Wednesday, May 9, 2012


I have been on the brink of this sink hole
so many times,
the clams know my name.

My feet are planted firmly,
but the sands shift--the water erodes the foundation,
the brim of which I am slowly falling over.

I hear the crashing of the waves,
the shrieking of the gulls,
and I feel myself slipping like quicksand.

I see the tide come in,
and wait for the release-- the cold cloak of ocean,
                                  salt and water
                            and sand,
                  and I feel myself drowning.

I want so badly
to succumb to the darkness,
close my eyes, and just sleep.

But I can hear the laughter of children playing,
and my lungs burn for air.
I'm not ready to go, yet.

I need to laugh and play and build sandcastles.
I need to run in the sun, catch waves,
and dive for sunken treasure.

I need to be a child again.
I need to live.

I open my eyes, and struggle--
I fight and kick with all my might,
and I resurface.

I gasp for air, dry my tears,
and dream of warmer days.


It is Mental Health Awareness week, and as such, I feel the need to say something. There are a few celebrities speaking out about mental illness, trying to make a dent in the shield of shame that surrounds the topic.  Even the news channels will devote a few moments this week, discussing mental health.

People talk about sex and illness, death and life...but skim the surface of depression or anxiety, suicide and debilitating phobias. The topic makes people uncomfortable. If we don't talk about it, then it will go away. If we choose not to see it, then it doesn't exist. 

I have seen too many of my son's friends succumb to suicide. Too many young lives not fulfilled. I have lived with depression and anxiety for over 40 years, and struggled with how it affected my family and friends. I have lost friends, due to a lack of understanding--why I can't leave the house (agoraphobia); why I don't go to shopping malls (panic attacks); why I avoid parties (fear of large crowds).   

If not for the love and support of my family, I don't know what I would have done (I don't go there...). Many people aren't so lucky. They suffer in silence.

My hope is that my words (or your words...or somebody's) will reach even one person, to help that person not feel so alone. To begin to break the stigma of mental illness, there must be awareness and communication. If we can banish the fear and shame that society has used to cloak mental illness, we can begin to heal.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Life Goes On

Every day that goes by
that I remain inside these four walls
is one day closer
to hermitude.

It's not the fresh air that I crave,
nor the human contact,
but the feeling of being alive,

Life goes on around me,
in spite of me,
without me.

I fold into myself,
my mind.

The seasons pass,
and it all blurs
into time.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


She described me as "ditzy" the other day.
While at first, the word made me bristle,
the mere connotation caused me to cringe,
the more I pondered it,
the more it grew on me.

I remembered rolling my eyes at *my* mom,
and thinking that exact word.
In reflection,
my heart warms at the thought of her antics,
the times shared through such raucous laughter,
we could barely catch our breaths.
Our stomachs ached
and tears rolled down our cheeks.

I miss my mom so...

Now, when *my* daughter voices her observations,
it comes full circle.
I hear it as an endearing term.

I looked up the definition,
and "eccentrically silly"
jumped out at me.

I can live with that.


is like a sore.
It begins small, a tiny pang
that disappears when busyness sets in.

It quickly festers,
the ache seeping
through the veneer of happiness.

Before long, it is constant,
pain and pathos oozing from every pore.

I walk the fine line
between being alone and being lonely
on a daily basis.

The longing to belong
overshadows the peace
that quietude brings.

Conditional Love

Growing up, I was loved
        ...if I sat still, and was quiet
        ...if I ate all my peas
        ...if I didn't get my perfectly starched clothes dirty.

I was loved
        ...if I got A's in my report card
        ...if I won a trophy at the piano recital
        ...if I cleaned up my messy desk.

I was loved
        ...if I had no opinions of my own
        ...if I didn't question his authority
        ...if I closed my mind to his roaming hands

I'm 50 years old,
          and still
               too eager to please,
                       crave acceptance,
                             never feel good enough.

Conditional love
       is a life sentence.

Autumn musings

The sun is shining brightly, the leaves are a kaleidescope of colours...and I am reminded why I love autumn.
The fast, exciting pace of summer has slowed down to a leisurely stroll...
It can't get much better than this.

This time of year, I like to start new--craft projects, cooking ideas, decorating.  I begin to take stock of what needs to be done *inside*, not just the house, but within me.  I've begun to tackle my impossibly long list of homemade gifts for Christmas.  A couple of cozy afghans need to be  finished (they were supposed to be gifts the year before last).  A pile of cross stitch projects are waiting to be framed.
Before I hunker down, I need to give the house a thorough cleaning.  Fling the windows open wide, and let in the glorious, crisp air.

I've begun to write, again.  I set aside a few moments each day to reflect and jot down notes.  I let my mind wander, memories to form, but I don't force it.  I write according to my mood.  My emotions rule my pen.
I wish I were more disciplined, but then...I wouldn't have time to explore other creative endeavours.
So I allow myself this "flaw".
Nature is far from perfect, but it's in the anomoly that beauty is found.

I give myself permission to be imperfect.