Alone

This intricate dance we have.

Ten steps back for every one forward.

When it comes to our hearts,

to our fears.

You pull me close

whispering tenderness in my hair,

making my heart weep

for I know that this shall not last.

With certainty you will break before me.

Cold remorse and steel tears

as you tell me that it cannot be done;

that my shadows are too much.

You think that I know this not?

I have lived with these inky images

wrapped around my soul

for eternity without reprieve.

As you kneel before me,

my hands in your hair,

your weeping so soft

the barest of sound that I cannot hear.

The shadows have won.

For once more I am alone.

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

Oct. 21 2017

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Fear me not

***Picture posted on Facebook by Power of Positivity***

As I have detailed on here somewhat brokenly and rawly, I have learned I live with depression and will for the rest of my life. That somewhere along the line, the chemicals in my brain decided to go haywire and there are probably neural paths that have crossed that never should have even come in contact. With medication and previously therapy, I will not conquer and eradicate my depression, but we will live an uneasy partnership. Much like that little spider I allow to live in the bathroom corner.

As I was meandering through my Facebook feed this morning I came across the above quote and it instantly reached out and grabbed my by the throat. Because for so long I did fear failure. And with that fear, I stripped and bound myself with chains, closing off a part of me that is as essential to my well being as breathing or eating is.

I am a writer. I live to create. One of mom’s favorite stories about me when I was younger was how in grade one she received a call about a short story I had written. Not sure what was going on but the story was about a dog who died and a ghost squirrel was his (I am speculating here as I cannot go back and ask my 6 year old self) spirit guide. Not to heaven but beneath a tree in the backyard. I believe I have the story here somewhere  I might have to go back and reread it. It may be a gem of an idea!

However I am digressing.

My forte seems to be writing poetry. I began writing poems (not of the Roses are Red variety) I believe in 1986. I would not hold me to that fact, I may be a little off. But the first poem that I still clearly at least recall the premise of, had to do with the escalation of something between Ronald Reagan (than president of the U.S.) and his counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev (last leader of Communist Soviet Union) and nukes. I was 11 years old and scared. Who knows where the poem is today but that was my start.

I have always used poetry to express myself. As a teenager, struggling with depression and self-image issues and just a whole lot of anger, my poetry was dark and tragic. I wrote a lot about suicide. There was no happiness, no hope, no light at the end of the tunnel.

In hindsight, I was wrapped in a morass of pain and hatred, anger and fear. It all fell from my mind and pen in twisted pathways. Approximately 15 years or so ago, I found all my poetry. And I burned it. But that comes later in this tale. The emotions that bled off the page into the air around me as I read had tears pouring down my face for this poor soul I had been.

In high school I wrote the next great novel. Ha! Three years, a gazillion rewrites later and I was ready to send it off to the publishing world. I had done enough research that I knew I had to send in a query first so I did. And I received some interest back. I had to pay to have them read my manuscript. However the person who had to read it probably earned that money tenfold.

It was a horrible novel. I cringe even now when I think of it. I recently learned that my baby bro found a copy when he was in junior high and had an english assignment. So he took in all 300+ pages and handed it in. With his name on the front. I applaud his audacity but the teacher caught him out and ended up calling my mom. I can only hope that the english teacher never read it because I had had him during my season in junior high.

Needless to say, I did not sweep the publishing world off their feet. What I did receive was a very nice rejection letter which indicated that I had talent which needed to be shaped and molded. That I should take some creative writing courses.

Not sure if anyone can truly know what rejection is like to someone with depression so I am going to explain how it was for me.

First I cried. A lot. Than I began to be filled with this immense sadness. For this was my dream and now my dream was dead. (Yes I was also a tad dramatic when I was younger) I did not focus on the positives that I had read. Strong descriptive skill. Knew when to break with conversation. Talent. Benefit from writing courses. All I saw was that my novel was no good. I did not know what else to do with myself. (And thus started my career in Customer Service lol)

Next I packed up my typewriter. Cleaned my desk of all writing material. All creative works. And I hid it all away. Most of my material ended up being stored at mom’s until she retired and moved but I am getting ahead of myself.

For the next 26 years I wrote sporadically. Limited to poetry for family functions as required. I never showed anyone anything I was working on. I had short stints of productive periods writing poems but again I was harboring this fear. If I showed my works to others they would hate it. I was no good.

In 2003, during another bout of deep depression which had yet to be diagnosed, I found all my poetry. All the short stories. And I watched the papers burn and flutter into the air, ashes carried away on a breath of wind as I once again let go of this dream I nurtured for so long. (Even if I was not actively pursuing it, that small flame was nestled in my heart.)

I won’t bore everyone with the next 14 years of blackness and despair. Enlivened by the birth of my son. The career I discovered I was good at.  But still I feared. So I stamped out anything creative. I still was reading. Voraciously. My outlet. My escape. And I was and still am in awe of the authors I have found over the years. Of their creativity, the breadth and scope of their imagination.

So let’s jump ahead now. To today.

As I stated about I found this quote in my Facebook feed this morning and it resonated with me. Because for so damn long I allowed fear to rule my life. The words and sting of rejection so firmly entrenched in my thoughts that I feared to try anything. But all that has changed.

I began blogging back in December. And at first it was hard. What do you write about? Plus I had a lot I wanted to purge. I mainly began with blogs like this.

Talking about myself, my life. My son.

Yet as  I wrote, my imagination began to peek out. Unfurling herself from the cocoon she had woven in protection when I tried to excise her from my being.

Everywhere I turn I am inspired. I awaken from a night’s sleep with lines of poetry dancing through my mind.

And I no longer fear. I move forward, writing for myself and well those of you who are joining me on this amazing journey. Nine months later and I can say I am not in the same place I was in when I began this blog. And I hope nine months from now that I will have evolved even more in my writing. In my life.

Fear me not, for I tread among the stars. Illuminated with golden light and blessed of imagination. Travel along side and enjoy this journey with me.

Lost

***Inspiration for this came out of a conversation with a friend who had sent my the lyrics to the song that ends Pink Floyd’s The Wall. I have never listened to it, well I have but never paid attention to the lyrics. As we messaged back and forth and the album was explained to me the words just began to flow.***

I once was a woman who was lost

stumbling through the darkness

wrapped in shadows and vines

unable to break free from the morass.

Paths shrouded in mystery

pain, despair, hunger and thirst

as I clawed my way forward

thorns scratching at my sides.

A crown of brambles sits low upon my brow

pricking the fine skin

trails of blood smear along my face

tears that I can no longer cry.

When sunlight does finally appear

driving away the gloom

the fog

the malaise I have suffered

I gasp in the clean fresh air

and am healed again.

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

September 24/17

 

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

Self-Assessment

***Meme is via Facebook***

Last week was not the greatest week for me. I have already detailed the difficulties that T and myself faced. I talked about how I fell ill. I did not tell mention that I spent my weekend wallowing. Feeling down and out, unmotivated, lethargic and not me. I was at a loss.

Sunday dawned and with it, a general feeling of well being. I awoke happy, energetic and optimistic. Wait? What? Optimistic? Had I missed something? I gave a mental shrug and began my day. Had been going to take another lazy day but as I looked around the clutter, the debris (not garbage but lego, dishes from the previous night) the laundry needing to be done, began to gnaw at me. I scrapped my hair back and set to work. An hour and a half later, my house was clean and I was again, feeling great.

I went for a walk and thought. Not about anything in particular until a scrap of memory came to me. My doctor and me had been talking awhile back, and I was giving him my self-assessment of how I had been doing and how I had been coping. Abashedly I paused and said or at least that is what I think. And my doctor looked at me and said, you know yourself the best, and you have a very good grasp on your mental state and how things affect you.

With a sudden start I realized that these last few days were not about my feeling ill. It was not about being lethargic or feeling useless.

The not feeling well.

In the last several months, when I have not felt well, it is my body’s first line of defense saying that I need to slow down and take a break. And once more I ignored it. Not willfully but due to the fact that I have only just realized the correlation.

After three weeks with me, T left for his week with his dad on Saturday. A day early as they had a wedding to attend.

My home was suddenly silent after being filled with little boy sounds and smells. I wandered around, a little bereft and the cats followed me, curious as to where the little one went. But at the same time, a small part of me was looking forward to my downtime. So now I added guilt into the mixture of feelings swirling throughout my body.

And my holidays were coming to an end.

I had had a wonderful two weeks, unwinding, recharging my batteries for work, reading, being with T and now it was over. To make matters worse, the weather has gone from late summer heat to fall’s crisp air and warmish temperatures. A rather sudden change for this beach bunny. Moving from the summer wear to my winter wear of hoodies, yoga pants and socks! Egads, I had to put socks on twice on the weekend. That is just plain wrong.

Add in the monthly hormonal issues and I am surprised that I was not sitting in the corner rocking myself back and forth. Instead, I had withdrawn and fallen back into patterns that I should have realized were detrimental to my well being. I was sliding down the rabbit’s hole, to wallow and be melancholy.

In other words, I had myself a little slip. A halfway slide down the slope of sadness. Guilt. Fear. Worry. Insecurity.

The voice that sometimes weasels its way free of the gilded cage I keep it in, whispering that I am not good enough. Not smart enough. That I am deluding myself with visions of grandeur. It found an inch and tried to take a mile before I was able to slam the cage door shut and relock it. With chains. And nails. And crossbars.

Since I began retaking my meds six months ago, life has been blissful. I have been doing so well. No sadness. No ruing my actions. No yelling. No screaming. T and me had been getting along so well. But the last week of holidays, it was old times all over again. Only I was unable to see it. And I am so good at putting on a face and smiling through my tears, that those I have in place to be my check point, were not even aware of what was going on with me.

My texts were brief and non-initiated. I did not face anyone so no one could read my face or my eyes. And I have been living with depression since I was a teenager. I know how to act so no one sees my pain. No one has to listen to my woeful complaints of loneliness and despair.

I do not paint this picture of myself to gain pity. I want others to understand that this illness sneaks up on you. It is not a matter of just taking medication, learning coping mechanisms or going to therapy. It is not even a matter of being aware and doing self-assessments so you know where you are at in your mental and physical well being.

Depression will drop over unannounced, settle into the comfortable spot on the couch and decide to stay awhile. I am lucky that it was a brief visit for me this time.

 

Love gone awry

Sometimes I go a little crazy
a wee bit mad
making all my castles
with quicksand.
Sometimes I dance little jigs
and you cannot see
where once there was harmony
now we have strife.
Angry words disposed to bite
left me nothing to do
but cry bitter tears
and feel ashes in my mouth.
I have loved you
and hated you.
I have cursed your name
for the damaged touch
while you played your game.
Living beneath a cloud of darkness
wrapped in a shroud of pain
I yearn for the bright sunlight
yet walk alone trapped in anguish
unable to break away.
©Jay-Lyn Doerksen
September 12/17

Demons in my mind

Walking within the cold dark night

dancing in the liquid moonlight

playing games with the demons in my head.

They taunt and scream

nails on a chalkboard

a deadly screech.

I chose to ignore

refuse to bow

I will show them now

I won’t be their whore.

The demons shatter

slayed with silver shards

images split asunder

as the mirror crashes to the floor.

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

September 9/17