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Mental HealthCreative

To Better Days Ahead

This poem details my journey,

You see,

There are some who believe that struggling with mental health looks a certain way,

But to that I say,

There is no set formula for how people might feel,

Because we all deal

With our experiences in our own way.

I tell my story in hopes that you might see,

Just one way that things may be,

  –   a real person’s life in actuality.

To Better Days Ahead

I remember my childhood being filled with what I could,

             Things I should,

             And eventually what I would.

I existed in a bubble made up of preconceived notions of what a happy, carefree, ideal life should be. 

             But soon, I began to see,

             And that bubble started to implode around me. 

I questioned everything that I was taught,

             I thought,

             That I was a key player in an elaborate plot, 

             But all I was, was a minuscule dot. 

             I got caught up in what ought to be and what I could see. 

And then, I remember just floating.

             The birds continued to sing, 

             And, the earth completed its spin,

But I,

             I was lost in a fight in my mind,

             Grasping at anything I could find,

             But still pretending I was fine. 

And all the while,

I tried to force a smile.

             Or at least I tried to find an emotion that I could express,

             From the stress of distress,

             I swear, I did my best.

But, I slipped into, what I discovered to be the loneliest place in the world,

             Where I felt only apathy,

             And I continued to attend life absently,

I was stuck. 

I felt as if I was going through the motions in situations I faintly recognized and with friends I barely knew,

             But, things did start to get better. 

I began to meet others who were in their own lonely places. 

They began to look like familiar faces.

And I began to embrace it. 

             I started to feel more understood, 

             And stopped thinking in “shoulds”

Because how I was feeling, or actually, how I wasn’t feeling, was okay

             And I shouldn’t have to push myself to feel anything at all. 

My journey is in no way over, and each day I fight to be present.

             Because my presence in the world is enough, 

             And even if it gets rough,

I know that the next morning, I can still get out of bed,

And that in itself is a small battle that will put me ahead,

             To the start of a new day, 

             To the beginnings of new dreams, 

             To the hopes of what may,

             Be coming my way.  

Author

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