I Told Him No

He told me how brave I was,
writing my story into a sea of stigma,
how my words, my voice,
would break waves and save souls,
a lighthouse for the mentally ill,
the distraught, the unloved.

I told him no.

He told me how beautiful I was,
smiling sadly with eyes like burnt moons
hiding secrets behind the sun,
a gravitational pull for the mentally ill,
the distraught, the unloved.

I told him no.

He told me how special I was,
tempting great men with good faith,
a harlot born from Satan’s tongue,
a perfect delusion for the mentally ill,
the distraught, the unloved.

I told him no.

He told me he was mentally ill,
distraught, unloved,
in dire need of desperate release,
and salvation would only come on his knees,
shaking to the sound of my voice.

I told him no.

He told me how sorry I would be
when he twisted my words like arms
and shot arrows through the bull’s-eye
he had painted on my chest.

I told him no.

I am not the voice of a saviour,
nor the hint of a wish,
I am fucking dangerous,
coming to claw the truth
from behind a liar’s lips.

 

© Nicole Lyons 2017

Depression is Real and So is Ignorance

It’s suicide prevention month, and as most of you know, suicide is the second leading cause of death in children and teens, second to motor vehicle accidents.

Imagine my surprise when I woke up at 3am (I rarely sleep when I am beginning to swing) and went to twitter and saw the following from this ignorant fool:

Now we know that this guy is clearly lacking any sort of empathy, but my issue is that in 2017 we are still having to battle this ridiculous fucking mindset – ignorance – and with these people who have these platforms and followers who struggle with mental health themselves.

tate1

It is never okay to discount an illness, not fucking ever, that is the stuff that stops people from reaching out for help, and that is never okay.

 

Unkind people are usually that way because others have been unkind to them, but there is no excuse for ignorance or complete denial of mental health issues, that is a dangerous thing.

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When ignorance is given a voice, ours must be louder.

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Tate goes on and on in his Twitter rant stating, “Sure I’d be depressed if I was broke. Fat. Lonely. With zero life goals. Do I need pills or a reality check? You propagate the excuses.” and then I think about the well known and much-loved souls who have died by suicide and seemed to have been living everything Tate praises and I get furious.

Kurt Cobain
Robin Williams
David Foster Wallace
Chris Cornell

tate6

According to Tate, “Pretending depression is something you catch and absolving all personal responsibility while downing pills and complaining is BS.” and that, my friends is fucking staggering to me. Because this guy can not wrap his tiny head around facts, he’d rather admonish anyone who struggles and then kicks it up a notch with words like these, “Everyone’s a depressive now.  Oh, you’re all so special and have such hard problems those in Syria are glad they aren’t  you boohoo.” 

tate7

Trolls the likes of Andrew Tate are a dime a dozen, people struggling with depression and other mental illnesses are 1 in 5, and while Tate discriminates, Mental illness doesn’t. Let’s all hope the black dog is never nipping at this motherfucker’s heels.

tate8

The Andrew Tates of the world are part of the problem, you aren’t. You are a badass every damn day, because not only must you struggle with your own thoughts, you have to fight against this misinformed Andrew Tates of the world. Rock on with your badass selves, you’re the winners here.

If you are struggling at all, reach out, it is hard to do, but it is one of the bravest and best things you will ever do. Never be ashamed of your illness, it’s not your fault. Never let the unkind words of another stop you from seeking help because regardless of what fools say, they are only that: fools, fools who are looking for attention. You matter, your life matters, and you are never alone.

NicoleLyons-pcpic.png

If you are struggling please call The National Suicide Prevention Hotline

Something Pure

I am tired and I just want
something pure, something
beautiful to burst
from the filth of this sickness,
this tragedy that is
devouring my mind again.
And all at once I feel
nothing but the shriek
of my soul being
ripped from its bones.

© Nicole Lyons 2017

I Live Days

I live days in defeat,
beaten down
by my own mind
and the lies
it whispers to me.
But I have learned
to put my feet up
and rest easy
on those days.
For without that respite,
I could never dance
wildly when I live days
in the sunshine
of my victories.

© Nicole Lyons 2017

Breaking Beautiful

breakingbeautiful
Photo Source: Pinterest

Show me what
it looks like,
the beautiful part
of the breaking.
Describe it
to me in a way
that lets me feel
it down deep
where madness
decays in my bones.
I need to know
there’s beauty
somewhere in all
of these pieces
so I can believe
in something again
and know this
isn’t all for nothing.

© Stephanie Bennett-Henry 2016

It’s the held breath
burning against
walls of lungs
sighing into ecstasy.
It’s the terrified scream
burning the backs
of throats ripping
pain into pleasure.
It’s the storms
and stillness
we are made up of.
When the chaos
comes calling
the calm answers
her call,
and without one,
we have no other.

© 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.

Clusters

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It is as if some sort of cosmic energy
is continually pulsing
through my veins,
cascading along, dancing
with my white blood cells, finding
a home in every organ
of my body.
I hold the universe
inside of me
and I delight
in the idea of that for days
on end,
but when I hit blackest of holes,
the galaxies
that live beneath my skin
never cease.
Bone deep
exhaustion near cripples me,
the melancholy damn near swallows
me alive,
but still, the stars erupt
with every
ba bump of my heartbeat, and shoot
through my system.
This world is a cruel place
for a mad girl
with stars falling
under her skin.

© Nicole Lyons 2016

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For more of my poetry and prose you can check out The Poets section of the site or follow me at Nicole Lyons.

Broken, I love someone broken – Lizzi Lewis

Broken

Broken, I love someone broken

 

“We’re playing hot potato,” you had said
As we took turns to succumb to the monsters;
Those chemical teeter-totters in the playgrounds
Of our heads, and whilst I was below
Beset, prepared to die to spare you
(How nobly I would go, for you, for everyone
For those foolish enough to care if I lived
Or lost, or lived lost – how could I continue
To burden them, what dreadful cost.
What an awful way to repay their love!)
But you asked me, nicely, to please don’t leave
You told me you needed me, and I believed
Because deep down and intellectually
I know it’s true – ridding the world of me
Will not save you, or anyone, but forever brand with pain
Cause permanent heartbreak each time
You thought of me, or heard my name
And whatever burden I could ever conceive myself to be
Could not contend with the weight
Of being the one who didn’t

Save me

From myself
I’m on the rise
Head above water, feet touching sand
I’m surprised, yet so much is due
To those who rescued me
Not least to you, yet here I am
Apathetic, hopeless, incapable
I see you floundering and can
Barely chuck a word to help you float
You whose heart was like a rescue
A fucking ginormous boat, and now you need me
Now I’m less broken, and you’ve begun to sink
THIS is the burden you chose
You lovely fool, I’m useless!
I wonder if I’m worse for you
When I’m sick, or healthier
Either way, congratulations, you lose!
Your prize – a second broken mind
This one housed inside some other
Kind of personal crazy, just SO inept
Yet you, my dear, each day amaze me
With your persistence and the way you recognize
Even when they’re screaming at you – lies,
The lies our brains replay, to torture us
To make us want to quit, turn tables, end our day
In the peace of forever-sleep, yet somehow we’re unable
Knowing as we do that ending One

May be the end of Two

But
Still
Those
Voices
TEMPT

Then we swap
And off we go again
This dance macabre of neurons
Waltzing us to unbearable
Mental pain, forcing us to face
What, for each of us, seems true:
We drown ourselves to save the other
But in saving, maybe drown them too.

[Thank goodness it’s all lies
And love propels us into light
To hold hands, lock hearts,
To save ourselves…
TOGETHER
We. Will. Fight.]

© Lizzi Lewis 2016

LIZZZI

Lizzi is a Deep Thinker, Truth-Teller and seeker of Good Things, committed to living life in Silver Linings. She’s also silly, irreverent and tries to write as beautifully as possible. She sends glitterbombs and gathers people around her – building community wherever possible. She’s absolutely certain that #LoveWins.
A founder member 1000Speak, she hosts the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop each weekend and tries to #BeReal as often as possible.

Find Lizzi on Facebook * Twitter * Google+ * Pintrest

 

Crazy is a Luxury

It’s finally here, the day has come when I see my GP about an ECT consult. The medication/psychiatric merry-go-round is killing me. I can’t do this anymore. I haven’t left my house in weeks, I haven’t written for PC because let’s be honest, I’m not doing so well with “Living well with mental illness” and why the hell am I going to preach that to anyone?

The new office is cheerful. I feel safe as soon as I walk in. The girls take me to an exam room right away, I must look a hot fucking mess. I can hear him in the hall and I’m clearing my throat in preparation for my speech when he walks in.

“Hello Boss” he smiles.

I adjust my sweater and fix an angry look on my face, tears pooling in my eyes, threatening to spill over.

“Look at this! TWENTY-SIX FUCKING PAGES!!!! I can’t do this anymore.” The twenty-six pages fall to the floor. He sits down and scoots his chair closer to mine.

He looks at me with those wise eyes of his. I’ve come to him for over twenty years now, for everything from a scraped knee to appendicitis, it’s comforting and painful to watch him advocate…

“You are a manic. I have dealt with manics for 40 years, Nicole…you are terrible to live with. If you could live on a deserted island things would be great..but you can’t! You yell and scream! You make it ridiculously hard for anyone to live with you, you have ever increasing demands for people to live with you and sometimes they make sense, but most times they don’t.

You have seen every psychiatrist in this city and every psychiatrist will just give you more medication. And they talk…

You are a very smart woman who does not thrive when she is limited with psychotropic medication. You will never be sane by society’s standards. When I make a decision, I make it. I don’t have to second guess my choices like you do. I don’t have to look at a decision that I make and think, ‘is this going to effect the rest of my life and my children’s lives’ and I’m so sorry that you have to do that when you decide something. I am so sorry that you have to second guess every single choice that you make. 
The fact is Nicole, you don’t have the luxury of going crazy. Your brain wants to not be sane. Your choices require effort and you can not let your guard down and I’m sorry, BUT YOU DON’T HAVE THE LUXURY OF GOING CRAZY.”

 

He hands me a tissue and nods his head. I feel better because he listens and he talks to me like I’m a real person, not just some number in a filing system. He cares because he’s my family doctor, he knows me, he gets me, this crazy nonsensical brain of mine that makes perfect sense once you clear away the muddles.

“There is no drug that is going to heal you. If I were to say the one drug that has helped keep you flat it would have been lithium, but you don’t do well flat. You can’t function as a zombie. You can’t live without feeling so we will do what we can to make your life and the lives of those your life as healthy as we can, without the side effects. We will not shut you off. The stabilizers will remain and we will get you off of the sleeping pills, it will be very hard, but we will do it.

ECT is not an option right now. You are not suicidal and you are not psychotic or in the throes of any psychosis. If everything was shit and even breathing hurt, ECT would get you to the point that you are at now, it’s not a good fit, and we’d have to get you to a psychiatrist for that.”

My eyes bulge out, “Don’t you let that witch come anywhere near my brain ever again. I will lose my shit if I ever have to see her again.”

He sighs and nods his head, used to my little outbursts by now. That’s comforting though, he gets me. He sees progress. He can point out how I can see the swings before they occur. He reminds me of the leaps and bounds that I have made over the last four years.

I’m calm again. “So that’s it then, I’m not going back to her or any of them. Why is it that they all want ignorant patients? Why can’t they handle people who ask questions demand answers and refuse to be zombified?”

He gives me that look, “You know why. I won’t talk poorly about any of my colleagues, but I have seen so much. I won’t let you fall back in again. It is up to you to get rid of everything in your life that sets you off, everything that is not healthy for you. It’s time to start saying no for your own health. Do what you need to do because this is how you’re going to live a life where you can feel and not be shut off. You can’t function when you’re shut off.

I’ll see you in a month and we will go from there. Make an appointment sooner if you need to. You know what to do.”

Do not let a practice that won’t heal you kill you.

 

Twenty-six Pages

 

Remember when I said I was going to get the pharmacist to print out every single medication I have been prescribed since 2012? Well here it is and it is a whopping 26 pages long. There is shit on here that I had to Google, absolutely no fucking clue what it was, and no recollection of having taken it for, say 3 months.

Lexepro? Nope, I’ve never tried that one yet…Oh wait, yup sure have, it’s cipralex and it works for me…if my stabilizers are good, if not ↑ ↑ ↑ Buspar? Never heard of it, but apparently I sucked a shitload of that back too. Oh and don’t get me started on the lithium again. On it, off it, on it again, increased, decreased, off it, try it again – 5 fucking times.

My failure to recall these specific meds come from the big stay at the psych hospital, or as I like to refer to them, The Lost Months, so I can forgive myself for the memory loss there. They had me so drugged that I’m surprised I could feed myself. Oh wait, I needed help with that too (lithium tremors.) Oh! I just had a thought:

I need to get the records from the psych ward…all of them…to see what they had me on there…all the times I was in there…different pharmacy so my meds from inside are not reflected here. Goody, that means more.

 

Here’s a look at SOME of my outpatient meds over the course of 3 1/2 years:

Seroquel

Quetiapine

Resperidone

Lithium

Effexor

Clonazepam

Zopiclone

Ativan

Lamotrigine

Cipralex

Olanzapine

Trazadone

Cymbalta

Chlorprazamine

Loxapine

Buspar

Mirtazapine

Topiramate

Pramipexole

Escitalopram

 

I have been on and off some of these drugs numerous times, take lithium for example, 5 times. Went toxic three times requiring kidney scans and two weekends in the hospital being flushed by IV. The doses have been increased, decreased and then increased again on so many.

This list does not include medications to counteract side effects from these listed.

I have seen 4 psychiatrist, 2 psychologists, gone to CBT, DBT, mindfulness classes and yoga. I have jumped off of meds, which put me into seizures that sent me to the hospital (not proud of that and wouldn’t advise it at all) and I am tired. I am so tired of this. I couldn’t even begin to guess how many pills I have swallowed in the last 4 years.

January 20th is the day that I see my GP. I’m taking this list with me. I’m going to ask for an ECT consult, I don’t know what else to do.