Autobiography · Mental Health · Poetry

Buoyancy

It’s different now. When I crumble. The blankets
wrapped up around my face and I squirm
in the sheets.

This is not the same sadness we became so well
acquainted with. Not the monster we learned to
battle. No, I face this one alone and

only sometimes. I do not pull my knees to my
chest anymore. Do not wail into the universe about
not wanting to exist in it.

But on occasion I still find myself fighting
my own chemistry. My own memory of how I am and
how I am supposed to be.

Clay that should become tile piles up in the studio. I
argue with the urge to cut all my hair off.
Stay all day on the couch watching Breaking Bad again.

Familiar feeling, but not quite the same. Closer to déjà vu than a
clear remembering. I’m fumbling, but I trust myself to
find my footing again. I understand that this is

not how it ends. I make phone calls. Send texts.
Reach out like I never felt capable of before. I know I’m worth the
struggle this time. I know.

I find myself wondering if I would have made it. If this
desire to stay afloat was always present, even when not
presenting. If my will to live has always been vivacious,

relentless. Must have been. Because whenever they’ve asked
what they can do for me, I’ve always said, “Listen. But
do nothing.” When the time came, I’ve always known the battle is

fought and won by myself. Just listen. And sometimes that means
just to my breathing. My energy. Be present. Hold space for me and
expect nothing.

We are learning to do that again. In new places with new people and new
ideas of what succeeding looks like. We are beginning
again. And this time I know we’re not quitting.

–––––

Hey! I have a Facebook page now. Go like it to not only stay in the loop with what’s going on over here, but for all sorts of other fun stuff. There will be at least one video. Haven’t you been wondering what my voice sounds like?

Photo courtesy of Wayne Lo.

17 thoughts on “Buoyancy

  1. Buoyancy is a perfect title for this. I am especially struck by your request that others just listen, The simple fact of being truly heard is so very important. So, enough reply. Know you are heard.

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  2. “Just listen. And sometimes that means
    just to my breathing. My energy. Be present. Hold space for me and
    expect nothing.”

    This is strong and powerful to me. One of my favorite songs by Lifehouse is called Breathing because the chorus says all the singer wants to do is sit outside his love’s door and listen to her breathing. Is there anything more powerful than someone who can simply do that? No words necessary, just holding space with you, for you.

    So well done. Thank you.

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      1. I lost my dad three years ago to pancreatic cancer. He was only 64. I was 7 hours away when he died and financially unable to go to his funeral. My eldest son did the best thing anyone could do. He simply came in my room quietly as I was on the phone both the day before when I was told “it won’t be long now” and when the call came in telling me he had passed. My son hugged me and then sat without saying anything. He was just there. There were days when the last thing I needed was for anyone to talk to me. At all. I was there for my kids because I had to be, but I couldn’t handle being around other adults. For months I’d plug into my earbuds and let music and recorded poetry play all day. It was what I had to do to survive. So, yeah. I can definitely relate. And you really are not alone. 🙂

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  3. Love this. I have this feeling every so often too – this is it, the falling apart, the fear, the inner coldness. But then I quickly recognize it- oh, I know you, you’ve been here before. And the familiarity reminds me that I can work through this, I’ve done it before.

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  4. Ohhhh HOORAY! HOORAY! I’m so pleased. This is filled with such honesty and such hope. I’m so glad. So pleased your will to live, to thrive, is stronger than even you imagined. I hope it finds wonderful places to develop into 🙂 Hooray!

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