It’s Poetry Tuesday! We are going to go back through all my old notebooks and look at the god-awful poetry I wrote when I was an angsty teen and then you will get present day Michelle’s re-interpretation/headdesk horror-filled embarrassment.
Someone save me from this hell
Bring light to me in this dark cell
Drag me back from this cliff’s edge
From the all too inviting ledge
I’ve been shoved into a pit of self-doubt
Your words I have given too much clout
Something inside me died
A part that I thought to hide
Grappling with my sanity
You’re absorbed with your vanity
How am I to live
With nothing left to give?
Please note that I have never suffered from actual depression, nor have I had full on depressive episodes, but Baby Michelle was really fucking melodramatic. Depression does run in my family though and there is a direct line to me, so I do have many concerns about my mental health and my mental stability. It’s one of the reasons why I shy away from illegal drugs, my brain chemistry is usually just balanced enough to keep me on an even keel, why in the world would I want to fuck with that and potentially do lasting damage?
I think it is interesting that my past and current issues are in the first two lines of the second stanza – “pit of self-doubt” and “Your words I have given too much clout.” Even contemporary Michelle has trouble with self-doubt and trust. I struggle to trust myself and not constantly doubt who I am and what I do. My old and new therapists have helped put me on a path where I can face my self-doubt and say “I trust myself and am going to go with my instincts.” As my sister has told me over and over again – I have very good intuition and I need to listen to it. In the same vein, it’s very easy for me to listen to other people and give their opinions and suggestions more weight than my own. No one, but me, is going to be with me my whole life and while it is okay to check every now in then with other people on big, life decisions I need to trust myself.
I do think that it’s interesting that teenage me thought that life wasn’t worth living if I had “nothing left to give.” You could interpret it as “no more energy to put into living” but to me it reads like “if I have nothing to give other people I am not worthwhile.” Another insight into my brain, if I am not giving my all to everyone in my life I feel useless, but I need to put that giving nature to work for me. I need to be giving and understanding and kind TO ME. No idea what that shit is so hard x.x
Ten years away from the inception of this poem, I can say that my understanding of mental illness has evolved, but at the same time I don’t understand it. I understand anxiety, or at least my brand of anxiety, and I have a little bit more understanding when it comes to depression, bipolar, and borderline personality disorder, but now instead of trying to put myself in someone else’s brain to feel/empathize fully, I try to understand that everyone’s brain is different and deals with everything differently. I have to let go of my preconceived notions, what other people have told me about their depression/anxiety/etc, and instead listen to what is being told to me and believe that this is their experience and that is valid.
Thanks for listening! I know this one wasn’t as fun as most of my Teen Angst Poetry, but I am still getting my groove back. Hopefully next week will be more fun!