Inclined to Suffer

There is a slope inside us all
that determines every disposition
it's not a scale that can be tipped
but the fixed incline of a hillside

Some steep leeward cliff face, continuously
crumbling as it creates long shadows
the wind and sun can't reach this side
a mountain cannot choose to shift

Like Sisyphus we walk uphill
the futile effort that must be made
the only rest is rolling back down
into the dust to start again 

Desperate for Rest

Let me be again ingested by earth and soil
ecstasy of worm riddled wood buried deep down
soft stillness waiting below the noise and light
beside the safe rhythm of small scratching paws

This vessel of small energy is of no use to me
it tears at sinews, begging to be released
free to return to the low hum of everything
haunted by the possibility of final rest

Overwhelmed by constant stimulation
vertigo vehicle of endless movement
barreling forward at breakneck pace
let me stop, let me breathe, let me be

But the wind tears through the trees
and the sea slowly, ceaselessly erodes the shore
the relentless terror of every-flowing time
has carried me past myself

Unfamiliar Happiness

I don't know what to do with happiness
it lies limp within my marble arms
as I stare without understanding

I set it up against the wall
try to decide where it should go
while my eyes keep darting anxiously

Over toward the dark corners of the room
I've come to rest in, have made my home inside
being afraid has become part of my flesh

Fear fungus that fills up my lungs
there is no space left for peace and pleasure
trying to choke down inhales of sweet perfume

I thought enjoyment was supposed to come easily
not make my skin crawl with discomfort and unease
It's going to take great effort to retrain this brain

To feel safe inside the light of your love
to unwind inside the warm tide pools I've finally found
teaching myself to distrust my own false signals is a struggle

Spring Respite

The full-bodied scent of fresh cut grass
starts to lighten the heavy eyelids of this
child's soul that has lied slumbering in frost
shaking snowflakes from thick lashes
cells expanding as the air heats up

Everything tastes better in summer
soft air, sweet fruit, and salty skin
hearts peel open suddenly in the sunlight
like the fresh blossoms spilling pollen
tender petals ready to receive the sky

Colorful carousel of familiar sensations
the day's reluctant, yet sensual surrender
as the night descends in a slow simmer
igniting the thorny hillsides into whispers
the hushed murmur of a million voices

Sleep comes easier when the sun has returned
store away those sacred escapes somewhere safe
Bright Eyes songs and novels by Charles Dickens
David Copperfield tucked away beneath pillow cases
life supports reserved for when the air grows thin again

For now it's easy to breathe more deeply
the atmosphere is thick like honey and just as sweet
another new life christened with lavender winds
wondering how those slinking shadow talons
always tore so sharply at untanned skin

Time Away

I think I'll take some time away
a brief hiatus from having to be me
a small vacation from vicious thoughts

I think I need some time away
it's getting hard to breathe again
time for a distraction from self-hatred

I think I'll take some time away
a temporary escape from who I am
sedating my ego so I can just be

I think I need some time away
life has gotten too serious again
time to remind myself that nothing matters

Waiting for Spring

Spring is coming, just hold on
I've been telling myself since October
It's hard to have faith the sun will heal
wounds that reopen every winter

Half a year spent holding my breath
how much happiness can be contained
in only three short months of light
most slips by as I'm fearing the next fall

Spring is coming, but I don't remember
what it is I've been waiting for all winter
just a phantom feeling of something better
Spring is coming, just hold on

Stop Searching

The healing hum that reverberates
through all the small, silent moments
can become buried beneath the louder
frequencies of frustration and forward motion

The panicked pace of ungrounded grasping
the breath that's stolen while being swept off your feet
it can feel like dying to slow down, to surrender momentum
in favor of savoring the soft rustling outside your window

Finding peace can be counterintuitive
stop flipping over rocks and just pause
to feel the cool stone against your skin
and hear the whispering stream gurgle past

It's hard to accept that happiness is here
when we've wasted so much time searching
learning to laugh at ourselves like when we've been
seeking the object that's been in our hand the whole time

It's the simple things that will save us
if we can sit with the fear that they
won't be enough in the end
they will

ASD and Decision Making

One of the many struggles I have in life that I attribute to my undiagnosed Autism is my utter inability to make decisions. I’ve felt like decisions were so much harder for me to make than my peers even as a young child, but I feel it’s only gotten worse as I’ve gotten older and the decisions I’m faced with every day have become more and more serious and important. It’s hard enough for me to decide what to wear or what to make for dinner, let alone if I should take a new job or move.

I used to be more able to make a decision if I felt somewhat forced into it out of discomfort. I’d wait until I reached my breaking point, where the discomfort of not choosing a different path exceeded the discomfort of change. However, that threshold for discomfort has become larger and larger as I become more dependent on and attached to my routines. It feels impossible to make a big decision regardless of how certain I feel it will be good for me, because I know it will inevitably cause turmoil and disrupt my normal patterns and habits for awhile. Despite unhappiness with where I am, it still feels easier to just let things remain how they are. At least I know what to expect, even if it’s nothing good.

I’ve been trying to focus on the positive things I stand to gain from making a change. Part of me does get excited at the idea of beginning a new phase of life for myself. Who knows what wonderful new things might enter my life if I only have the courage to make room for them? However, I am immediately terrified and overwhelmed with the idea of the immediate future that lies before any of those benefits. How on earth can I bear the pivotal moments of action? It seems like an insurmountable task. I wish I was able to press a button, make the decision, and wake up a few weeks later beyond the initial aftermath.

Possibly worst of all is the feelings of guilt, shame, disappointment I feel with myself for not being able to do this. It’s hard to even talk about with other people, because I am so embarrassed. I can’t really ask for advice, because it’s obvious what they’ll tell me I need to do. Part of me is afraid that their certainty will push me into action. No matter how sure I am of something, there is always a small voice in the back of my head pushing me in the opposite direction, warning me that I might regret this. I know that’s not something I can ever avoid for sure. But I already have so many regrets. I’m afraid to trust myself. I’m afraid to be the one that chooses how my future will unfold. I don’t want to blame myself for making the wrong choice someday.

On the other hand, what if I am making the wrong choice by remaining where I am? There may be wonderful opportunities and people passing me by because I haven’t been brave enough to create space for them in my life. I hate feeling like such a coward, like a child, that needs someone else to make all the important decisions for them. I just want to ask for help, but I know that there is no one that can help me to live my own life. Some things we just have to do on our own.

Lifestyle Vloggers

One of my favorite things to watch online are lifestyle vloggers. But it can be hard to find a good pool of content, given I am only interested in the vegan ones. Even so, I never get tired of watching them. There is just something so immensely soothing about watching the picture perfect life of someone else. It feels inspiring and motivational, but also comforting, as if I’m spending time with a close friend.

There homes are always so bright and beautiful. There plants are all huge and healthy. White linen, candles, big open windows, picnics, fresh healthy food, and tender moments between partners. It all just makes me want to sigh and keep watching forever. To lose myself in this postcard existence of another. Until… it starts to become overwhelming.

There is a certain point I always reach, where I just start comparing my life to theirs’ and feeling bad about myself. Strangely enough, it usually isn’t because of the aesthetic differences. I’ve never cared much for having money or an extravagantly decorated home. My crumbly little cave is quite good enough for me. (Although, I do wish I had the time and energy to keep it spotless like them.) No, what really starts to make me feel down is their seemingly superior ability to maintain a productive work schedule, to work for themselves, edit and upload videos, and make progress towards their career goals.

One of the most frustrating parts for me is the confusion. Why can’t I do that too? It’s not like I am unable to keep routines or stick to a schedule. My routines and schedules just happen to not be very useful or productive in the long run. All of my hobbies and habits are small and focused on the moment. It is unimaginable for me to set big, long-term goals for myself that I can work towards incrementally in those same hours I allot to more frivolous pursuits consistently.

It’s partly about not knowing where to even begin setting up something like that, but it’s also my fear of commitment to any one interest. If I do something that can be completed in an hour or two, I have a reasonable expectation that I’ll be able to maintain interest. However, if I begin a project that will take a month, or a year, I am second guessing myself the whole time. Is this really worthwhile to me? Will I be able to make it to the end result? What if I lose my drive and I’ve ended up wasting a huge chunk of my life on something that was never even finished? With me, losing that initial motivation and interest just seems inevitable. It feels pointless to even begin.

The more I learn about myself and my mental health, the more I think this has less to do with personal failures and more to do with ADHD. Still, that doesn’t make me feel much better or less frustrated. Am I really just incapable of completing big projects and reaching more lofty goals? It sure feels like that’s the case. Maybe if I keep trying and allow myself to fail, I’ll learn more about myself and be able to find a way that works for me eventually.

Until then, I’m just going to keep gaining that feeling of fulfillment and contentment vicariously through watching others live their best lives. Sometimes it feels like that’s all I’ll ever be able to do. But either way, I’m grateful for their content and the warm, fuzzy, inspired feelings they give me.