Find Your Fight

You have a reason to live. I don’t know what it is, and since we are having this conversation, I am willing to bet you don’t know either. But I promise you, there is one. I know you feel like there is no point. Your life has been so dark for so long, and fighting has gotten beyond tiring. Your soul is tired, your body is tired, and giving up is so much easier. Believe me, I get it. But you have fought so hard for so long, giving up would just mean throwing all of that away…wouldn’t it?

So please, listen to me. Sit down, and give me just five minutes of your time.

I need you to find your fight. I know you are tired. I know you have been fighting for what seems like forever. But I need you to find the one reason to never stop fighting. I promise you, you have one. I know you have lost sight of it. But it is there – you just have to find it again.

For me, my fight started off as my parents. When my battle with depression and suicidal thoughts began, I had to search for my fight. And what I found was my parents. They didn’t deserve to lose a daughter. They had given up so much of themselves, so much time, energy and love went into making me – they didn’t deserve to lose all of that. It didn’t matter how much pain I was in – I had no right to put them through it too. I had to fight for them.

My second battle came a couple years later, and this time, though my love for my parents had in no way lessened, my fight wasn’t there anymore. I searched there first, thinking this time it would be easy, because I knew where my fight was hiding. However, depression is never that easy. This time, it took many therapy sessions and medications (that didn’t work for me) to find my fight. And this time my fight was with my sisters. Turns out, they had been keeping it safe for me the whole time. My sisters and I have always been a package deal. You get one, you get all three. We have always had each other’s backs, we have always done everything we can together – you can’t break us up. I had no right to put an end to that without asking them first. And the Lord knows if I had asked, they would have tackled me to the ground and not let me up until I had promised to keep fighting. So I chose to stay. For them. No matter how hard it was, no matter how much it hurt, my little sister didn’t deserve to lose a big sister and my big sister didn’t deserve to lose a little sister.

Now, years later, I thankfully haven’t had another battle yet. But I have already found my fight. My fight lies in the tiny hands of my nearly one year old niece, beautiful blue eyes and tiny body, but amazing soul. My fight lies in the little girl who blows kisses and tickles you, the little girl who gives hugs when she can see you are sad but doesn’t know why. I would do anything for this little girl, anything at all, and that includes finding whatever tiny bit of fight is left inside of me and making it last forever, because fighting for her will always be worth it.

Find your fight. And when you do, use it. Don’t stop fighting. It will be hard. I’m not going to lie and say it will be easy. Even when you have a reason to fight, the fighting doesn’t just magically end. But it will give you a push. And it will be worth it.

-CM

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Seasonal Happiness

Sometimes I wish I lived in a tropical paradise so that

every year as the ground begins to freeze

maybe my heart and body would have a chance.

They tell me it’s seasonal depression as the snow begins to fall

and so does my stomach but I think I would prefer to call it

seasonal happiness for me who gets

maybe two good months of easy smiles

and forces them through heartbreak the other ten.

My heart loves the Holiday spirit but my body hates the cold

my body loves the hot chocolate and festive music but my heart hates

the forced nameless sadness that makes itself home in my chest.

They tell me it’s normal and that it will pass

but for twenty one years I have lived every day

waiting for it to pass.

Maybe next year this seasonal happiness will stay.

 

-CM

Anxiety (Part II)

Before my feet even cross over the invisible line between real world and hospital

I have already convinced myself I am dying of ten different incurable diseases.

I have started my list of “things to do before I die”

starting with

  1. Stop stressing so damn much before there is even stress to stress about

I walk out of the doctors office with a prescription for an anxiety drug that will

“help me not worry so much” and the memory of a very tired doctor repeating that

I was not going to die any time soon.

But what if that truck swerves into my lane and hits me?

What if my car bursts into flames as soon as I shut the door?

What if today is my last day? –

I am not afraid of death or dying

specifically

I am afraid of everything.

-CM

Two Halves of Two Broken Hearts

Your body is in perfect working order in regards to your physical health still

your heart feels as if it may shatter into a million unrecognizable pieces without warning

so I have bought you some duct tape. I have called out of work and canceled my meetings. I have brought with me some wine and my collection of mixed CD’s that were collecting dust and I have brought with me my heart.

My heart isn’t working right either. With each breath I can feel the pain slowly inching closer to my chest, working it’s way into my emotions but I am still breathing.

You are still breathing. We are both broken. Maybe alone, broken beyond repair.

You get a little tipsy and start whispering to me about suicide. It’s not a mistake. The words that roll off your lips are intentional, your eyes well up with tears.

Your heart is splitting and it can’t take much more.

So I am going to reach into my chest and break my heart in half and gently, I am going to do the same to yours, and we can trade because maybe having a friend with you with every breath you take is really the only thing we need

and if I can save you maybe I can also save myself

if there is hope for you maybe there is also hope for me

so take this – the only thing I have to offer and

do with it the best you can

the best anyone can with two halves of two broken hearts.

-A Kinda Pretty Mess

Chantelle

Too Loud

One night I realized I had been ignoring the loudest answers the universe

had been trying to give me –

each time I screamed into the void and heard nothing in reply I

sank to the ground in defeat convincing myself

there were no answers

convincing my wounded heart that I had sunk the lowest

I possibly could and this was the end –

the silence echoed in sorrow each time I turned away defeated

trying to signal me with ringing cries as each time

I sunk to the ground

Except tonight –

Tonight I listened and finally came to see

silence is the loudest answer of them all.

 

-CM

Let’s Run

You don’t need me to tell you that suicide is not the answer.

You don’t need me to sugar coat this story either with promises of

a better tomorrow and a light at the end of the tunnel.

Since the moment you admitted your depression to the world everybody

has been telling you that it will be okay.

Every last stranger and friend has told you to keep your head up.

I could easily hold your hand and walk with you in this dark

if that’s what you need.

My arms will create a barrier between you and the negative thoughts

if you need someone to protect you from yourself.

I am not here to tell you that everything is going to be fine.

I am not here to tell you to keep your head up.

I am here to tell you that you are not alone

I am here to scream at you because you stopped listening to your own voice

months ago when the alcohol stopped numbing the pain

and no matter how loud you cranked the music

the voices in your head would not shut up.

I am here to yank you up off your feet and

out of the shadows.

I am here to run with you until our legs give out and we fall

and find that the ground

is a perfect place to start building again.

I could easily tell you that suicide is not the answer.

I could say the words as easily as anyone else because they are true.

But we both know you won’t listen to me.

You’ve forgotten how to really listen and that’s okay.

I don’t want to tell you words you aren’t going to remember.

I am here to show you

that this life is worth living.

I am here to show you all of the things that you forgot.

So let’s call out of work.

Let’s go on that trip you always wanted to take and if we don’t have the money

let’s just drive until we get lost and when we get lost

let’s park and stare up at the sky

talking of nothing

and just cry because sometimes

crying is the only answer

and sometimes

there doesn’t have to be an answer

or a reason

or a promise of a better tomorrow.

Sometimes there just has to be a tomorrow.

And another tomorrow. And another.

I am not here to make empty promises you won’t believe.

I am here to show you all of the possibilities

all of the happiness and light your life could hold

if you make it to another day and then another week

and then another month and eventually

another year.

Tomorrow might be horrible.

Or it might be the best day of your life.

I have been where you are right now

but I am not here to tell you my story.

I am here to tell you that yours is not over.

Don’t let it be over

this is not how your story ends.

 

-CM

 

Trying Something New!

What Depression Feels Like – A Poem

Today, as I explain briefly in the video, I thought I would try something new for me. I’ve always liked the idea of reciting my poems rather than just typing them out for you all to read. I thought I would start off here. I didn’t have this poem memorized, so I am reading it off the screen, which explains why my eyes are moving so much. And the camera quality isn’t great. But those things aside, I hope you enjoy this, and let me know which you prefer!

I love spoken word poetry, and most of my poems are written with the intent of being read out loud. If you all like this, I would be interested in playing around with better camera quality and lighting, and reciting poems that I do have memorized, in a bit of a more practiced, and not so relaxed setting. Let me know what you think!

 

I’ll also leave the poem below in case you would rather read it.


The first time somebody asked me what depression feels like

My tongue ballooned inside my mouth

They asked me

“Are you just…sad all of the time?”

And I nodded

Instead of screaming No!

If I was merely sad all of the time

Why would my face twist into this upside down frown

Why would I tell you I am

Fine when you ask me how I’ve been lately

If I was merely just sad all of the time why

Would I push them all away

The hands that reach out to help me

Why would I touch their fingertips for a brief moment

Before closing my eyes and forgetting how good it feels to be needed.

I don’t blame you.

You unknowing examiner simply curious

What does depression feel like

I lived in the same house for most of my childhood

I could tell you where each coffee table and arm rest sat

I could trace for you a map of each safe walkway from door to door

But when the lights are shut off and the darkness swallows

I stumble into corners

I know that if I turn right now I will find a lightswitch on that wall

But I turn a second too soon and my hand finds a jagged edge

Of a picture frame inside of the light switch

This is what depression feels like

I have lived inside this body my whole life

But sometimes

When the lights go dim

I can’t seem to find the light switch.

 

-CM

You Are Not Alone

“What reason do you have to be depressed?” “You’re so young, you don’t even know what real problems are, believe me, you’re not depressed.” “You’re just over reacting.”

These statements only begin the list of doubts I heard from not only strangers, but even family and friends when it first became apparent that I was struggling. Struggling being the watered down term I began to use when depressed caused people to tip toe around me as if I were made of glass.

While it didn’t take much to admit to myself that I was depressed, telling others was another story. I knew that people wouldn’t believe me. And even worse, people would.

To this day, several years later, my history with depression isn’t a story that I tell very frequently. There is such a stigma around the word, especially for young people. People immediately want to know every reason you have to explain why you are depressed. They think that just because you are under the age of twenty five, your life requires their expertise to determine the legitimacy of your mental illness.

Dozens of therapy sessions and many long nights crying later, I can proudly say that I survived my battle with depression. But that was just one fight. The truth is, for most, depression is a long war that has to be fought many times before it’s truly won. But the difference is, I’m not scared this time.

I swore to myself after I was quote on quote determined “cured”, that I wouldn’t speak of my depression publicly again. The truth is, I’m not even certain why I am doing it now, but what I do know, is that there are way too many young kids hiding in their rooms, suffering, afraid to tell anyone because they are afraid they won’t be heard.

I remember all to well being sixteen with my head between my knees in the corner of my room, sobbing into a pillow in hopes that no one would hear me. Just as awful, I remember the days that I couldn’t cry at all and my body felt numb.

I know I am just one person in billions. But we all are. If nothing else, I hope this post makes you think. I know it’s different from my previous poems and stories, some even uplifting and inspirational. But the truth is, if I hadn’t been able to make it through my very real depression, a depression many people didn’t want to recognize existed in me, then I wouldn’t have been here to write these posts.

You’re not alone. Your depression is real. You can beat it. Thankfully for me, I had very loving parents and an amazing best friend that pulled me through to the other side, while I kicked and screamed right along side them. But many people aren’t as lucky. All it takes is for one person to say “This is real. This is not in your head. This is scary, but you are going to be okay.”

Be that person.

Please leave me a comment, let’s start a discussion. And please, feel free to share. The world needs you.