Poetry

Settling

"Rubble Inukshuk" © maegon02, 2009. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Rubble Inukshuk” © Maegan Pauls, 2009. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Sink into stillness.

Cancel appointments with doctors
wanting to discuss diagnoses and
possible plans of treatment.

Taper off medication and
put supplements back
in the freezer.

Plot out a schedule to serve me for the
next six months with
minimal modification.

Hands on my husband’s hips I ask him,
“Will you please just tell me if
what we’re doing isn’t working?
Can it please be safe for me to assume,
unless I hear otherwise,
things are running smoothly?”

Always try to improve.
To change.
Plan a different way to do
everything long before I have proof the
current approach busted.

Every tendon, muscle, nerve, and neuron
from toes to temples is
begging for a break.
“Please. Just let me settle.”

Tread water.
Breathe.
We do not need to push forward constantly.

Those safe places and
longed-for ease perhaps only present themselves
when we let ourselves go and
just be.

Autobiography

Wrong Road

"Road/Bridge" © Dauvit Alexander, 2012. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Road/Bridge” © Dauvit Alexander, 2012. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Green tea and rhodiola. Meditate every night or morning. Get up and go to bed at the same time every day. See your therapist. Exercise at least thirty minutes daily. Go running. Lift weights. Don’t drink any caffeine after 2 PM and limit it to a cup or two of tea. Drink 135 ounces of water. Write. Avoid carbohydrates. Don’t smoke. Stay clean. Stay sober. Take your vitamins and thyroid medication. Practice talking about the things that are going on in your head. Make a conscious effort to not follow all those negative thought patterns to their disastrous ends. Stay busy. Connect with old friends. Take walks and talk about how desperate and empty everything can seem. Find comfort in the idea that they’ve felt like you do. Convince yourself that a lot of this is a choice. That you can do it different.

I have running lists of all the things I have to stay on top of if I want to feel moderately okay. A balancing act between keeping my sanity intact and getting so strict that I swing the other way so far I lose it again. I work hard to make sure that I’m doing everything anyone can think of to keep from plummeting into the dark and I’m still never sure it’s enough. Some people just need more help than others. So we start talking about medication for the first time since I was eighteen.  Continue reading →