Slam Poetry: An Untold Beauty Part 3

Slam Poetry: An Untold Beauty Part 3

Patrick Roche

Part 3? Heck Yeah! Today's poet? Patrick Roche (Get caught up here:

1. "Every piece of you is screaming to survive"

For someone with depression, this is an actual feeling when the world falls around your feet. You want to survive, and you need to survive, but the screaming of your bones can almost seem too heavy.

2. "I come up with the theory that my father started drinking again Because maybe he found out I'm gay. Like if he could make everything else blurry, Maybe somehow I'd look straight"

I am not gay but I have friends who are and I have heard very similar statements from them. The fear of rejection, the backlash, these are real feelings and actions that can come up when coming out. It just breaks my heart to hear the judgment and to see the imagery.

3. "Before he hangs up, he does not tell her he loves her. He does not tell her he is unhappy. I know that he is"

This statement comes from a poem that is voiced by Siri, the iPhone companion, and "she" is telling about the poet talking to his mother on the phone. I always tell my mother I love her because you never know if that will be the last moment, but there are several times I don't tell her I am sad or depressed because who wants to be the "daughter with mental illness."

4. "I'm.. I'm not myself in my own home. My family doesn't actually know me; they talk to my shadow."

This goes back to the lying about being happy. Sometimes I am just sad, I don't know why but I wish I did.

5. "Opening Voicemails: He does not tell anyone he still has ones from his dead father"

I still have the texts from my father. This year was three years since he has been gone. I will never delete them, but it feels like maybe one day I'll get a text. Just one more word.

6. "This is not a list poem, this is a eulogy for those swallowed by their own mind"

A moment for those who weren't strong enough to keep fighting....

7. "This is not family gatherings when I mention mental health and then told not to spoil the turkey"

I try and keep my problems to myself because, again, who the hell wants to hear? There is always a time and place for this discussion, but what do you say? "I'm sorry you're sad?" too.

8. "This is people with mental illness banging our heads against the walls, not out of Insanity, but to try to make some noise, to be heard"

Sometimes, those who are suffering will do something crazy just to get someone to notice they are crying for help. But some of us, are too afraid to make noise.

9. "Suicide is a lonely ghost desperate to give itself playmates"

Please don't play with fire and get burned. Please don't become a plaything for the demons in your head.

10. "It is not a permanent solution to a temporary problem, these are so rarely temporary problem "

Mental illness isn't like a cold. You can't just get rid of it with a good night sleep because honestly, sleep is a privilege, not a cure. Just understand that yes I am working to get better, but it won't be today. And tomorrow isn't looking good either.

11. "But that's not a sign of weakness, this is not a sign of weakness"


12. "This is saying we can keep each other breathing, this is speaking louder than the stigma and hoping someone will listen"

Help one another today, there should never be a person walking this planet feeling unloved. Love someone today!

13. "It's so easy to tell someone you forgot to eat breakfast if you word it the right way. Look how busy I am."

Sometimes I forget to eat.....sometimes I don't want to eat.....sometimes I choose not to eat

14. "Every Thursday* I go to couples therapy with my depression"

*Tuesday at noon

15. "My mother cleans up his vomit in the middle of the night and cooks breakfast in the morning like she hasn't lost her appetite."

Growing up with an alcoholic father, I remember the hangovers, the yelling, and how strong my mother tried to be for us girls. I love both of my parents to this day but it was a hard time for all of us.

16. "My friends are the third wheel if we're out together, That's what happens when you've been with someone for so long"

I kept saying I was single but the truth is I have been married to mental illness for almost 21 years. But I am working on the divorce papers.

17. "She doesn't understand that this is the most serious relationship I've ever had"

To my most recent love, please know that every day I am with you, I see a future. This means a lot to me. You mean a lot to me.

18. "Our therapist says "there have been improvements over the past few weeks."

Last semester, I began seeing a counselor each week. He would tell me we were making progress and quite frankly, I wasn't seeing it until I stopped seeing him for Christmas break. Now.....well now I see those changes.

19. "But I know he calls Mom almost every day like he just needs to hear her."

Sometimes I just call my mom to hear her voice so I don't ever forget it.

20. "I really think you should talk to your family about some of this. Or at least your Mom. Why can't you?"

My mother was the first person I ever told that I was feeling depressed. There are still times I don't tell her I am sad because I don't want to be the reason she worries but I know if I need her, I have her. My family, every one of them, would be here in a heart beat and that's why you can never forget where you came from.

Cover Image Credit: Button Poetry

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.

Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is that people live in between those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead.

You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Buying New Clothes Every Month Has Been The Key To Helping Me Become Happy With My Body Again

Loving my body in new outfits has boosted my self image so much.


Being body-positive has been really hard for me to do throughout 2019, despite there being an overwhelming surge in body-positivity around me, whether through my friends and family or YouTube. I look in the mirror and what I see is someone I want to make a jean size or two smaller like in the past. That being said, I've slowly been coming around to accepting the body I have now, instead of bashing it constantly. A key way I've come to accept the body I'm in now is through buying myself something new every month, like a new T-shirt or a pair of jeans or sneakers that help me see myself in a positive light. When I'm in a new outfit, I feel invincible. I don't think about how pudgy my stomach is, or about the hair I have growing in random places, like my neck or on my nose (yes, not just in, but ON too).

My bank account tends to suffer as of recently because of this, but it's worth it when I can genuinely feel good in what I am wearing every day. I like to wake up and think about how many outfits I can put together, ready to post my #OOTD for Snapchat without caring what anyone thinks. I've let social media dictate how I feel about myself more than I care to admit. I see how perfect all the models are in everything they're wearing from brands I know and love, yet when I try the same thing on, it's a whole different ugly story.

I don't enjoy trying things on to avoid the shame I feel when things don't fit me right, or if something that I thought would flatter me actually makes me look like a sack of potatoes. Instagram has really hurt my body image a lot — enough to make me delete it for a week after one post sent me spiraling. Going through those bumps made me finally realize it's not my fault if something doesn't fit. Sizes range depending on the item, it's the clothing items fault, not mine. Now that I see that, it's easier to brush off something not fitting me as it should. I know my size very well in the stores I frequent the most, so it's easier for me to pick out things I know will look good and not have to worry about the sizing issue.

Buying yourself something new is not something you should limit to every few months or longer. You shouldn't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone price wise every once and a while either. Coupons exist, stories always offer you them when you first sign up to receive emails and even texts. You can be crafty and still get a high price item for less. If you treat yourself to cheap things, you won't feel half as good as you want to. Granted, sticking to a limit is important but there's no shame in going over the limit every once and a while.

I love shopping as much as I love country music and writing short stories — a lot. Yes, I get yelled at almost every time I get something new. I need to save my money for important things, like for my sorority or for medical issues that could suddenly arise, or for utilities at my house next year off campus.

However, my mental well-being is not something I can ignore.

I can't push the good feelings aside to save 30 or 40 bucks a month. I don't want to feel as low as I've felt about myself anymore. I'm tired of feeling sad or angry at who I am, and I want to learn how to accept myself as I am. Buying myself something new, like clothes, is what offers a positive light to view myself under.

Whether you treat yourself to dinner at your favorite restaurant, or to face masks, or to a new movie when it comes out — don't be afraid to do it. Put yourself first and you'll realize your worth and how much you've been ignoring it in the face of poor confidence.

My confidence isn't back up to where it used to be, but it's getting there.

It may not be the most cash efficient method of self-love, but my body positivity is better than it was a few months ago. Aerie and American Eagle have really helped me become happier with my body, and I can't thank them enough for being more inclusive for people like me who are learning to love themselves again in a new body.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us hoping to promote our own body positivity, and it could all start with a simple purchase from your favorite store after you read this.

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