Gratitude

4/365

Today I am thankful for smoke breaks. Those quiet moments in between class and tasks at work. Where I take some time to just sit and be with myself. Where I finally let myself do nothing and just enjoy my company.


I am so fortunate to have found a therapist so perfectly suited for this point in my life. Today she asked me if I think I am deserving of self-compassion. When I couldn’t answer she asked me what I thought self-compassion meant. I took a deep breath, looked her right in the eyes, and said, “I guess it means always assuming I’m doing the best I can.” No one has ever asked me that question before. No one has ever asked me if I deserve it. I’m looking forward to learning how to believe I am.


We’re doing inventory at work right now. For those of you who don’t know, I work in a bead shop. This means we have hundreds of thousands of different beads and we are counting every single one of them. Every ear wire, ever bead cap, every card of silk. Everything. I am so happy that I work with people who are making this time amusing and enjoyable instead of the incredible stress heap it could be. I’m also insanely grateful for the scales we bought this year so we can count by weight instead of by hand.

Mental Health · Poetry

Nicotine

I go around and around with this one.
Nicotine patches, toothpicks, gum.
Buckle.
“May I please get a pack of Newports?”

Tell myself it’s better than
the alternatives.
As if I absolutely must be
smoking, drinking, or dead.

Smells revolting. Tastes disgusting.
But it grounds me.
I’m solid. I’m standing.
I’m safe. I’m free.

Logically I know it’s a rationalization for
doing something I want to do that’s
bad for me.

But standing in the rain,
cigarette between my fingertips,
I catch myself thinking at
least I found something to
make my mind peaceful.
Even momentarily.

Photo courtesy of Cameron Kirby.

Poetry

NOLA

"Cypress Mystery" © Peter Barker, 2011. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Cypress Mystery” © Peter Barker, 2011. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Lars rolled down the window of his truck
Proffered me a cigarette
I sighed heavy, shook my head
Took it
Coughed hard
It’d been three months

“Pull up over here, man.
If I’m smoking on this trip
I need a pack of Newports.”

“When did you start smoking
menthols?”
Lips peeled back in disgust Continue reading →