I Have Surrendered on This Night

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Tonight I will unpack my worries,
tuck them gingerly beneath my pillow
and lay my head upon them
so that they may feel safe.
When I close my eyes against
the violence of racing thoughts
behind them, perhaps it shall see
the red streaking the white of them
and know I have surrendered on this night.
As I sink down into the darkness,
strength drifts out and away from me,
to take first watch at my feet.

© Nicole Lyons 2017

You are never alone – Sarah Jean Bowers

Depression and anxiety
Encompass more than sadness,
Fumbling hands,
and racing heartbeats.

It’s missed deadlines,
Canceled plans,
drawn blinds to block the sun,
prayers to make it to dawn.

It’s silence
after breakdowns,
Bruised knees
From praying
for peace.
It’s lying in the fetal position,
drowning in a sea of tears.

It’s succumbing to grief
And the lies it sometimes tells.
It’s heartache
holding you down.
It’s searching for answers
at the bottom of the bottle
when you sometimes hate
the taste of air.

But it doesn’t have to be permanent.
Your strength is stronger
than that which holds
you down.

You know the taste of
resilience and perseverance.
It’s as sweet as
the sun when
You finally step outside
and she kisses
your face.

You have touched hearts
with your bravery,
Unknowingly healing
others’ wounds
when they realize
they are not alone.

The stigma is fear’s best friend.
Don’t let it paralyze you.

This world has
hands to hold,
With journeys and
breakdowns
Similar to your own.

You, beautiful soul, are never alone.

© Sarah Jean Bowers 2017

sjb

Sarah Jean Bowers is a poet, old soul, and resilient warrior.

At the age of eight, she lost her mother in a tragic car accident. She self-medicated with poetry and began to put words to the feelings that held her down. Twenty years later her father died in an accident. She attempted to soldier through, but PTSD and anxiety forced her to take a step back, slow down, and start to heal her wounds. She listened to her body and finally took the time she needed to find steady ground and a purpose to live her life to the fullest.

She has turned her tragedy into poetry with the intention of empowering and healing others with her words. You can find her poetry on Facebook and Instagram.

In the absence of melancholy

Fear no longer sits with
melancholy; it dances wildly,
trumpeting its arrival upon the
departure of sadness. There was
security in despair, as if
depression was some sort of
cloak of invisibility, and wrapping
myself in it ensured my quiet
observation of the world.
Fear has stripped me of my cloak
to parade me naked
through rush hour traffic,
an amusing distraction
for the hordes of unforgiving eyes.
The echoes of laughter
have found a way deep into
the canals of my ears, riding
the waves into my brain to stick
like terrible songs; melodies
that pine for lost loves
like melancholy and me.

© Nicole Lyons 2017

One of those days – Mariah Yates

I am so pleased to welcome a new face (from our Facebook page) to TLC today.

 

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We all have our days
The days we don’t see coming
Where everything that can go wrong
Seems to go wrong
Or maybe just one really shitty thing
That makes the rest of the day crappy regardless
& we let those days break us
Strip us of all hope
Reconsider all the other little shitty things going on
Let them all add up
Let them weight us down
We help ourselves into a down fall
Open the door for ourselves, to misery
Invite it right in
Yesterday was one of those days for me
& I can still feel some of it lingering with me
Threatening to drag me back down
Wanting my mind to wander to feeling sorry for myself
Wanting me to wallow & cry
Wanting to make me feel bitter & angry
Wanting me to scream that “its not fair”
But ya wanna know what?
I’m still here
Still living, breathing, carrying on with my day
& yeah maybe, that doesn’t really make things better
The emotions are still valid
& its still unfair
But I think we tend to forget
Just how many of these days we’ve had before
That we are here now
At this point in life, cause we made it through them
They will pass
& better days will eventually follow
Great days even
Don’t let a bad day
Make you think its anymore than just that

© Mariah Yates 2016

 

mariah

 

Mariah is a 25 year old mother of two beautiful boys. She has been writing since elementary. She was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in her teens and uses her writing as an outlet, it helps her cope.

“I love when someone can relate to something I write. It tells me a lot about them & helps me realize I’m not alone in my struggles. I’d like to help end the stigma that surrounds mental illness and to just share some of the chaos in my mind.” – Mariah Yates

The Long Sleep – FC

I wrote this last year. It was my first attempt at prose and still one of my favourite pieces.

The Long Sleep

If I Could – Nicole on FC

A huge thank you to Julie Anderson and Feminine Collective for publishing one of my most personal pieces today. I wrote this one quite awhile back in response to people dismissing my illness.

If I Could

A Family Plan for Depression

The first time I posted this was in 2014 but I have no idea where it is, so here we go again, because it’s that time of year and I know what could happen. My fingers are crossed that it won’t, but this ain’t my first rodeo, better safe than sorry.

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Being a Mom is tough, wonderful, but tough. Being a mom who sometimes becomes overwhelmed with depression and anxiety is exceptionally tough. Most moms that I know personally struggle with thoughts of “how bad am I screwing up my kids?” These are common questions that the most loving and caring mothers think, usually on daily basis. The funny thing is that we know we are amazing moms. Throw depression into the mix and pack your bags because we are going on a guilt trip.

Back in October I was thrown into a pretty intense state of depression. It was a combination of a smoking cessation medication, time of year, and an extended family issue.

A few weeks prior to this I has been feeling great when my youngest daughter brought home a permission slip for a field trip. Not only did I sign it but I also volunteered to chaperone. When I had to go back on my promise and tell her that I couldn’t do it, the look in her eyes broke my heart. To a point she understood, I’m open with them about my illness, but it still hurt her.

Knowing I hurt her just compounded the feelings of guilt in me, which added to the feelings of worthlessness and the fact that I was a terrible mother. How much better off would they be with a Mom who could be there for them all the time, instead of a mom who can’t always be counted on because of an invisible illness? Depression just loves to rub it in, “Look at you fail.”

I’ve beat depression before, and something that little fucker can’t touch–my plans that I put into place when I’m at my best, for when I’m at my worst. My girls are a huge part of those plans. Last year I showed them how to get themselves ready after school without my help while I supervised. Together the three of us chose a “safe spot” just off the school property. This spot has a bench by a little marshy pond and it’s quiet. It’s about 3 feet away from the school’s soccer field. I can see the school from the bench. It’s my spot for when I’m down and can’t deal with the masses of screeching kids and parents when it’s time to get the kids from school.

We had to use the safe spot in October and the girls were superstars. When I dropped them off they were aware that they were to get themselves organized after school and I would be waiting for them at our spot. I got there early after spending all day in bed. I heard them before I saw them, running towards the fence. They were laughing! I was filled with such pride at that moment.
The spot was used for three days before the girls’ dad had to take time off work to stay home. It got pretty close to me going inpatient. But, I fought my way out. I know it’s hard on my children when they see me at my worst, I wish it didn’t have to be that way, but they’re happy kids. They’re also kids that know how to execute a plan when need be. We have other plans that we may one day have to put into place. We practice these kinds of plans like other families practice fire drills. We do those too though. You can never be too prepared.

Glimpse

 

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I see how your smile never quite

reaches the sadness

that swims in your eyes.

And I can’t help but wonder

at the stunning beauty

in your sorrow

and the untold strength

of your spirit,

and how it is always

the most precious souls

who cloak their melancholy in courage.

© Nicole Lyons 2016

Of Maniacs and Manics

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Photo Source: Pinterest

 

You understand words like,
empty, dry, and nothing
but you’ll never know
what hollow feels
like
because your mind
will never take you
under.
It won’t swallow
the smile
from your daughter’s face
before it ever reaches
your eyes.
You understand words like,
full, vibrant, and ecstasy
but you’ll never know
what euphoria feels
like
when you walk body
hot
on a wet summer’s day
into a cool room,
worlds colliding
on your skin.
You call me crazy
because I feel
everything,
but I feel sorry
for you
because you don’t.

© Nicole Lyons 2016

Never Leave My Side – Abbie Zebrowski

Never-Leaves

 

It’s a war

that can’t be won

only fought

It’s a pain

that burns fresh

and it burns deep

It’s a disease

that hides behind

pretty smiles and

sparkling eyes

It’s a silent scream

with bloody talons

tearing through the soft flesh

of my still beating heart

It lurks just beneath

the surface of my

serenity

The darkness that

overwhelms my light

The fear that wakes

a child at night

It

Never

Leaves

My

Side

© Abigail Zebrowski 2015

 

Abbie-Sidereal-Catalyst

Abbie is a published writer and poet who creates with passion and conviction. She doesn’t shy away from the truth and often writes about her personal journey with depression and anxiety. Abbie is a fierce mental health advocate determined to promote awareness and fight stigmas, which inspired her to start Depression: Catalyst for Change. Connect with Abbie on Sidereal Catalyst, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.