Black & White Shuffle

They are soft tears
Rolling slightly
I sit innocent
As they trickle
No cascade
Just a trickle
Just enough
A lasting reminder
I’m not in control
Often calling the shots
Television in the rears
Begging for distraction
Yet I stare
Yet memories blare
Yet anxiety taunts
Thoughts of despair
Wet cheeks in tow
I shuffle off to bed

Fall From Grace

This fragile soul
So wrapped up in shame
Lifeless under these covers
Begging for the darkness
Haunting memories cling
To her mind
Play and replay
Painful glimpses
Of her fall from grace
Of her loss of sanity
Not a shred of perspective
To her name
Muted as the burden
Of reality
Of the damage done
Continually slaps her
Embarrassed red face

What could have been

Swept away by the good ol days
My mind capturing
Those memories
Holding them up as a reminder
Of what was
The me I used to be
The first time of lasting sobriety
Opened up my tiny world
For a span of 4 years
My tortured mind unfurled
I moved about my life
Head held high
Freedom began to ignite
The ability to follow through
I awoke with vigor before the sun
Pounded the pavement
Breathing lightly during my run
My old dusty tennis racket
Found its way to my hand
A favorite sport replaced by booze
Which was never the plan
I soon rose through the ranks
As the tennis gods looked on
One of the best players in the valley
A team quickly signed me on
Thrown into playing competitively
I fell in love
Became obsessed
Never would I have thought
I’d find the game again
My best self blossoming
Finally living life
Not merely existing
Though not for long
The darkness came for me
I ran faster
Played harder
The demons of my mind returned
Wreaking havoc
Stealing my beloved racket
Collapsing in silence
I began to hold my breath
Ultimately ended up in a hospital bed
No sense of self
Crawling my way back
Years stretch into more years
Stability ever elusive
Fighting side effects
Fighting voices
Fighting for my life
Prescription for exercise
When I can barely get out of bed
Sitting on the couch
Trying to make sense of it all
My doc suggests I reach for the racket
Try to relive the glory
I explain to her
That is no longer me
That door has been long closed
Desire stolen from me
Faith in my self, my skill
Lost in the rabbit hole
Can’t find it in some pill
I hate her for the suggestion
The reminder of what could have been

If Only for Today

Beautiful morning ushers my eyes open.  Sun shining bright. Heater running full blast to keep me warm and safe. Not to mention the big strong man sleeping next to me. My husband holds me near, keeping monsters away.  The depression of yesterday crept long into the night. The little clock reads 7:57. We slept in and it felt so good. Rest. Restoration was much needed. Yesterday was a rough day, but now a new day dawns.  Well, I missed the dawn.  But, I embrace it just the same.

We listened for the coffee to brew. The signal to officially wake.  The last spit of water and air was heard and we jumped up as if it were Christmas morning.  Energy filled my body and a smile graced my face. A real honest to goodness smile.  I love the man I share my life with! He makes me laugh, allows me to cry. Talks me through the darkness and the light. I am blessed to have such a loving soul to hold hands with.

We raced to the coffee pot. One grabbing creamer, one grabbing mugs. Its not too often gratitude comes into my mind of its own accord, but this moment was an exception.  Warm coffee made its way to my belly. Perfect.

He played my favorite record of late, Chris Stapleton The Traveller. His gravel(y) voice just reaches into me. We looked at pictures from our 2 day excursion to the beach. Memories were made and we were reliving them. Each push of the button reminded us of another moment in time. Surfers. Sea Lions. Waves. Portraits. Vast open space of the Pacific Ocean. Beauty. Our tv transformed us back in time as I captured the journey with the click of technology. I could almost smell the ocean air. Feel the pebbles on my feet. Feel the sun warming my face.  Behold the magic of water.

Steam was spiraling from my coffee, cats sleeping on the couch, music coming from the corner of the room. Couldn’t be more perfect.  Hard to believe yesterday I had thoughts of jumping off a bridge. Just yesterday I wanted to give up.  I felt I had no more fight in me. No more resilience. No more energy to carry on. Less than 24 hours has passed and I feel like a new person. Its amazing. I tend to curse Bipolar disorder. It has caused so much chaos and havoc on my life.  But today, it allows me to be grateful for the change in mood. For the time spent with my best friend home and away. For the little things like favorite records, hot cups of coffee, kitties on couches.

When you are lost in an inner world of voices and visuals, or steeped in a depression so low you can taste  the ground, or racing thoughts carry you from room to room, or agitation wraps itself around your body and mind, genuine smiles and appreciations are hard to come by. I am no stranger to sudden changes in mood. But, I am not going to stand in my own way this morning. I am going to let the day unfold as it will.  Worry will not keep me from visiting a friend later. Fear will not keep me from expressing myself. I promise myself to take hold and enjoy the grace that has been given to me, if only for today.



Sacred Space

Music whispers from the old phonograph
Candlelight crawls along the wall
You sitting in the recliner
I nestled on the couch
You with cold beer in hand
Me warming up to a cup of tea
Making new memories
While old memories unfold
Tales of childhood
Rummaging through our minds
Long forgotten stories
On the tips of our tongue
Some laughter filled
Some boiling with sorrow
My hand touches yours
Footprints on our imagination
Bring kid like dreams to surface
Confessions in the dark
Bring us closer still
Shadow selves begin to dance
And sway
In the harmony of our share
Secrets once buried so deep
Breathe into the comfort of you
The sacred space of we