Wednesday, April 15, 2015

If I Die Tonight

So...anxiety.

I always thought my issue was depression. I thought my other problems were "physical" problems and that the depression was this "mental" thing. I knew that I had physical symptoms. But today, after meeting with this great psychiatrist, I understand more fully how an anxiety disorder is a PHYSICAL illness. Sure, there are racing thoughts and memory lapses that seem like "thinking" problems, but the body is thinking too. And this doesn't necessarily feel like what you think anxiety will feel like. People with Generalized Anxiety Disorder feel like their body is filled with sand and they're swimming through jelly. They might have digestive problems, sleep problems, muscle tension, back aches, sweating, twitching. They startle more easily and can be hyper sensitive to sound. They also often have IBS. Check. Check. And check. So, it might be that all this crap all these years (the digestive problems, pain issues, muscle pains requiring therapy, night sweats, jumpiness, etc.) all might be the result of an underlying illness. If we gave this another name and only listed the physical symptoms, it would garner sympathy, but it's labeled as a brain problem and so it seems "fake" or that all the symptoms are "psychosematic"," but they're not. I'm not making up diarrhea. That is an actual symptom of the illness. Anyway, I am relieved to not be dying. Although, the other night, when I was in agony with stabbing pain and rushing the the bathroom all night, I had that worry that I might actually have some kind of life threatening illness. I was on the fence about going to the ER, it was that bad. Right before we finally tried to sleep, around 2 am, I had a sudden panic that "what if this is it," and I laid there thinking about my life and what I would want to happen. I wasn't convinced I was going to die, but I was realizing that, were it to happen, I wanted a say over what I leave behind. And this little poem was born.

I'm not dying, yet, thank goodness. But, because I will some day, this is here.

Poem 15

If I die tonight

If I die
From pain
From bleeding
From complications
If I die before I wake
Please take care of my babies
Please save all my crummy journals for them
Please tell them I loved them so
Please keep doing art with them
And brush their hair
And don't spoil them
And make them work
And kiss skinned knees but also praise them
A life without falling is not a life worth living
If you're not getting hurt, you're not doing childhood right
And if they say that things aren't fair
Ask them how they thought it would be
And don't try to make it fair
Nothing is fair
And even gods never said so
And read to them
And play my music
And keep measuring them
I don't care about a legacy other than them
And Marco, I love you.
Could the same be said of marriage as of childhood?
Are we doing it right?
Are we living?
Goodbye, my folks
Goodbye, my family
Goodbye dear friends
It can be said that I did not die of a broken heart
Something is broken but not that
I have been loved beyond measure by so many
I'm sorry I ever complained
Life is hard and then you get diarrhea
Life is unfair, absurd, painful and filled with darkness
But it beats the alternative
Hopefully that will just be nothing
Not existing seems scary
Or just sad
I have existed for billions of years
I go on existing
I just might be a flower
Or a tomato
Or an earthworm
And then, someday
Star stuff again
I am connected to everyone
I am everything
We are Groot
The pain will pass
Surely I will sleep
But just in case
Know I love you
And that love is star stuff too



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Pain

Pain
You inglorious bastard
You ruiner of moments
Of weeks
Of life

Acute and fully alive
Dull and annoying
I ache both for you and from you
You fucking
suck, Pain
Stabbing, throbbing,
wicked Pain
Pulsing, burning, cruel

You take prisoners
You make prisoners
And punish them
For the crime of being
Alive Pain

Are you telling me something?
Mumbling, shouting, stupid
I hate you
And then, when it is only you
I am relieved
Nothing else matters

Pain
Here you are again
In line at the store
Here you are again
Reading with my daughter
Here you are again
Rooting in my body

Pain
Fuck you
Stop tormenting me
Pain
Pain
Pain
Pain
Pain

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Stronger on the Inside

Inspired by Amanda Palmer's new song Bigger on the Inside and by these photos that say "Strong is the new Pretty" I am attempting to take my body back!

April 12 - Poem 12

Stronger on the Inside

As a fat person
I have to defend my eating
I have to brag about my exercise
I have to talk about it
I have to dress it
As a fat person
My weaknesses seem obvious
But you don't know
About me
As a fat person
You might notice the swing of my arms
Or the width of my thighs
But you don't know
I can bench press you
I can kick your teeth in
I can do fifty pushups
You don't know
I'm a fighter
I'm a wild lover
I'm passionate and courageous
You don't know how hard I've tried
To NOT be what you see
But I am big
I am bold
I am strong
And what's more
I am even bigger on the inside
So I'm gonna stop
Defending my body
My body is stronger than yours
And what's more
I'm even stronger on the inside

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Float

I grew up in Papua New Guinea, living with a tribe in the middle of the jungle. We lived along a river, a large tributary to the great Sepik River. I've often wondered how it would feel to go back. Or are memories better?

April 11 - Poem 11

Float

Mud between my toes
River silt from the flash flood
The roar of water
The smell of earth
The cool, the quick
The rush
Would I feel the same now?
Adult and aware
Of crocodiles
Of snakes
Of amoebas
Or could I float
Carried around the bend
Laughing and watching
Letting myself go
Isn't that it right there?
Can I be innocent again?
Can I undo the knowing?
Can I float
Be carried
Let go of control?
Little river
Roaring waters
Fish and shrimp and bugs
I miss my lack of fear
I miss the mud
I miss release
Let's go on a float
We'd say
Through the village
Through the bush
Tramping along through pitpit and thorns
Easing ourselves
The water cold
And murky
And then freedom
And then sunshine on my face
And then the water carries you
And nothing you can do will help
It does it well on its own
Just float
Just float
Just float

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Poem for Her

On this tenth day of April, 2015, someone special is floating through my thoughts. This is for her. With tremendous love.

April 10 - Poem 10

City Bird


Well you’re tired and you’re searching
All you knew is now distressed
Only fragments of believing
Faith just torn to shreds
You’ve had a cigarette with a work friend
A beer with that guy
You’re gonna skip class today
Maybe you’ll get high
It all amounts to nothing
Or so it seems at this time
Sound and fury
A toss of the dice
An inconsequential rhyme
And tomorrow what?
More answers?
Or just this pounding in your head
Another smoke
A dirty joke
The weight of hanging dread
Is God away on business?
Or is he just getting drunk?
Or maybe there’s just a devil
With a joker’s wily spunk
Church makes you tear up
Your modifiers are all gone
Screaming doesn’t seem to help
Nor the breaking dawn
But it’s not over city bird
You’ll get that oil off your wings
You’ll see the way, however grey
And weather all these stings
And fly
And fly
And fly so far
With a freedom you never knew
And help the other tangled birds

Trying to follow you.
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