This poem details my journey,
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,
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,
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.