six months





six months mental illness stories
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greenleaf
greenleaf"oft hope is born when all is forlorn."
Autoplay OFF  •  4 months ago
living with OCD. a prose poem.

six months

(tw for mental illness, self-harm, and suicide / suicidal ideation. I wrote this many months ago and am recovering now, so no need to worry about me! this is just a short piece about my journey with OCD.)

it begins in january - or perhaps not.

when i probe the folds and wrinkles of my brain, i wonder if hints of this

when i probe the folds and wrinkles of my brain, i wonder if hints of this some forewarning of what was to come

when i probe the folds and wrinkles of my brain, i wonder if hints of this some forewarning of what was to come ever happened in earlier days --

incidents i could not at the time explain,

incidents i could not at the time explain, but gradually brushed off over the years.

incidents i could not at the time explain, but gradually brushed off over the years. blurry half-remembered happenings that were lost to time.

but to overthink now is dangerous. so it begins in january, late january, when it creeps in like a snake through my left ear and wraps its scaled body around my brain. its voice is a hissing intrusion in my mind’s eye.

it is in january, sitting in a quiet room just days after exams end, when it first bares its venomous fangs and sinks them in.

i live through february balanced on tenterhooks.

for lack of anything else i develop a solution, to sink my nails into my palms and release and watch the reddened crescents form as shallow valleys in my skin.

it… helps, in a way i cannot explain. but it is never permanent, and it never lasts, and i fear that to stop means for me to fall.

in march, i debate finding help.

in march, i debate finding help. but can i, i ask, even want for such a thing, when this new thing inside me feels so evil?

one spring day i step into a church, vast and magnificent and the absolute antithesis to the church of my childhood,

one spring day i step into a church, vast and magnificent and the absolute antithesis to the church of my childhood, where the preacher i had known all my life stood at the pulpit and told me that the love i felt for other girls was wrong.

i enter this place of worship, holy and grand, and i feel that my soul is naked.

i enter this place of worship, holy and grand, and i feel that my soul is naked. it is a Catholic church, and i am not Catholic.

i enter this place of worship, holy and grand, and i feel that my soul is naked. it is a Catholic church, and i am not Catholic. regardless, i dip my clumsy fingers into a basin of holy water and come close to weeping when it does not dissolve into steam as i feared.

it is in march, the month of my birth, when i first feel that i deserve to die.

the unspeakable images that form behind my eyes are burned like brands into my memory. i cannot forget them, cannot unsee them, cannot scrub them clean like bleach against stained cloth.

it’s almost a funny thing, for death to feel like such an inescapable truth, a sword of damocles that hangs by a hair above my head.

i walk and the sun shines and the world turns and death looms like a yawning abyss before my feet.

i form a plan. it is half-hearted, at most.

after a few days, a list of excuses to simply not is stapled to my forehead where i cannot escape it.

after a few days, a list of excuses to simply not is stapled to my forehead where i cannot escape it. i cling to it.

after a few days, a list of excuses to simply not is stapled to my forehead where i cannot escape it. i cling to it. i hate myself for it.

it is in march when i seek help for the first time and cry for forty ugly minutes in front of a school social worker.

she directs me to a nurse, to whom i at last confess these thoughts - these sins - while she watches with an unreadable face.

i leave with a crisis number in my pocket that i never have the courage to use.

it is in april when i hit myself for the first time.

on may eleventh, a half-day off school, i find purple bruises like a sprinkling of pepper dotted over my upper right thigh.

for the first time i see the physical manifestation of this, of all of this.

for the first time i see the physical manifestation of this, of all of this. this nameless thing.

it is in may when the feelings from march return,

it is in may when the feelings from march return, and even with all the books in the world i could not possibly find the words to describe how the eyes of the reaper feel when they are pressed against your spine.

the roiling mire of my brain has become a lecherous haze that oozes poison and toxic gas in the form of nightmarish images that i cannot burn away.

the roiling mire of my brain has become a lecherous haze that oozes poison and toxic gas in the form of nightmarish images that i cannot burn away. i fear that to try will mean to burn myself away, too.

i am naked, more than naked - stripped to the bone before the eyes of God. prayers fill my mouth until i am choking on them.

"forgive me Lord, please forgive me Lord, help me not lose my morals, my values, who i am as a person, forgive me Lord for i am frightened, i am so scared, i fear i am losing myself, Lord -

"forgive me Lord, please forgive me Lord, help me not lose my morals, my values, who i am as a person, forgive me Lord for i am frightened, i am so scared, i fear i am losing myself, Lord - "i pray in Jesus’s name -"

i can kneel at my bedside with a Bible in my hands and have the hardwood floor press painfully into my knees.

it is not enough, it is never enough, i am unworthy and repentance is a word that burns my tongue.

june is pride month.

june is pride month. my school flies a rainbow flag for the first time and it makes me smile.

it is the month i come out to my mother and she says,

it is the month i come out to my mother and she says, “i don’t believe you.”

a part of me i didn’t know existed comes crumbling down.

a part of me i didn’t know existed comes crumbling down. i become an impostor in my own skin; my brain is unholy and my eyes evil.

i can no longer bear to look people in the face, i keep my gaze fixed to the ceiling and sink my nails into my arms and words fill my mouth,

i can no longer bear to look people in the face, i keep my gaze fixed to the ceiling and sink my nails into my arms and words fill my mouth, half-formed prayers and curses directed to no one but myself.

and yet some part of me still clings, clings with an unbearable intensity, clings to life in a way i find disbelieving.

"why,"

"why," i want to ask,

"why," i want to ask, "why," when my brain is monstrous and my spirit tainted and these evil thoughts are not my own yet still rot inside me nonetheless.

the weight of them presses down in the folds of my ears, the lids of my eyes.

in the silence of the night i receive my answer.

(if you're struggling, please seek help. you're not alone. the world is a better place with you in it. here's a masterlist of helplines: http://codedredalert.tumblr.com/post/109005732295/helpline-masterlist)

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