Baby Michelle Was Melodramatic

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.

Trigger warning AGAIN: discussion of suicide

Guardian

If I close my eyes this will all go away
No more blood, no more pain
Out of sight out of mind
I’m groping blindly for a helping hand
I can’t find one
And suddenly you’re there
You wrap your arms around me
You anchor me, protect me
I’m sobbing
Tears flowing freely
I don’t want to die.
You call for help
My lifeblood drains
Nothing can save me
You still hold tight
Trying to save me with love
Something I’ve never had
Suddenly there is strength
There is light
I am saved by an angel
You are my seraphim
Hospital
Pills
I made it through
But not without costs
Odd looks follow me
Silence reigns when I enter
Only you understand
You tell me I saved you once
I don’t understand
I once was your light?
You nod
I made you smile
I got you to leave the darkness
Now it is your turn
We help each other
We strive forward
Each other’s guardian


I really can’t believe that I have ANOTHER poem about suicide. HOW MANY SUICIDE POEMS COULD I HAVE POSSIBLY WRITTEN!?!? When I first pulled up this poem to work on, my mother was sitting across from me and I asked her this question. She just stared at me with a completely nonplussed look on her face as if to say “yeah, now you know what I had to deal with.”

At least this poem is only about attempted suicide and has an upbeat ending?

I have to say that I think this poem was in part inspired by this song. No judgement on the band, this was actually the first song that sold me on them, then Animals. I can still sing that song by heart and I am BOSS at it when it comes to karaoke. My first time doing karaoke in front of an entire bar of people was singing Animals, I was so nervous my voice when up a few more octaves, which if you have heard my voice is pretty impressive. I know everyone hates this band, but I am going to drop one more song right here, because they are SO MUCH MORE than fucking Photograph.

That being said there is some pretty strong savior/martyr complex overtones in this poem. The one person couldn’t save themselves, the other person couldn’t save themselves. This is not be trying to undermine how important people are and how important it is to be kind and reach out to people, but there is something to be said about being strong for yourself and not always having to wait for or rely on someone else to come and pick you up. Trust me, I know how shitty that sounds. I am the definition of “come save me and pick me up and take care of me.” Taking that time to stare deep into your own heart and say, no, I need to love myself and be proud of who I am is hard, but can save you.

Do not read this as me saying people with clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders should just pep-talk their way out of their medical condition. No. If you have a serious mental health condition it is a medical condition and you should speak to a therapist, talk to your doctor, see if you need to see a psychiatrist. I have a prescription for my anxiety, it’s a “in case of emergencies” type of medication, but many people in my life are medicated and I am proud of them for that. Admitting you need help, then accepting medication, and living in a society that tells you that you shouldn’t be on medication because what you are struggling with isn’t real is beyond difficult. We need to be more understanding about mental health in this country.

One thing that I do really appreciate about this poem is the relationship between the two characters in it is not explicitly stated. I am sure lonely, little, melodramatic, teenage Michelle was imagining a romantic connection, it was left ambiguous. The person who helped them through could be anyone – stranger, friend, family member, or significant other. You never know who you are going to touch, who your words and actions will affect. I know that wisdom and help have come to me from some pretty strange places.

So, remember that the next time you open your mouth – what you say has an impact. Also remember it when you feel as though you are useless, someone has looked up to you and been inspired. You might never know who it was, but you were someone’s sanctuary at least once.

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