Outside In

Felt like a stranger
Looking in
A window
Confused by
The actions
Witnessed
Tones detected
Perceiving
A cycle
Of frustration
Embarrassment
Tears and
Exhaustion
Asking questions
Inside my head
What is wrong?
Why so upset?


Felt like a stranger
Looking in
A window
But I was not
A stranger
And I was not
Looking in
A window
It was a mirror
My reflection
In the panes-
A realization
That left me
Wondering
Whether to take
A step back
Or lean in closer

Admitting feelings of anxiety and depression is not always easy. And even harder to explain. This poem is an attempt to describe that feeling of being outside myself. Knowing my actions and feelings don’t make sense, but having difficulty controlling them.

I share because someone reading may need to know they are not alone. And simply put, it helps me accept my reflection with a bit more grace and understanding. ❤️

Take a Step

You haven’t been
Very happy
Lately

Humph!
I thought
Incensed

But I know it’s true
And those words?
Spoken in love
So, why is it
Still so hard
To admit?
As if speaking
The words
Out loud
Gives them power
When actually
The opposite is true

You’re right
I’m depressed
Not simply
End-of-school
Exhausted
Though also true

Today’s remedies?
Sunshine
Fresh air
Newly planted
Flowers
Only enough
Planning to
Ease some stress
For the coming week
Small steps
Moving me
Forward
Gentle reminding
Only I can take
Those steps
But I don’t
Need to
Take them
Alone…and
Neither do you

Renewal

The ground swells
From soaking in
The tears
Of so many
While the sky lowers
From the weight
Of sighs rising
In desperation
Space in between
Shrinks from
Surrounding
Pressure
Creating
A fear of
Imminent
Suffocation
What happens if the two meet?
The groundswell
And the lowering sky
I don’t think they can.
Other elements
Are at work-
Kind words
Caring smiles
Acts of courage
Delivering
Deep breaths
Of fresh air
A rebirth of hope

Many things feel heavy this week. Today, I was encouraged by the power of kindness. I also noticed our azaleas are about to bloom. Both helped lift a bit of the weight. 💛

Somewhere Between

The morning sky
Matched my mood
Midnight blue?
Hard to tell
Before sunrise

Glance to the right
A tiny streak of light
Somewhere between
Pale pink and white
Off in the distance

Glance to the left
Both me and the sky
Somewhere between
Asleep and awake
Moving forward

Traces of hope
One seeking
One displaying
As darkness
Transformed
To daylight

Conversation in the Sun

One lonely
Bloom
Fighting
To stand up
Underneath
The weight
Of recent winds
And rain
A tiny speck
In the vastness
Of this world
Has anyone noticed?
Bent so low
Only able to
See my shadow
On the ground
As the sun
Shines above

Hey! Over here!
Bend your ear
My way
It seems you have
Grown weak under
The pressures of
Life in this garden
Don’t lose hope
Rest, recharge
Together

Our roots will
Grow stronger
And you will
Once again
Stand up tall
Your face
Soaking up
The sun’s rays

Protected

Morning fog
A welcomed
Sight
Matched
My fuzzy
Thoughts
Squinting
Into the mist
My eyes
Spotted
Tiny deer
Grazing
In a field
Unphased
Maybe
They felt
Protected
By this
Temporary
Blanket
Knowing from
Experience
Sunlight
Would
Eventually
Burn away
The haze

Photo by Ben Jessop on Pexels.com

Disclosure

Yesterday
My steps
Were heavy
Even the ones
Taking me
Where
I wanted
To go
Precious feet
Walked beside
In the sunlight
Of a clear
Fall day
Splashes
Of color
Painting
Our paths
Until the light
Slipped away
And heaviness
Completely
Draped
Demanding
To be named
Before sleep
Could come-
Now morning,
Fragments
Remain-
But I smile
At the beautiful
Pink sunrise

I have not written about depression lately. But honesty is my goal. And sometimes, admitting how I feel is the first step to feeling better. I love the fall colors and cooler temps. But when sunsets come earlier and cloudy days are multiplied, struggle sets in.

I am thankful for friends and family who understand and remind me it is ok.

The photo was actually taken a year ago. Matched today perfectly.

Good Company

Everything a chore
Getting dressed
Dishes, laundry
Talking, smiling
Each takes an
Effort beyond
The necessary
Every day is
Not this way
But today…
It is my reality
Trusting that
Giving voice
To the internal
Though difficult
Will bring relief
And if not for me
Possibly another
Not yet able to
Express their struggle-
Finding strength
In good company

This poem was an attempt to give words to a recent low period.
And though I am feeling better, I accept that it will not be my last. Such is this life. I share because it is so important to know we are not alone-even at our lowest. ❤

Two Poem Tuesday

Passing Storm

Once again
A storm is raging
Emotions swirling
Like a tornado
In my head
The beginning
Indistinguishable
From the ending
Questions flood
My thoughts-
Why this?
Why now?
Why me?
But I must push
Past the questions
And just be-
Waiting-holding on
Until a tiny
Break appears
In the clouds
A split second
Ray of sunshine
Piercing the dark
Clearing my thoughts
Lighting my path
Just enough to
Observe the dust
Beginning to settle
Assurance the storm is passing

Lost and Found

Where are you?
I sense you are close
But my eyes can’t see
 
I reach out my hands
Fumbling in the dark
Wishing the clouds away
 
Where are you?
I ask out loud this time
A little further-just listen
 
My feet move slowly
Toward the sound of your voice
It grows louder with each step
 
Suddenly, my hands touch yours
No longer lost, I stand with you
Under the light of the stars

Quest for Oatmeal

This week I suddenly found myself wanting oatmeal, of all things. Almost as intensely as those pregnancy food cravings. It’s been a while, but I still remember those.

First pregnancy-Payday candy bars and Fresca
Second pregnancy-Mexican food, but definitely not barbecue
Third pregnancy-Pepperoni pizza with jalapenos

Those make sense. But oatmeal? And how could it be that difficult to obtain? My simple thought of oatmeal for breakfast turned into a three-day quest! At the first thought of it, the wise thing would have been adding to the grocery list. I did not. Remembered right when pulling into the driveway, after stopping at the store. “Oh well, tomorrow…”

Tomorrow came and went. My husband made the next trip to the grocery store. Thought to ask him to pick up oatmeal…as he was walking through the front door.

By day three, I was determined. The thought of Starbucks oatmeal crossed my mind, but I was running late for work. Not time for the drive-thru. Walgreens is on the way to work-surely, they’d have instant oatmeal in stock. Finally! A box of Quaker oatmeal in hand, I headed to school. Sounds like a happy ending. Well, not quite…

The plan was simple. Put a packet in a coffee cup and run hot water from the Keurig. Stir, wait, eat! Hint-you should not choose the biggest cup option on the Keurig when making oatmeal. Too much water. A follow-up attempt to microwave caused an overflow and a big mess to clean up.

Not ready to give up, a second try was underway. This time choosing the smallest cup option on the Keurig proved a better decision. A short time in the microwave was still needed, but this time a paper towel over the cup prevented any more messes. Success!

After my three-day quest, I was sitting at my desk, preparing for my first class, enjoying a cup of Quaker maple/brown sugar oatmeal. Not sure I’ve ever appreciated oatmeal as much as I did at that moment.

Reflecting on this little adventure, I kept going back to one question. Why? Why oatmeal? Why such persistence?

This week has been a struggle. Cold weather, not as much sunlight, not enough sleep. All working together, negatively affecting my mood. I began to sense low days ahead.  Maybe the desire for something warm and comforting, particularly something simple like oatmeal, was an attempt to pull me out of this blue mood.

One thing is for certain. Tomorrow morning, I will have a bowl of oatmeal-at home-with my coffee. Sitting on my couch, only the lights of the Christmas tree shining. And hopefully, this small attempt at taking better care of myself will prove worthy of my three-day quest… for oatmeal.