Growing up with mental illness plaguing you is detrimental to your growth and wellbeing. My mental illness was able to convince me, for a very long time, that I was nothing more than someone who had depression, or anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder. I would always identify myself by what was wrong with me rather than the aspects that make-up who I actually am. I wrote this poem in the middle of a panic attack to try to calm myself down, to try to rationalize with myself that I am more than what everybody, including myself, has told me. I refuse to let people define me any longer.
There is something to be gained from trying.
There is something pumping through my veins
reminding me that I am alive and here
and I don't know whether it is love or resilience
but it's all I have left to convince me
that I am no longer part of the wreckage,
that the soot and ash of arson nightmares
no longer make up my rooted structure,
that I am comfort and tragedy and magic
all at the same time.
And my breath is giving grace to those taking a breath of life and
also to those breathing in for the first time.
My crucified pumping heart
is more than a victim of circumstances and heartache.
It is a warrior that has won every bloodshed and unholy battle thrown its way
and it continues to fight for me,
for the future of saying yes and taking chances.
For the chance to bet on others for once,
to be softer in the face of pain and to hold my ground
when people try to bury me alive
in a coffin made of my own mistakes and shortcomings.
I am no longer a seed begging to grow
in the treacherous and unforgiving terrain I was planted in,
I am the whole damn field of sunflowers -
always growing and always leaning towards the light.
I am whole,
and I am good,
and I will no longer set flame
to my own sacred vessel.