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A Poetic Redemption.

A poetic rendition of my life as I look back on the pain, hurt and betrayals I’ve faced this last year. Through it all, I’m soothed by the notion that I control my thoughts and make over my perception, so I can see clearer.

I used to believe my past defined who I was. Self-doubt consumed me, barring me to a living hell, in my mind. Negative thoughts circled around, never could I let them go. Or the fear that someone would find out about my past.

Sometimes a voice of reason would say, “hey, who you are now is not who you were before.” And who was that person, anyway? No matter how I think of my past self, it’s a perception, and not necessarily reality.

Still, I’d wake to chaotic days, and could not slow the pace. Or shake the bad habits that pulled me down. Negative thoughts caused behaviors that couldn’t push me past the pain. So the cycle would go on, day after day.

Choosing vices that flew me out of my mind. Searching for anything that made me feel any way, but the way I did. I’d be fine for a while, but no matter how hard I tried to get away, the truth of my life could not be hid.

Where do I go when I feel alone? How can I love, if I cannot love myself?
What do I do to fill the missing piece to make me whole? Will it ever get better, I just didn’t know.

And so I read books to fill my mind with inspiring thoughts. Each positive word replacing the ones that feed my fears. And I uncover the power I possess over my thoughts. Oh, how the mind is a powerful place, I think, through the tears.

Thoughts that used to hurt me, are at once removed. I surrender to new messages that tell me:

I like me.

I am good.

I am kind.

And just like that, I hold the missing piece I thought I’d never find.

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Hello Depression.

You know I hate you. How many times do I have to tell you? It’s getting old. Fuck, it was old about a decade ago.

I’ve tried so hard to get rid of you! For years I thought I could just ignore you. That you’d go away on your own. That I’d grow out of you. That I could just exercise harder or eat better or pray longer and you’d get the hint and move on.

But alas, here we are again.

And you know, I think I’m starting to figure you out. After spending so much time with you over the past 43 years, I’m beginning to wonder if you’ll ever go away. So I’d better learn to deal with you. It’s either that or you’ll keep chipping away, trying to destroy me and everything I love.

The first thing I’ve learned about you is that you’re a phony. You are not an emotion. You, depression, are the lack of emotion. I used to mistake you for sadness, but I can see now that you’re different.

I can deal with sadness. Sadness is a natural feeling I get when my heart aches, usually when I miss someone. Without sadness, I’d have a hard time understanding what it truly means to be happy. But, depression, you don’t teach me anything about happiness. You are a numbness; a void. So I’m sorry to break it to you, but even sadness is better than you.

The second thing I’ve learned about you is that I did nothing wrong to deserve you. You aren’t the punishment for some misdeed. You’re a biological condition; a struggle of the mind.

I used to wonder what I needed to change in my life so that I’d make sure I never saw you again. What was I doing wrong? Maybe if I made more money or changed jobs or moved to a different place I could finally be free. Now I know that you are not the result of my circumstances. I view my struggle with you like any other workout. It’s going to take lots of time and dedication to put you in your place.

The third thing I’ve learned is that I have the power to choose my attitude. I always do, despite what you say. You and I have been face to face so many times, and lots of times you’ve convinced me that I can’t change; that I need to remain in my detached, numb, depressed state for a while longer and let it all just play out.

But you’re wrong. Even when you’re around I can choose to respond positively to the world around me. Even when I am depressed, it’s still my choice to do the things I do and say the things I say.

Because I choose to feel.

You see, I’ve got people who are counting on me, people who I love, and I refuse to just let them down.

So anyway, I just thought I’d set the record straight with you. Since you seem to like to stick around, you should at least know how I feel.

And I will always choose to feel.

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