Haven’t I suffered enough,
Or do you want to break me even more?
I feel like I’m already mostly dead.
Do you want me to die all the way?
I am a ghost in a body struggling to live
and it feels like a burden to eat.
And yet I must feed this body,
because there are two children
relying on me to be here for them…
and they deserve a living, breathing mother
who can help smooth their way through
this rocky journey of life.
Is enduring this pain the sacrifice I must make?
Is this torture of terror, uncertainty and homelessness
the very thing that’s making me strong
and ready to change?
But how can I change
when I lack the energy
to meet my most basic of needs?
When it feels like a burden to be alive,
how do I choose to keep living?
Our brains are hardwired
for love, connection and belonging.
In the absence of these,
our system goes into
fight or flight.
I have been chronically isolated
for two years now.
Besides my children,
I have had no regular contact
with caring people.
I have been in fight or flight
for two years.
When your brain is in
fight or flight,
your human ability
to think and problem solve
by your reptilian impulse
to survive what is threatening you.
I have been operating
from my survival response
for two years now.
When you are in
fight or flight
for extended periods of time,
your system shuts down.
This is the burnout stage of stress.
I am burned out, traumatized
isolated, and terrified.
How am I supposed
to recreate my life in this state?
The struggle now
is between terror and peace.
Some days I wake up and feel fine.
Some days I wake up in terror.
There’s no rhyme or reason.
I just want to find home.
I want to create stability.
I’ve begun sending feelers out
in different directions;
I want to open multiple income streams.
I know I have talents and abilities,
but they’ve been buried deep within
for so long, it’s a process to uncover them.
It takes time to monetize one’s talents…
But I don’t have much time.
My eviction date is set for July 15.
I need to find a home.
How do I find a home
when I don’t have any money?
The people I thought were my friends
have all disappeared.
I guess that divorce, depression and eviction
are too inconvenient for normal, stable people.
What has happened in my life
that in my time of greatest need,
I look around, and no one is there?*
*Just wanted to acknowledge that there are people here who have been generous in expressing their concern…so I didn’t want to come across as ungrateful for that.
A deep and pervading sense of futility strikes.
Why keep struggling?
You’ve been fighting for two years.
Where has it gotten you?
All this hard work…
what has it amounted to?
People say they wish they could help,
but there is no follow through.
I’m learning that I would rather people say, “Gosh, that sucks. I’m sorry” rather than “I can help.” Public service announcement: Do not offer to help a single mother on the verge of eviction and then realize later that there is nothing you can do to help her.
When you’re 42 years old
with two young children,
celibate for the last two years,
yearning for human contact
but trusting no one…
When there’s just $35 in your checking account…
and your AC has been broken for two weeks
and there’s a wiring problem in your house
necessitating running extension cords
from your refrigerator and freezer
to outlets in another room…
When you’re feeling
tired, angry, and lonely,
but you’ve made a commitment to sobriety
to try to claw your way out
of this pit you’ve fallen into…
When the only direction you can go is up,
but you’re so damn depressed that breathing feels hard—
HOW DO YOU FIND THE STRENGTH TO CLIMB?
Friends, that last question is not rhetorical. I quite literally want to know how YOU, you who have made it through tough circumstances and who have come out stronger, how YOU did it. I need some hope. Please share your experience, strength and hope with me.
Back in anxiety and depression,
like they are waiting there
always in the wings
for a moment
that I might just gain some footing
at which point
they stick out their legs
just as I walk by
DOWN I go
tripping, falling, stumbling,
They tell me to remember my place.
They won’t let me ever forget.
How do you escape a prison with no walls?
How do you gain freedom
from the inner persecutor?
I would tear them out if I could,
but I can’t find where they live.
How do I find resolve to keep going
when it feels like agony just to breathe?
Stuck in darkness.
Swallowed in a feeling of futility,
waiting for it to end.
What is the solution?
I’ve tried everything I could
and now I’m told
medicine might help.
My feelings are valid.
My circumstances are challenging
and every time I reach out for support
my arms aren’t long enough
and my cries aren’t loud enough;
despite my best efforts to connect
I find myself engulfed
in utter loneliness.
If you’ve never been here before
you might find it hard
to relate to these words.
If you’ve been here before
tell me how you got out.
If you are here now with me,
let me know.
Let me know I’m not alone.