What Will People Think?
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, I thought I’d share my very first recovery-themed poem.
I wrote this in May of 2000, while I was in treatment. I was approximately one week sober.
What Will People Think?
Waiting for the right words, not knowing how to speak.
Afraid to explain, in fear the words will come out wrong.
Trying not to breathe, apologetic that I can. Afraid that one of these days will be my last, and praying it’s tomorrow.
How to tell the ones I love, afraid to lose the laughter.
Under a storm or despair, belonging to something out of my control, and angry with, “Why me?”
What did I do to deserve this?
Drowning in a pool of emotion, gasping for air, yet too proud to reach out. Taught not to trust and never to cry because these are weaknesses in the eyes of those loved; a sign that I am not as strong as I am expected to be.
“Everything is wonderful so what’s wrong with you?”
NOTHING. Nothing except everything.
After all, what problem could I possibly have in a private world where none exist? “You’re just having a bad day.”
How is it possible that I am so alone? No one to listen, no one to care. In a battle against the world; a constant battle within myself.
Overwhelmed with guilt and shame, feeling too weak to overcome. Drained of all emotion, eyes tear stained and swollen shut, too tired to cry again. Too tired to fight the inevitable;
I’m will die.
Shall I suffer the agony of defeat? How simple just to fade away into nothingness. Deeper and deeper, alone with myself. In terrible danger alone with myself. No where to go but down and no where to run. No reason to live; everything gone.
Lost soul with a empty heart; as sick as the secrets I keep to hide the ugliness within.
No fear of Hell for I have created one here.
I write good-byes and take the pills.
I fall into darkness….
Out of the darkness shines light; a promise of new beginnings.
At last I’m in company; no longer alone.
This is a company of great strength and hope; to teach of standing tall, not so afraid to reach out for welcome is extended. There is no expectation, judgment, or request for reward. They’re just everyday people with goals such as my own and love in their hearts. Their stories are mine; the loss, the pain, the struggle to remain. These are people with hope; not for the future, but for today. These are my people.
What will others think?
I am no longer concerned; because finally…I am in good company.
**If you are or someone you know is struggling in silence with depression, substance abuse, or alcoholism please visit our resource page and seek help.
If you can not find what you are looking for there, please send us an email at support(AT)sobermommies.com and we will help connect you to the appropriate support.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Julie Maida has been in abstinence-based recovery since May 2, 2000. She is fiercely determined to advocate for and connect ALL women with the appropriate support and resources necessary to achieve their personal recovery goals. She writes about mothering with mental illness at juliemaida.me.