Dreadful

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I can’t drive past a dead animal splayed and stinking on the side of the road in the summer heat without thinking of you. The tang you’d left behind inside your apartment is no different than a fucking stupid deer, rotting; we’re all animals, after all. The similarity is incredibly depressing. Makes my mind wander into the macabre. I can’t help but envision you hanged upside down and sliced open in some hillbilly pole barn with your entrails falling from your middle, and plunking into an orange Home Depot bucket.

I scold myself aloud: Don’t think about that!

I can’t help it. Intrusive Thoughts are a part of O.C.D.

You never knew that I live with this condition, and I’m glad I never told you. You had enough to worry about; you weren’t mentally equipped to handle this sickness that colors me dreadful.

 

© Kindra M. Austin

(image: DeviantArt)

Happy Wives Bake Pies

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The

sun

came begging again

at my doorstep; I turned him

away. Got no use for gods at play.

Too much decease has grown me up.

I am weeds, immune to

disease, and I only live

in order to survive.

But to what end?

So questions

Depression,

mine. Depression

is the paparazzi—

always trying to catch

me crazy, display me

for eyes, judgmental.

Mental Health Care

is a one line joke.

I am weeds, and I

fucking choke

behind lips

upturned,

lovely.

 

© Kindra M. Austin

(image: Pinterest)

 

 

For Only Me

 

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Every day it does reign, a

perpetual decrescendo—

melancholic melody made for only

me.

 

Deluge of disquiet

comprises choral pessimists

repeating in my head.

Depressionist

percussionist

beats heart that’s damn near dead.

Dirges designed for only

me.

 

But!

Though it does reign—my

melancholic melody—I

seek the one to share

an umbrella.

 

© Kindra M. Austin

(image: Pinterest)

Catch a Chronic Illness

If you don’t have a chronic illness, I suggest you find one, grab hold of it, and hand over control. Life is much simpler when you have something legitimate to blame.

  1. If you feel like cutting out of work early, your illness is the best excuse to walk out in the middle of your shift, head held low in shame.
  2. If you wake up in the morning in so much pain that you cannot move, you can have your spouse call in for you; then you’ll have the whole day free to hurt in peace.
  3. When you decide your place of employment expects too much of you, you can apply for intermittent leave; if you’re approved, you’ll have as many days off a week as you want to cry, and question your value as a productive member of society.
  4. When you realize a life of leisure is better than punching a time clock, quit your job; questioning your value as a member of your family is only a small side-effect of giving up your job/career/income. Money…who needs it? Fulfillment…that’s what Netflix is for.
  5. Did you make plans with your friends, then decide you aren’t well enough to even shower and dress in grown up clothes? Chronic Illness will get you out of that dinner you’ve been looking forward to.
  6. Your daughter is playing her last band concert as a senior in high school? The chronic pain will excuse you from attending. You were never proud of her, anyway.
  7. Don’t feel like fucking your husband? Chronic pain.
  8. Don’t feel like grocery shopping? Or cooking a meal for your family? Chronic pain.
  9. Travelling to Grandma’s for Christmas is going to be a drag? Chronic pain.
  10. Too lazy to tie your own fucking shoes???

The benefits are limitless. Yes, you’ll have to explain yourself to your friends and family who are too goddamned ignorant or uncaring to understand. But fuck them. This is about you. Everything is about you, as it should be. Because you’re special–too goddamned good. This is your life, after all.

Anxiety: a trivialized disorder

Too many people are unsuspected of suffering anxiety and depression.

My daughter is a kind, helpful, happy, talkative young woman. She’s a pharmacy technician, so every day she interacts with patients, both face to face and over the phone. My girl is brilliant–everyone LOVES her. I’m a proud mama.

Despite outward appearance, Nicole is an introvert. And she lives with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Her friends have long accepted Nicole for who she is, and they don’t get uptight when she chooses to stay in on weekends; and when she is out, they don’t question her when she suddenly feels the need to go home.

Before her diagnosis, Nicole had tried a few medications that were no help at all. She’s living on her own now, but before she moved out, I spent many nights in bed with her. She would wake me in the middle of the night, frantic, sobbing, screaming. “It hurts so much,” she’d say. Fuck. Words fail me…

The first time I ever held my baby in my arms, I never thought I’d have to ask her, “Do you ever think about hurting yourself?”

Anxiety, a lot of the time is trivialized. “Just breathe.” “Don’t think about it.” “It’s not a big deal.” “What’s the worst that could happen?” “You’re over-reacting.”

I want to punch these people in their junk. That’s an immature thing to say; I admit it. But I would punch everyone who makes light of anxiety in their junk if it meant they’d gain some fucking respect. Because people like my Nicole deserve respect. My daughter wakes up every morning in battle mode; every moment in her day-to-day is spent over-analyzing herself, and every one else. Imagine how exhausting it is to be someone who lives with an anxiety disorder.

Most days, Nicole does well. There are things unexpected however, that set her spinning. This past Saturday, she was asked to foster a cat called Louie; Louie’s owner is going to basic training until the end of summer. She didn’t anticipate such a violent greeting from her kitty, Minerva. This was one of those things that set her off. She called me, and I went to her immediately. Without going into detail no one cares about, we figured something out that worked well for everyone involved.

The point I want to make is that our loved ones with anxiety need our support and encouragement. They need to know we BELIEVE them, and believe IN them. Our loved ones don’t need, or want useless platitudes. Most times, all they want is to know they are being heard. Because…trust me…they are aware that their thoughts and worries are irrational–totally invented by a relentless monster.

Be loving. Just…be loving. And seek help when they need it–they DO need it, and so do you. Educate yourselves to be the best support for them.

 

 

 

 

 

Real at 2 a.m.

I like to be awake alone at night. Perhaps it’s a preference inherited from my mother. Can preferences be inherent? Any smarty-pants reading this post, feel free to comment the answer below; however I do know the answer to the broader question unasked. So, maybe don’t bother commenting because you’ll probably just piss me off. You should know I know the answers to a lot of my own questions.

Mental instabilities are inherent. Though I don’t consider myself mentally unstable. I consider myself the breathing, bleeding heart product of learned behavior–which is not necessarily linked to mental illness. I’m an introvert, and an empath. And I’m a fucking brooding brooderton. Those things don’t make me crazy–unless I allow them to. I also have an iron will. Just so you know. I only went balls to wall once in my life, and that’s when I was going through my divorce from my daughter’s father. That’s saying a lot, considering the fact that my mother is an alcoholic, and I watched her get beaten on a daily basis throughout most of my upbringing.

I believe I exhibit “normal” levels of anxiety and depression when I am overwhelmed with physical pain…

Ha! I’ve just read what I have written so far. This post does not resemble in the slightest what I had intended–a memoir about my late nights observed. My mother stayed awake late when I was a kid. She’d play music while she rearranged living room furniture, waiting for my dad to get in from work. I remember the scent of floral incense, and the sound of ‘The Honeydrippers.’ If you don’t know ‘The Honeydrippers’ I feel sorry for you.

I have few memories intact of my parents together. Mostly, I see splices–poorly edited scenes.

I’m being real. I mean, I’m always real. But real with a twist. Right now, I’m fucking real. You feel me?

I’ve been in love a few times in my life. I feel awful for my mother because I think she’s only ever been in love once. In true love.

I have felt the kind of love that makes a person goddamned stupid, but also makes them see more clearly than they ever had before falling into the shit. I have felt the divine kind of love that made Helen leave her daughter behind in Sparta. I’ve felt the kind of love that is absolutely unconditional, comfortable, reliable.

Love is difficult for me because it’s not black and white. So I make it my own. I have a paintbrush in one hand, a saltwater color palette in the other. And with all the bright possibilities, I manage to use up every motherfucking shade imaginable.

And now it’s 3 a.m.