Bad day You know it by the thousand mile stare The one I get caught in when not actively concentration on anything Alone, looking at the world through glass Days that quantum physics assert the worlds just an illusion Nothing really reaches me Yet, I feel perpetual sorrow Aching loneliness
Bad night You know it by the introvert behavior The one I show when feeling unsafe, unconnected, unloved Seemingly at ease, but constant vigilant Nights when the dark is comforting and hiding creeping menace Nothing really catches my attention Diversions only a source of stress I walk to and fro without aim or results
Re-post comment: Plagued by the black dog of depression. I nearly convinced myself to skip Wandering the Archives Wednesday. Until I realized that’s how it always goes. I tell myself really unkind things. And go further into darkness.
So here’s a poem about just how bad such days are.
If you’re suffering. Know you’re not alone. That there is no shame!
Today’s poem is inspired by all three pieces of art. It’s an effort to put words on how it is to live with depression, complex PTSD, and every other traumatic rewiring of my mind.
Written in one of those interwoven forms I like so much – Pantoum. This is the first time I’ve written a longer version than the standard four verses. At first I did not intend a Pantoum, but after having written the first four stanzas (or first verse) I realized that’s where I was going. Neither did I intend a long one. That happened due to flow, rhythm, stanzas enough to make it a coherent whole.
A Dutch visual artist. He is also one of the two men behind the publishing house Petrichor. Freedom is very important in the visual work of Marcel Herms. In his paintings he can express who he really is in complete freedom. Without the social barriers of everyday life.
There is a strong relationship with music. Like music, Herms’ art is about autonomy, freedom, passion, color and rhythm. You can hear the rhythm of the colors, the rhythm of the brushstrokes, the raging cry of the pencil, the subtle melody of a collage. The figures in his paintings rotate around you in shock, they are heavily abstracted, making it unclear what they are doing. Sometimes they look like people, monsters, children or animals, or something in between. Sometimes they disappear to be replaced immediately or to take on a different guise. The paintings invite the viewer to join this journey. Free-spirited.
He collaborates with many different authors, poets, visual artists and audio artists from around the world and his work is published by many different publishers.
Christine O’ConnorIs an artist working in glass, metal, fibre and paint. Sometimes her work is based on photographs, but more often, she creates in the moment. She loves to play with texture and colour.
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”
For reasons that will probably get out in my writing, I’ve haven’t posted in a while. But with end of summer approaching I felt the need to reconnect, to restart, to refocus. A Beloved Quadrille felt like a good start.
Abandoned and abused, I grew to fear you But in truth, I where reared by you
Bullied as other, ostracized by my peers Alone with daily jeers, leers and snears Childhood and adolescence, year after year Branding me as strange and queer
Yours the only company to keep me near Convincing me I’m a mere shadow Not really alive, not supposed to be here
Developed intimate knowledge of all your tiers As loneliness you have tooth and claws that tear Lead chains that trust steer Forged by every untruth spear Betrayal heart and soul sear Invisible barriers separating, from those you hold dear
Dark lonely nights your visits I fear Haunted hours filled with tears Leaving me hollow and sheer As pale dawn washes the heavens clear
After becoming a mother, I’ve started to befriend you, we’re Old pals, whatever the history, that’s clear Nowadays I even hold our moments dear Filled with new knowledge, hope and trust I’ll never again from my own side veer
All that I seek I can find within my own heart soul sphere
This piece where not something I wished to write, but perhaps needed to write, as whatever I thought about the subject solitude – that I express both it and loneliness quite often – got drowned out by this piece rhymes running in loops in my mind.
In the prompt Björn writes; In today’s situation of social distancing, we all have taken a crash course in loneliness, and when learning to cope. Today I would like you to write about your own experience with how you find strength in solitude or how you still struggle with loneliness.
This week in group we where taught a Mindfulness technique called 3 – 2 – 1, it can be done sitting or walking, eyes open or closed, and as so many other meditation tools for the beginner it’s easier achieved sitting still with eyes closed. So we start there until we can do it more freely.
It’s purpose is to soothe and calm an overactive mind.
Here’s how to do 3 – 2 – 1
State, silently or aloud, three things you See, Hear and Feel(as in perceive with a sense). Then two things of each. Then one.
Breath calm, deep and even during. Though the focus here is not breath but the world around.
I see purple tulips. I see rain drops. I see a stack of books. I hear the sound of typing. I hear birds singing. I hear the sound of wind. I feel the warmth of my sweater. I feel the chill spring air trough the window. I feel the wood floor beneath my feet.
I see purple tulips. I see a stack of books. I hear birds singing. I hear the sound of wind. I feel the warmth of my sweater. I feel the chill spring air trough the window.
I see purple tulips. I hear birds singing. I feel the chill spring air trough the window.
I have found this tool to work quite well, especially done in nature, but then all forms of meditation is easier for me there. Even writing a version now made me way more mindful and present in the current moment.
After four weeks meditating several times daily, it feels like a habit has formed, that I’ve completed the first step on the path. Now I’m looking forward to finding out what the next step is.
The attentive might notice, way more than four week’s have now gone since the first post. When I started this series, I envisioned meditating this intensely, mening around three hours per day, for the duration of the eight week – Compassion Mind Training – and writing a post for each week.
Then corona virus SARS-CoV2 causing the illness Covid-19 pandemic hit the world. And everyone’s lives changed. Including cancellation of all non-essential treatments to lighten the load on the health care system.
I’m happy and heartfelt grateful for having managed to make meditation a routine before the pandemic, and I’m proud to say I still meditate daily. It might not cure PTSD or clinical depression, but it helps to cope with both.
Going forward I plan to set up a page to gather my resources on Compassion Focused Therapy and meditation. I will also keep writing posts about my own experience and path. Reviews of tools, techniques, teachers, books and other resources. And share the insights I gather on the way.
In September last year, meaning the first month back blogging, I wrote a piece called Bad day, about the days that PTSD and my clinical depression puts me so low I would like to just go hide. (Or die depending on how bad it gets.)
Today was such a day when the fact there’s no one to reach out to, felt like the worst thing ever, all I wanted was to hide away and cry.
Instead I did my meditation, tried to go about my day as normal and dragged myself to practice (since we’re advised physical distance rather then lockdown). It didn’t really help, but tomorrow I’ll know I did most of what I aimed today. And hopefully that will give me something.
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.