These two poems were written almost one year apart. They were written in the notes section of my phone so I don’t have a handwritten image to share.
The poem on the left is a plea in the humility of having no grand expectations about my existence. I ask for help to direct me to a path of purpose to help people through the processing of my own fears. Long ago I had big dreams of being a mainstream model/actress. I thought this was the way to create even bigger dreams of building homes in every state where foster kids could go and feel safe. The last foster home I lived I sometimes walked down the street and slept behind a row of bushes as to be there in the dirt felt safer than the room I slept. I don’t mean physical harm was my fear in the home. By safety in the dirt, I mean it was a strong connection to anything of nature to me. In nature I felt loved and at peace. I often day dreamed as a teen of what kind of place would be good to live and how much money would it take to make it happen?
I found myself repeating the same dreams after my first divorce in my late twenties. I was so naive. As much as I had been exposed to at an early age in life where I already felt alienated when among my peers, I continue this through adulthood. So here I am last year in a place of healing so much and yet again posing the question to some invisible yet palpable energy to me, if all is within, what do I do now?
The answer was and is patience. Keep close to my heart and keep writing and sharing. Every time I post a poem and someone says they can relate it makes me feel worth the pain the creation of that writing brought. I’ve often thought I’m really just a human bumbling through this existence doing my best to navigate and accept my choices. I listen to self-help videos on You Tube, have read numerous self-help books, follow accounts on social media that give helpful advice. The poetry I write is as much for me as it is for those who send Thank you’s. I have days where it takes a concentrated effort of will to arise and simply feed myself. I had someone once ask me if I have to hit a wall to write a song. It feels that way. In my melancholy moments, I am able to pour out rhyme and bleed out a little more soul suffering on the path to peace.
There is so much suffering in the news we see on a daily basis. There is so much individual suffering we don’t see. These memes of being kind to everyone because you never know what battle they are fighting is true. Most of all be kind to yourself. Be kind to yourself and as you feel that self love you know what external love feels like when it comes. It’s ok to ask for help. It’s ok to admit to being in a bad mental place. It’s ok to say I’m a work in progress. It’s ok to become reclusive to work on one's inner constructs. Whatever is needed to build a better operating version of you is OK.
The second poem was written last week. I was having a severe mental downer of a day but I put on a functioning face and went through it. I am fortunate to have writing as a creative outlet that comes naturally to me. Writing poetry is another outlet of expression I am grateful for. As horrible as August 27th was last week that poem came through. I wrote it on my phone then stared at it some time. I have seen Universal laws at work in my past. I have asked for help and a stranger would come to me with some words of kindness. I have asked for help and someone with graphic design skills helped me through a place where I couldn’t focus to work on my website. Last week I felt in this place again of despair and impatience with life.
I realize I have had many jobs where I completely exhausted my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual body. It became another pattern in my life to choose jobs out of desperation which I don’t believe I am alone in. Anyone who has lived in poverty for some time would understand desperation. Writing has been the one consistent presence in my life throughout the many jobs I had that paid the bills. Writing will always be a part of me.
I haven’t quite figured out my career path. I don’t know what tomorrow or next week or year will bring for a job. Someone said to me recently, “Now it’s time to find the job you want to do, you’ve done enough of the other.” Until I have that place where I wake up and have that job that supports me, I will write. Until I feel drawn to something and apply all my energy to it, I will write. Maybe writing full time is my next job, maybe it’s a combination of a few creative outlets. For now, I will share my poetry and relatable life experiences as we’re all in this game together to help each other through.
So what can be done proactively when these “mental downer days” present themselves? Here are some suggestions that I do:
- get moving- as in get up and go for a walk outside weather permitting
- wash your face, brush your teeth, comb your hair — self- care basics
- feed yourself! if all you can do is make a shake in your blender of whatever ingredients are healthy in your home, do it, drink it.
- if you have a comfort meal you like to go to, make it and again, feed yourself!
- watch a comforting uplifting movie
- read an inspirational story
- find inspirational quotes, memes, poems — there is so much within reach of an internet search
- ask a family member or friend for something funny to watch, ask them to spend time with you, tell them you aren’t doing so well and could use some human company
- if you’re put together enough to be in a public place go to a park and sit, or a coffee shop or cafe. You never know who you can strike up a conversation with or who will approach you with maybe the exact words you need to hear. If the thought of being in public is overwhelming, that’s OK.
- sit outside even in your yard or on your porch, where ever is available. Let the sun or night breeze be upon you and remember there is a greater plan at work for your existence.
- begin a mental roll call of what you are grateful for even if it’s that you’re grateful for the ability to read, write, walk, see, hear, breathe…
- if you have a gym membership get to the gym! if all you can muster up is 15 minutes of cardio or stretching, hey, you got yourself there!
- mainly be kind to you and know the mental downer of a day will pass just as they have before. These various emotions will move through you giving birth to the new.