afraid—afraid I’ll bump into someone who once knew me and they’ll wonder what the fuck happened, and the rumors are or are not out there anyway. I may be paranoid, but I’ve seen their faces. Really, I didn’t want to see myself mirrored in their eyes—the same look of uncomfortable politeness, pity maybe, because maybe they’d already heard—and beneath that layer, the look of loss. As if seeing someone that never really came back.
So here I shake in my shelter I’ve patched together and I make tea. I pace more and more, waiting for something to end, because I can’t accept quite yet that madness happens on a continuum. I debate going to the hospital again, but really what else can they do for me. What else can they possibly do except tie down my wrists so I don’t do it (metaphorically), secure the over-the-counters and scripts, keep me away from glass and others. But I have a shred left in me that will allow me to do this myself—this tiny fucking thread that is my bridge

raceytay @ etsy
raceytay @ etsy

between despair and hope. And ‘hope’ isn’t that pretty-looking either. Hope is believing you won’t lose control and take that little pink razor. Hope is knowing you’re not quite that insane yet, so you have to stay at home alone, and pray to the god of Time to make haste and speed you along through the dark–through the carnival tunnel of the stuff nightmares are made on. Hope knows no faith, it is merely the least dark of the shadowed corners where the voices in your head are coming from. It’s like being in Limbo, where heaven is the speed getting turned down a notch so you can rest your spinning head, knowing you just made it another day. Hell is the cracking inside your skull, the matter of the brain no longer signaling right from wrong, pain and comfort. There is no God, there is nothing that can comfort you, and you have to give up, essentially, and hand over your own keys to yourself because you can no longer protect that self. Love yourself? Shit, that’s a delicacy.
And so it goes, like this, every day, for three years. I lived like that for three years. With a young child to bear witness. And I’ll forever wonder how I damaged her.
I make it up to her every day, I try, when I’m not slipping across the moods and concentrations. But I can’t make this about her. Not this one. I’m not ready. It hurts too much.
There weren’t too many days I didn’t cry, but on those rare days, it only allowed for clarity to reveal to myself what I had become. I don’t know how to put into words Read More

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My Virginia

I would have met you at the water if I

were then without a daughter; I would have

held your hand–I’ve known you before.

I would have decided on the hour–on

instinctual impulse–when the lower

haze of swaying moods send me down.

I would have called you I bet,

and the moon would’ve been full and

I would’ve ran barefoot in my nightgown

to meet you at the edge.

We would’ve known, I think, not to speak

about blue darkness and moon shafts shifting

across pale dandelions between our toes.

But chemistry comes in capsules now, Virginia,

and I dare say it’s like breathing under water

in a beautiful menagerie of imagination

where thoughts come with a reign and scale–

for weight, not matter.

But sometimes, like those nights we’d dive,

I fear my words are pebbles,

I risk giving them meaning and shape

and find shame from their sudden emptiness,

I fear it’s left me

until I think of you–my shared reflection

in the water, you with so much more grace,

but I can only build you up as a writer

and a fighter

and I drop a little stone to wrinkle you away

and I see my face, blurry and rippled,

brilliant in the moon.