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A Fiery Tree and a Silent Poem

I often feel the urge to save writing for after the story has concluded. Right now, I am deep in the depths of a story, and have no idea when it will end. I am choosing to write anyways.


I haven't been able to talk for 48 hours. I have seen a lot of things happen in my brain in my mental health journey, but never this. Occasionally I get spells where I can form sentences for an hour or so, and then the sloppy silence returns. It feels embarassing and quite scary.


While my doctor and I work to figure it all out, I want to share here what I'm seeing, learning, feeling.


Today, I went for a short walk amidst my exhaustion, and saw this tree. Immediately, I scrambled home to write this poem. The fiery tree woke me up from my anxiety long enough to tell my story. To remember that I too am part of this brilliantly bright universe.


Out Loud


Today is my second day without words

I wish that was a poetic metaphor

for some profound revelation

And not a harsh symptom of either an anxiety disorder

or a medication reaction


Sitting in a loud world and not being able to speak

Feels like a lot of things


Last night it felt like a panic attack

broken language slipping from my lips

Never expressing what I mean

What I fear

What I’m seeing

In my mind’s eye


This morning it felt like a wakeup call

Like my lips going on strike

Until my brain follows its longing

All the way home to

A new type of life

Radical and peaceful and quietly bold


I have phantom limb syndrome in my head

I still sense the shadow of sentences

I once sung like lullabies

Now sting


Open my mouth


Only the word “okay” comes out


I am afraid I am terrifying people


My brain says tell no one

Says that this is weird, strange, scary

Says to hide in my parents’ house until it stops

So I can pretend it never happened


It is happening.


My heart says that all the packaged mental health activism in the world

Is so small

compared to one real story

Without sugar on the edges


This is my reality, I cannot speak, and yet my heart is screaming to share


That there is good

That there is kindness

That there are moments of peace

That they might not be right now


But most of all


That we must love so loudly

Even when we are quiet


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