The poem below was written for a presentation I did for the University of British Columbia’s Mental Health Symposium.
I walk in the darkness and the light staying awake all night because the sights in my dreams bring despair unforeseen.
Can’t slip into deep sleep but sometimes don’t want to stay awake. Not here. Not now. Because… how?
Because my anxiety makes me sweaty and steals time from me. Steals me from you. Steals away what I thought I knew.
Because my bipolar disorder makes me both younger and older. Both weaker and bolder. Both a river and a boulder.
Because my obsessive compulsive disorder brings chaos and order. Brings glass walls and borders. Brings brick and mortar.
Because my ptsd wants to envelope me. Wants to debilitate me. Wants me to hate me.
Because my borderline personality disorder reminds me of my immense strength and sensitivity. Reminds me of a different reality. Reminds me that you are different from me and truly can’t understand and see my impulsivity and self-destructability. Reminds me of a fine line between psychosis and neurosis and how gross my soul is.
And inside all of this is my creativity. A beauty. A duty. A vulnerability. A strength and fragility. A responsibility. An ability.
To share my darkness and my light.
To fight with open hands, the strength of a raging river through the lands. To stand. And stumble and fumble through the words of mental health today. In some way.
These places – the anxiety, bp, bpd, ptsd, and ocd do not deserve the best of me. Or you.
© Meredith Graham 2017