Yes, I Remember You

Yes, I remember you.
I remember the hitch
and the gasp before
my veins opened up
into fields upon fields
upon barren wastelands.
I remember how thunder felt
that night when a thousand
wild stallions carried my pulse
around the mountains of my bones
and placed it where I hoped
I would never remember you again.

© Nicole Lyons 2017

Dropping Hell and Heavenly Shoes

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Don’t tell me that
there is no such thing
as hell when your shoes
are filled with heaven,
you have seen me struggle
with the weight of it.
Come and sit a spell
and let me drop hell
for you to look into
and we will see how quickly
heaven moves you then.

©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.

Peace by Piece – Nicole on FC

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A big thank you to Feminine Collective for publishing one of my poems today. This one was a hard write but so freeing.

Peace by Piece

It was always yours

welcome-home
Picture Source: Pinterest

Enter with a happy heart
and clean feet.
You broke that battle before
it broke you. Don’t ever
let it back in.

Walk down hallways
and remember. You have taken
back what they had
stolen. It was always
yours. Welcome home.

© Nicole Lyons 2016

A cosmic radiance

stars

I shall take my pain

and turn it into beauty

so blinding

the stars will dim,

the sun will fall,

and even the heavens

will weep.

© Nicole Lyons

Nourish Your Soul – Shareen Mansfield

I am so pleased to welcome the brilliant and beautiful Shareen Mansfield to The Lithium Chronicles. I absolutely love Shareen and everything that she does at Open Thought Vortex, and for everyone who crosses her path.

Welcome to TLC, Shareen.

Nourish Your Soul

by Shareen Mansfield

I haven’t written much the past few months. The last time I really wrote, my world imploded and extinguished my ability to cope with anything. Writing was supposed to be an outlet for me. In the past writing, reading, music, even watching television would snap me out of whatever this is. I don’t know what “this” is. I know I am miserable. I know I can’t keep doing this. I know I have to eat. I have to drink. I have to take care of my children. I have to take care of my husband. I have to care of my dog. I have to take care of my cat. I have to take care of my bills. I have to take care of everything. Problem is I don’t care at all right now. Maybe this is a nervous breakdown. My eating disorder is the worst it has been. I spent so much time taking care of so many people I lost the ability to recognize my own needs. Last week I was so dehydrated I lost my voice.

 

During the weeks prior, my time was spent researching a no sodium diet for my husband’s uncle. Everyone around me comes to me with questions or for support. I’m used to this. I love it, feeling wanted, appreciated, most especially recognized for what I do best. I fell apart when all my research was discarded. Ignored. Pushed away. Why ask me for help to only disregard it all? I stopped eating and drinking, driving my eating disorder back into a rock-bottom-go-to-the-emergency-room situation. I’m okay now. I’m not fantastic. I’m not wonderful.

 

To be honest, I ate a half piece of toast with a bottle of Gatorade today. That is still the bare minimum. Still unhealthy. If I continue at this rate, I will land myself back in a coma as I did several years ago. Why is this happening? I’ve had a lot of time to think about this while the doctors examined me. I’m lucky. Since my coma, collapsed lung, and that God awful septic shock ravished my body, I have been on a restricted “activity” order by the doctors. I gained weight when I stopped running. When my eating disorder reared its ugly head, this time I was overweight enough allowing me time to recognize what I was doing to myself. Why did I stop eating? Stop writing? Stop caring?

 

I blame myself for the actions/reactions of others around me. I failed to see something so simple. I always lend my support to others. Services I should charge for I provide out of kindness. I donate my time, even money to others who need it. I let myself get used. The truth is I am really pissed off right now. When someone asks a favor of me or advice, I go out of my way to make sure I am giving the best of me to them. I am pissed because I feel betrayed. I feel raped. I feel lost. I feel beaten. Turns out I do have feelings. Saying I don’t care is all a lie. I like to make people happy. No, I need to make people happy or better or sane or relaxed. My world revolves around everyone around me.

 

I’m going to be honest here. Only a few of my friends have ever done anything to actually help me. Two friends/family members knew I was hurting, wrote beautiful poems for me. Another friend texts me daily to make sure I am ok, even calls my husband if I don’t answer her right away. My oldest friend texts me “Wood” at least four times a day as an inside joke we’ve shared for over 15 years. I do feel used. I feel taken advantage of. I give so much of me so freely I forget I am disabling myself. One friend came to the hospital, even went to court with me when a friend I had to quit thought everything I wrote was about her. It wasn’t. It was creative nonfiction. I had to request a Protection From Stalking Order against her.

 

I care so much about not hurting others that on the day we went to court, despite all the “unfortunate incidents,” damage of my property, and harassing calls that had been going on for weeks, I asked the judge to dismiss my request for the PFS so that friend I quit could get well in order to have her children back in her life. She agreed to leave me alone, to not harass me only to have one of her friends later send me message on Facebook trying to extort and threaten me.

 

Let me come clean on a few things here: No one can hurt me if I tell the truth. The threats she levied against me don’t bother me because they are lies. Easily disproven by professionals and witnesses. Not even friends of mine. A random poll of people around me would disprove everything she thought she “had” on me. Why am I feeling so hurt? So lost?

 

Right now, I am not lost. I know exactly what is happening and why. I let myself be used. People I trusted never offered to donate their time to help me. Never did anything because it was the right thing to do. Never did it without tallying up what I owed if they did it. I wasn’t keeping tabs. The hours I spent, the energy, the research, even the inspiration I provided helped them while killing me.

 

What have I learned from this? I’ve learned that I stopped eating because my mouth is part of the communication process. I did not want to open or use my mouth at all. I felt I had to gag myself, even stop eating because if I don’t communicate in any way no one can use me anymore.

 

The deepest betrayal comes from those you trust the most. That’s what happened to me. I did not know how to ask for help. I reached out to another blogger/friend, a person so articulate, so brilliant, so compassionate. I reached out to say I need help. I don’t know how to ask. I don’t know what I need. I’m not eating. I am dying slowly. Within seconds she was shooting it straight. Take care of you. Whatever you need, I will help. Fuck writing, she said. Take care of you. Let’s see if we can work together to get you what you need.

 

I felt I had to ask permission to ask for help. To ask for a break. Permission to shut down, deal with my health. My fears, my pain, my real tragedies happening around me. My severe anxiety disorder off the charts as I was texting her, my heart raced to 155 BPM. I was still wearing my Garmin Heart Rate Monitor and Forerunner. I was pacing. I wasn’t chewing my nails. Chewing my nails would mean using my mouth. Instead I used nippers, shredding my fingers till they bled. Fingers like raw meat, blood on my nightgown, blood on my phone.

 

I had thrown my phone outside earlier in the evening. Placed my MacBook Pro in the composite bin shortly after that. I wasn’t going to write or communicate. I felt someone had raped me again; this time the rape was of my mind, my advice. I knew I was giving more than I was getting.
Luckily, my husband saw me sobbing in the corner of our bedroom. Watched as my dog whimpered, pawing at me, licking my tears as they gurgled and sputtered out of me. Luckily, I trusted my friend, I reached out to others who knew me, really knew me. I asked for help for the first time in my life. That’s it. I reached out to find several hands ready to pull me out of the fire I was burning in.

 

Today, today is an okay day. I know I am not “well.” I know I have to set alarms to eat, drink, sleep, rest, cook, thrive. I added “thrive” there at the end. In order for me to thrive I have to stop giving so much of me away. . . I’m an all or nothing person. I am working on the middle now. I want to thrive, see my children, feel them, connect with those that matter to me.

 

Starting today I end my fear of asking. I end my fear of saying “No.” I start fresh, expressing myself as I always have, with honesty and humor. I don’t have to throw myself away to be me. I just need to recognize that I am more than “useful.”

 

I am allowed to feel overwhelmed.

 

I am allowed to break.

 

I am resilient.
shareen
Shareen Mansfield is the founder and publisher of Open Thought Vortex Magazine. When she isn’t pounding the pavement into submission with her excessively lovely feet, she spends her days redefining what it means to be an ally, survivor, mother and friend. Basically, she’s all-around awesome. Her work has recently appeared in Role Reboot, Raising Mothers and The Honeyed Quill. You can find her every Friday on Facebook and Twitter co-hosting #LinkYourLife with the verve of a social media dominatrix.

3am Thoughts – Matthew D. Eayre

There comes a time to say goodbye to who somebody is, and let go of who you wanted them to be.

My grandmother told me this when I was too young to understand, but I have remembered. I was heartbroken (I thought) over a girl who meant everything to me (I thought) and I asked,

“why won’t she let me love her?”

 

My grandmother patted me on my hands and looked into my eyes as she told me. I did not want to be alone, and that was the whole story for me. What I wanted, what I felt. It took me over twenty years to really understand, to see what she meant.

 

I have my feelings, my thoughts, my inescapable wants. I have my rules for life, my desires and my insane needs, I have only my own learned lessons to use, and what I needed to know then, as a teenage romantic, is the same thing I need to know now.

 

Other people have their own selves…they want. They need. They see from where they have hurt, they cry over their own unfulfilled urges, they choose their own rules and sometimes (all the time) they will choose not to give me what I want. I can give my real heart to whomever I choose but the choice to take that love and give love back is not mine to make

 

My sister just died, crossing the street late at night, hit by someone with no idea how that moment would change things for her, for her daughters and grandchildren, for her brothers and sisters. She did not want to die that night, of that I’m sure. She died almost immediately after being struck, on the blacktop of a city street, she never got to say goodbye to all of the people that loved her. When I was a child Ruane was my favorite, I know it’s not considered nice to have favorites but I did and she was. She was shiny, she was outspoken and fierce, she was loyal and loving. She looked out for me, almost eleven years older than me, she made me feel so special, to her, to her. I realized recently that was just her way, through her whole twisted life, she tried to make other people feel special, to feel loved, but when I was young I felt isolated and strange…I was not like anyone I knew and they knew it, I was too quiet or too different, she tried so hard to show me that I was good enough, better, she wanted me to feel secure in myself. As a teenager I lived with her and her husband, I cared for my nieces during the day and we had adventures together. She was the first person I looked up to, I wanted her fire. She had a way of immediately making friends with people that I was so envious of… She could read people and know how to approach them, like a heart-whisperer she could make anyone love her as soon as they talked to her. I wanted that.

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When I came of legal age, I tried to figure out how to pretend to be a normal person, working and paying bills and going out with people to have fun, asking girls (women) to date me, trying to make friends with whoever I met and…I was terrible at it. I was once again too different from other people, I said things in a strange way, I couldn’t speak the language like everyone else, my accent wasn’t right so people could tell I wasn’t like them.

 

mat3

 

Ruane tried to help me, she spent time with me and we talked about me…she tried to understand who I was so she could explain to me what I couldn’t see. She taught me so much about myself that I had never known, just by seeing me. As she went through her own problems she always reached back to me when I called, she always listened. I decided so many times to kill myself and I could never do it without saying goodbye to her, and she talked me down over and over. Once she introduced me to her friend’s kids and showed me how quickly they loved me… They were calling me Uncle Matt after about five minutes. She told me how that had always been me, younger kids had always liked me and accepted me, even when kids my age (and adults my age) could not. She saved my life that night by showing me my value. Another time she got angry at me and called me out, showing me how my own bullshit was holding me back. She always knew the right way to get through to me.

 

When she became an addict and started fucking her own life up, she tried to shut me out because she said she couldn’t deal with the disappointment I must have felt for her. I turned the tables that day and showed her what she had done for me…she showed me how to love, to support someone that is going through hard times. I tried to, anyway…

 

For years she was my lost angel, and she stayed away because she wanted to, and every time I thought of her I would think…maybe, maybe, she can feel me thinking of her and she’ll try to reach back…she never did. I never did. She couldn’t be what I wanted her to be, and I had to let go of that…I wonder now, two weeks after it’s too late to ask, did she want to come back to me? Was she waiting for me to call her or apologize or something else?

mat4

I wish I would have tried harder. I wish she would have. The day is gone now, the words are unsaid and that’s something I need to learn how to deal with…

There comes a time to say goodbye to who somebody is, and let go of who you wanted them to be.

Some day…

© Matthew D. Eayre

matt

Matthew D. Eayre is a writer living in Denver with his wife and children. Refusing to exist as only one thing, he works as a supervisor in a delivery company while pursuing his BA in Accounting and chasing his dreams of making his voice heard in the world.

You can connect find more of Matthew’s stunning words at Matthew D. Eayre, Poetry of Monsters and on Instagram.

Purchase a copy of his extraordinary book here.

 

Crazy, Cancer & Chuckles

Last month Stephanie Bennett-Henry and I wrote something together that touches on Stigma. I was reluctant to post it for (get this) fear of offending people. How ridiculous is that? Pretty ridiculous considering the disgusting comments and jokes that people are making today, in regard to Sinead O’Connor.

I swear to God, some of you need to pass a test before using the Internet.

It’s May, which means it’s Mental Health Awareness month, and I tell you world, you fucking need it.

How funny would it be if I laughed as your daughter lay dying from cancer? What about your mother as she pukes up any strength she has left after dialysis? Maybe we could make a video that pokes fun at everyone who struggles to breathe in the middle of an asthma attack, bet we’d have a viral sensation on our hands there.

Your ignorance is showing, cover that shit up.

Stigma.

 

S&N illness

Abandoned in Wonderland – Charlene Trolinder

I wasn’t born into normality. My first breath I ever took on this earth came with struggle and strife. I’ve only known the painful roads of life. I guess that’s what contributed to the coldness of my beating heart most of my life. I wasn’t a daydreamer, a wish upon a star type, because I knew just how cruel life could be.

 

Then one day I met someone I saw in a different light. She touched a void in my life, a mother. I began to believe in fairytales. The Emerald city seemed so real and and the wizard was granting my wish. I almost couldn’t believe it after so long of emptiness and hurt, I had fell down the rabbit hole and found my wonderland, and my white queen was someone I could love and call mom. I should have known better. I should have known every star wished upon dies out. Every daydream fades away. Some fairytales don’t have happy endings.

 

As I believed and trusted in her she was out seeking her knight in shining armor. He turned out to be my worse nightmare. I became a passing thought. I was simply pushed aside. Her knight in shining armor became the slayer of my self-worth and dignity. He picked each word with the intent of using them to shatter my soul. Each volley of cruelty he spoke to me scarred my heart more and more. Love had become my death trap. I survived because you see since my first breath of life I have known nothing but to fight and survive.

 

Today I don’t sit here writing this hoping to wish upon a star or dream a dream a little sweeter, I sit here bleeding these words to grow and heal. Today I hope for the heart to know I can be loved, the brains to recognize I am worthy, and the courage to understand that one day the world will embrace me for who I am, the little fighter that forged an undying soul and a big loving heart.

 

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Charlene Trolinder aka Lorna Evol is a small town kid born and raised in Dumas, TX. She fought all her childhood to survive, born with a rare chromosomal disease. She attended West Texas A&M, where she obtained a Bachelor’s in Psychology. It was later in life that she realized she struggled with severe depression and anxiety. Each day is a battle, but she loves the simple things. She is an avid reader and animal lover. She draws her inspiration from her struggles, and she tries to give hope to others through her words.

Follow Lorna’s beautiful words on Evocative Eloquence.