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
Months Without Sun
I'm making everyone worry again morose reiterations of reoccurring thoughts that rend trying to explain the weight of what I'm feeling tongue-tied frustration of finding the words that would heal me People are pleading with me to go to therapy again the retched realization that I've caused fear I can't mend my grandma's sweet offer, she's telling me she'd pay sudden recoil, sinking heart, I've said the words I shouldn't say I'm hurting the people I love again allowing personal pain to pull down a friend spinning cyanide webs of sinister predictions poisoning the future with feverish convictions I'm having those scary thoughts again the ones where I savor this story's end whispered suggestions from seductive self-harm running my fingers over those old marks on my arm...
Let Me Sleep
It's not fair I can't fall asleep with the trees every winter and only rise again when the distant sun returns being left abandoned in this windswept landscape is too much agony to endure year after year Left to live as a corpse in this cold darkness denied the sweet slumber offered to half of nature unable to escape into an expanded unconsciousness until I am awaked by the scent of spring flowers Half my life is wasted waiting for the thaw huddled into myself for safety and warmth where the beauty of the silent snow cannot creep into my veins Patience is a virtue I have not been artful in the ticking clock torments me and tears me down telling me I must rise and not let time slip by while my delicate soul continues to shiver
January punishes with pale grey glances punctuated by ragged breaths of sharp wind the air is empty of all familiar affection no more lingering, soft caresses from the sun The candles have all been extinguished on hearths and families that had gathered for feasting seem to have long since dispersed and dissolved back into this new year of silent, bleak darkness Expected to set goals while my soul is frozen over exhausted by the pitiful effort of just trying to get by themes of death thud against the weather worn door while paper crane wishes are swallowed up in icy oblivion Winter is a season where time stands still and all perspective on life is lost within waiting and the halfhearted insistence I'll feel good again in spring promise me this practice of painful patience will pay off
Christmas is Over
Soft warm light suspended in the brutal vacuum of snow one final day of indulgence before the empty months commence January is the longest part of the year a vicious nod to immaterial time that contracts and expands as it pleases to trap us in the cold violence of winter The sunshine tide will slowly ascend further up the shores of frozen evenings to melt the aching numbness of vitamin D and dopamine withdrawal But even the faithful repetition of 29 years cannot convince me that the trauma of winter will give way to green abundance once again and melt this ice inside my veins Waiting in this black and white is a reminder that I still haven't found the patience I was promised would come with age just more pain piled on with yearly practice
Be Your Own Inspiration
As seasonal depression has slowly but surely sucked all of the life and motivation out of me in the last few months, I’ve been finding it harder and harder to write. An overwhelming sense of shame and mediocrity grip me as I attempt to do my daily poetry. I’m so distracted by the idea that I am not good enough, that my words are ignorant and hollow, that I can’t concentrate for long enough to create anything. Then this only reaffirms my crippling self-doubt, making it harder to come back to my laptop the next day.
Yesterday after finishing a poem that I wasn’t particularly proud of, I decided to read some of the older ones I had compiled for publishing this coming year. Even though I’ve done this in the past, I was still surprised at just how wonderful I felt these older poems were. I know I was partly moved because they reminded me of the times when I had written them, but I can’t deny that they are also excellent poems in their own right. I think anyone could enjoy them just as much as I have. The more I read, the more thick the wall of tears became against my eyelids, inevitably overflowing into hot streams down my cheeks. I wrote these. I had to keep reminding myself.
Today despite still not feeling particularly creative or inspired, the sense that I’m a failure and I’ve never written anything good nor will I ever write anything good is absent. I know that inspiration will find me again. I believe in and am proud of the things I have already created. I feel at peace inside this artistic dry spell.
Looking back at my old work was exactly what I needed. I’ve done this in the past not only with my poetry, but with my art as well. One day I was nearly in tears, wondering how I had ever believed I could draw or use my drawing tablet at all. Then I decided to pull up some of my old drawings. I was so happy looking at them. These are really good! I was delighted and surprised that I was so easily able to forget my own talent.
Sometimes the combination of mental illness, writer’s block, and exposure to so many other people’s amazing work online can leave us feeling inadequate. In these moments I try to remind myself of Lizzo’s wise words: “I am my inspiration.” We don’t need to be at the same level or have the same style of writing or drawing as other people. It can be hard to be an impartial judge of our own talent. That’s why it’s important to go back over our older work. So many times I’ve found that something I once hated or didn’t think much of has turned out to be one of my best creations when I look back. The poems I wrote as a teenager that I was embarrassed by seem simply beautiful to me now. I’ve even decided to publish them, and they’re available on Amazon if you’re interested.
I guess my point is, don’t trust your opinion of yourself or your ability when you are feeling low. The mind has a way of convincing us of things that aren’t true, especially when it comes to our perceptions of ourself. Just be patient and remind yourself through hard evidence. If your brain is telling you that you can’t write, go back and read what you’ve already written to prove it wrong. If it says you can’t draw, take the time to enjoy a personal art show of past works to silence that critical voice. Hell, sometimes this even works if I’m having a particularly bad body image day. I’ll look at somewhat recent photos I’ve taken of myself to remember that I can feel beautiful.
The only person you need to compare yourself to is your past self. Be your own inspiration. And most importantly, I want you to remember that every single thing you have created or will create is incredible and worthwhile, because it is a piece of your mind made manifest. When I look at something someone I love has drawn or written however silly it may seem to them, I love it. I love it because it came from them, and that’s all that matters. That’s what makes everything any one of us creates special and perfect. And lastly, let yourself rest sometimes. I promise your inspiration will come back soon enough.
The Path of Least Resistance
I'm tired in a way I can't put into words the liquid soul I once housed with pride has slowly dripped away, now I'm bone dry Even the effort of asking myself what I want is more than I can manage anymore all I want is to want nothing This spiritual fatigue leads me to what is easy the path of least resistance is what I always pick regardless of the potential for happiness It just feels unlikely I'll ever uncover the strength to lift my head back up to face the world as I did and self-pity has become so sour on my tongue I want to be an artist and add my own beauty to life but my intentions get twisted and misconstrued distracted by the imagined gaze of unknown eyes So ashamed at the presumption of being worthy tearing myself to shreds to demonstrate to the world how aware I am that I'm not enough How can you ask for help when you don't feel you deserve it? how can you change direction when you're too tired to keep walking?
Certain seasons of life pass by in a painful haze of indifference all appetite for living has been lost a shade of sadness that turns the stomach and leaves you without even a taste for longing Sifting through the sterile earth the ashen grey dust of memory searching for even an aftertaste of delight hope can only sprout in the fertile soil of a desire for better things to come When even yearning has gone sour this prison of depression is complete the gaping maw of all consuming despair swallows up past, present, and future alike into the black hole vacuum of its belly Not even light can escape this sunken place inside a yearly ritual of falling head first into the black and white chasm of winter exhausted limbs clinging to a foggy faith in the coming spring
A Soul Submerged
The tide rises with the descending sun and as the leaves form a crunchy crust over the earth that grows thicker with each passing day I watch the waters creep closer pawing at the shoreline of my soul No breakers can withstand the slow advance of the seasons time ensures the slow submersion into the living death of ice and snow I brace myself for another long sleep Water-logged months of darkness slow, undulating rhythm below the waves of winter are hard, helpful reminders of interconnection insolation and artificial lighting cannot replace the outstretched arms of sensual sunshine The earth turns inwards and withdraws a well deserved rest from being taken for granted nursing her wounds beneath the cold surface resting and recharging to return again the faithful promise that keeps me going
The sleepy sun begins to blink after months of brightly beaming suddenly realizing the long, hot days have started to wane once again There is a stirring of pumpkin spice excitement as the air lifts and lightens its humid grip rising early to greet crisp, chilly mornings with socked feet and hot mugs held tightly in cold hands Spiced apple cider and gathering together to face the winter slowly creeping closer crafting grinning pumpkins to keep the growing darkness at bay Learning to allow myself to enjoy this season despite the inevitable mental decline ahead bravely barreling toward the frigid cold while celebrating another successful season in the sun