My mind is running itself ragged in circles of surprised joy and deep self doubt. I made it! Can I? What if I fail? I got accepted! Should I? What if I don’t succeed? Over, and over, and over again. Until it’s hard to know which way is which. Until it’s damn near impossible to make a choice. Until I just want to flee until the opportunity is lost and forgotten.
A trapped animal Running in endless circles Finding no way out
This Pantoum sums up the way I’ve been feeling for a couple of weeks now. Again achieving things I long for and dream about sends me into a tailspin of deep self doubt, shame and anxiety. So I thought it fitting to make this the archive find for this week.
On the cusp of a dream achieved Truth of inner worth freed Bone deep self doubt revealed Planted with every unmet need
Truth of inner worth freed A girl bred to never succeed Planted with every unmet need She never learnt how to receive
A girl bred to never succeed A light shone where kind self-love breeds She never learnt how to receive Sorrow joy supersede
A light shone where kind self-love breeds Bone deep self doubt revealed Sorrow joy supersede On the cusp of a dream achieved
I refuse to let my current depressive slide stop my writing. So today I sat down to see if I could write a poem about my truth, my life, and the added stress that accounts for the current mood.
I long known I self-sabotage and have trouble receiving positive praise, but I didn’t know it ran this deep. I thought sending the submissions out where the struggle. The last weeks have shown me, that success and actually achieving a lifelong dream, with grace and real joy, is the real struggle and it’s only just begun.
This is one of my favorite linked forms, a pantoum.
My process for writing a pantoum goes something like this…
The pattern is ABCD, BEDF, EGFH, GCHA. Since line A and C becomes both the start and end I usually write the first and last stanza, then the middle ones.
A short little piece to end the week. To express how it feels to live with a mind always going on maximum speed. That thinks on and evaluates everything from every possible, unlikely and down right impossible angle. That doesn’t slow down even when both body and mind are exhausted. It just gets more far fetched and scattered.
Sometimes meditating works, often it doesn’t. Instead just cropping up new things to throw in the mix. Far from all thoughts are anxious, but when it spins that fast sooner or later stress and anxiety creeps in.
And before anyone gets worried, this is thankfully not how bad my depression is right now. This is processing by writing about it. It is also an attempt to help someone else express themselves. And a chance to show some hope for everyone having a hard time right now.
For me a tarn can be both a small woodland lake or a water filled old mining shaft, with inky black waters.
As the sun slowly rise I wake, from dreams of my demise Anxieties of every kind Flooding through my mind For breakfast, there’s the usual dark potion Full of self loathing and suicidal ideation During the day there’s the usual snacks Triggers and hailing panic attacks Lunch is often light Too stressed to eat a bite When it’s time for afternoon tea All I wanna do is run and flee In the evening I swallow screams for dinner My soul-thread growing ever thinner At night, alone in the dark, I despair Waiting to be taken by sweat-soaking nightmares
Written for Weekly Scribblings #33 at Poets and Storytellers United. Where we’re invited to to write new poetry or prose which includes the phrase “swallow screams for dinner” from C. Sandlin’s poem, “Telling Stories”
Once I couldn’t breathe. Lungs felt constricted, small. Deep breaths weren’t possible. With shallow breath, came fear, panic. It could strike anytime, anywhere. Panic-attacks really can feel like dying. You can’t breathe, heart beats painfully, reality narrows down to a gauntlet of worst nightmares.
I became obsessed with avoiding. Perpetually on my watch, fearful of anything that awoke the panic. Eventually I became a nervous wreck, who couldn’t face public commuting, certain neighborhoods or going to my childhood small-town. Life dwindled.
One day, a wise woman, asked how my breath was. First the question made little sense, but eventually I realized I didn’t breathe deep, with my stomach. The way I learned as a singer. Retraining, I discovered a connection with true-self, a path to less stress. Possibility of self-love. My voice.
There are moments between heart-beats. Between breaths. Wherein lies lifes true meaning.
I’m back to turning my life into prose or poetry. Here in just 144 words, I try to tell how full fledged anxiety and/or PTSD induced panic-attacks feel, what they do to you, and what I found to help me.
This is also much on my mind since I’m back to doing breath-exercises. It seems I have more to learn in this area too. Especially relating to breathing, meditating and self-compassion.