Within the Darkness

These shackles I wear

they are of my own design.

The lashes against my back,

the hair shirt I wear,

the loop of disdaining voice

played over and over

eroding my faith.

This addiction I feed

this need to sedate

comes solely from a desire to be;

to not feel,

to not face,

the imperfections of my heart.

There is no relief

only brief interludes

where sanity does reign,

but when the darkness falls

and my tears begin,

my soul has already become undone.

Cycles of love and laughter;

pain and fear,

depression and happiness;

they blow through this life,

and some days I am good

and some days I am not.

Within this all,

one emotion remains true.

I am brave

and though oh so scared,

I will rend this curtain

this veil that I wear

and I will find sunlight 

within the dark.

Jay-lyn Doerksen

December 25/17

The Voices Within

***Picture via Pintrest***

With tongue laced in acid

words drip venom down my chest

held deep within your binding spell

unable to tear myself away.

You rip me apart

words laden with bile and hatred

etching everlasting the loathing

that I carry within myself.

Voices dripping with disdain

a roar within my brain

ripping and tearing

the fragile fabric of ego

causing me to crumple in pain.

I raise my head

tears fleeing down my cheeks

defiant in the face of your abuse

pummelled by your voice no more.


©Jay-lyn Doerksen

September 16/17

Birthday Eve

Today is August 28th. In slightly more than 24 hours I will be 45 years old. I did not actually arrive in the world until 8:20 p.m. so am not “really” 45 ’til than. 

I am looking forward to turning 45. I am not the same woman I was when I turned 44 last year. I am by far a much better and stronger version of her. I have taken my life and where I could have continued along the path of destruction I was on I changed. Slowly at first. But as the changes became good changes, as my outlook and feelings became harmonized and less disjointed I welcomed the changes.

I have documented my cycle of depression and how I had to claw my way back. I have an amazing support group who have been with me since I started on the new journey to me.

A journey that has seen me rise high enough to realize I was in an unhappy marriage and find the strength to leave. To my mistakenly believing all my problems were solved by the dissolution of my marriage and I went off my meds. I began to rely on alcohol to get me through the days. 

My crash, which scared me so badly because I had allowed myself to be tricked into believing I was okay. Our brains are wicked when presenting one with deceptive illusions.

Even after I resumed taking my meds I still continued to self-medicate with alcohol. Finally July 1st I decided to stop. I went six weeks without drinking. And when I did, I woke the next morning disappointed in myself. 

I have had some again but there is a difference. One that I can see and feel. It is no longer a need. There is no desire to negate the feelings I did not want to face. 

So tomorrow I am turning 45. 

 I am eating better. I am sleeping better. I am exercising. I have quit drinking to self-medicate and find that I do not miss it. 

Best of all I am writing again. I am more secure in the voice I have. I am letting those wonderful words combine and emerge like a waterfall from my finger tips. I believe in magic again. 

At 45 I am beginning to emerge from the cocoon of the past. I can see my present but the future….that is a dream still waiting to be dreamed.

Better Days

Lost in the malestorm

sucked down the eddy

braving bleak thoughts

seeking always that peace.

Knowing that there will be a day;

when the pain,

the angst,

will no longer be in control.

Days when I shall see the sunshine,

hear my own laughter

and not be crippled 

by anxiety and depression.

Those are the goods days.

The ones I cling to.

For when that blackness enshrouds;

I remember that there

will always be 

a better day coming back to me.

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

August 27/17

Shards of Silver

I walk through the greying mists

seeing vague shapes

to the right and left of me.

But when I call out

my voice becomes a mere whisper,

slighter than the flutter,

of a Monarch’s wings.

My tears are but shards of silver

pecking away at my heart

Uncovering hidden losses

and the pain I try to hide.

One day there may be comfort.

One day I may be free.

But until that day I shall fight,

to come back from the albatross

that hangs around my neck.

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

August 26/17

Untitled 10

Somewhere in time

fantasies did grow

Over-taking all reality

until no longer

can one differentiate.

Was it madness?

a disease?

An escape from life?

swallowed in a mimosa of hatred

swaddled in grey.

Beating against enclosing walls

fists bleeding

numb with pain.

There is no escape from this truth

no matter how hard

no matter how fast

one tries to flee.

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

July 24/17

My Darkest Hour

I woke up at 7ish this morning, the one day that I can sleep in without worries. Today is the day T comes back to me at 4 so I have all day to just luxuriate in my decadence. Yes there is laundry to do and beds to be made, but I can have a little lie in. But no. So I took a half an ativan so I could go back to sleep. I was not ready, prepared or even had enough mental stability to face my day.

I cried for over an hour when I went to bed last night. Before that I had been texting and chatting with friends and my support group was circling their wagons to protect me. But none of them were here when I turned the lights off. When I climbed into bed and every sharp edged word spoken to me began to gouge its way into my confidence, my self-worth. The sobs did not wait, they erupted over me, spilling from my eyes like white water when you are rafting. I could not breath. Lucky worried, kept head butting me and curling up against me purring desperately to calm me. Thomas snuggled into the back of my legs, his paws draped over my thighs his version of a hug.

It was a black hour. It was the blackest hour that I have faced in my life.

I am a survivor of sexual abuse. I have always clawed my way back from whatever hell it is that I find myself in. I never doubted my belief in myself that I am a good person, that I care for others, that I put others before myself. Yet last night I doubted. I wondered if all along I have deluded myself and that in reality I am selfish and horrible. That my version of reality is so strongly distorted from how others see it that I wonder, am I even sane?

I looked at the time, I looked at my phone. And I wondered who can I call? Who at 12:30 a.m. is going to be okay if I call them sobbing because I have no more belief, I have no more strength, I just need someone to say it will be okay. Better not call mom because a) she is in her 70’s and a phone call that late means someone is dead, and b) my brother would kill me. Everyone else is asleep and I am so afraid to reach out and disturb anyone because I just cannot. I cannot put my woes, my worries on anyone else.

I finally called one friend who answered on the first ring. Who assured me that it was okay to call. And as I sobbed, blowing my nose in his ear, gasping for breath as each fresh wave of revulsion rolls over me, he tells me it will be okay. That there are people who love me and who cherish me and will protect me. He tells me that the shadows dancing with glee along the wall and above my head, they will vanish as the sunlight returns. He talked for an hour while I listened. I am sure that there were some mumbled incoherent denials of my goodness and worth. The cats sat on either side of me purring and snuggling in. My face and nose hurt from crying but eventually  I calmed down. Eventually I no longer felt that I was a disaster.

My dreams were ugly and distorted. Full of vengeance and venom and darkness. I didn’t sleep without worry I did not sleep without cares. What I found in my dreams were a reflection of self, crowned with Medusa’s snakes hissing and snarling and excluding myself from others. I saw myself as the outsider with no one to turn to. I muttered and tossed in my sleep.

Last night was the darkest hour of my life. I felt sadness that I had never felt before. I felt so worthless that not even the beauty found in my poetry, in my son, was able to make things better. I have come through to the other side. I am shivering. I am scared. I am doubting myself so much I am not sure that I can even face people. But I will. And I will carry on. Because this is only one day, only one night and I have so many more.

More where laughter and love, where wine and good food, where friends and family intermingle, those are the days I have coming to me. One day I will look back. One day I will say yes, that was my bleakest moment. And I will stand to greet the rising sun because it is me who matters……it is how I feel about myself that matters……not the perception that one has of me based on only one side.