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  • Alice Wyatt

It's Not All Merry

This poem is one of three. I will post them on three consecutive days instead of once a week because they belong together. Why these? Now? The holidays are often brutal for people with mental illness or suffering from trauma (probably all of us!). Our carefully crafted coping mechanisms are overrun by all things merry and bright. Old patterns of must-haves or must do's overtake us. Too much. Too much. Too much. There isn't enough time, or energy, or money to keep up with the media blitz of a perfect American Holiday Season. Families aren't perfect because people aren't perfect. Old hurts are dragged up like ornaments on a tree, there for everyone to gaze at until they are stuffed into a box and ignored for another whole year. We thought we were all better - until we realized we aren't.


Be kind to yourself. Be kind to one another. Give extra hugs. Spread cheer and joy and hope and love with thoughtful words and small kindnesses. Love sinks into hearts and stays long past the time when a fancy gift is forgotten. Honor boundaries people put on their time and energy. Forgive them on their dark days, celebrate the bright ones they offer to share with you. They are working to be their best selves because they love you. I am working to be my best self because I love you.


xxx ooo

Alice -------





Beneath the Surface I


The phone rings


Hi! How are you?

“Fine.”


on and on and on

they talk

happy - cheerful - facts of the day

I don't remember a word they say


Ok, see ya. I love you.

‘Love you too. By.”


I push the END button

hating them

actually

hating myself

for

saying

“Fine.”

when


The Effort Required

to merely breathe

Pull life into my body

Push it out again

The Weight of

Everything

and Nothing

is my reality







panicky

fingers of thought

scrabbling

gripping

frantic

to hold onto

something

anything

to keep from

tumbling

into

the

a

b

y

s

s


that threatens to swallow me


despite

the pills

the friends

the loving partner

the comfortable home

enough money in the bank



All I can do is cry out

please God

not again

not today

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