You’ve always been a cat person

Bless your heart, you’ve always been a cat person.
Languorously waltzing into my life
like you’d always been the rightful owner,
covert claws painfully showing themselves when I least expected it,
leaving their mark on my hypersensitive skin;
always a bit too independent for my taste,
coming and going as you pleased,
sometimes there on the sweltering summer nights
when I would lie awake in the crumpled bed sheets,
staring at my make-believe galaxy of glow-in-the-dark star stickers
plastered on the rainwater leaking ceiling,
while you purred perrrfectly soothing whispers into my anxiety-filled ears,
easing my uselessly ruminative mind.
Other times, floating around my necrotic neurons like a pale phantom
seemingly evading all my blizzards on purpose,
so cruelly making me keep my ears open
for the pacifying sound of your returning footsteps,
even though you hadn’t left your paw prints on the marble kitchen countertop
in 4 days, 9 hours, 21 minutes and 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42 seconds.

Bless your heart, it wasn’t your fault I have an anxious attachment style!

But I
couldn’t help it,
couldn’t change it,
couldn’t take it
anymore.
I needed so much more than your hypothermic love.

No wonder I like dogs better.

– Patricia

I painted the bathroom walls opal yellow

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I redecorated this week.
Started with the bathroom. Seemed the easiest.
Went out and bought myself opal yellow paint for the walls.
Bright colour to cheer me up when I’m at my lowest
and can barely gather myself to take a shower.

But I didn’t consider I wouldn’t even reach the bathroom,
so the bright, calming yellow won’t fill my eyes
when I’m thinly spread far away in my tear-stained beige sheets.

I painted the bathroom walls opal yellow,
hoping for a few more sunshine-filled moments of respite,
now that I’m doing better.
Held the promising paint can in my left hand
and the auspicious paintbrush in my right hand.
Right then, let’s get to work!
and first began covering the empty spaces and the mould
between the white bathroom tiles.

I should’ve finished what I’d started
and not stopped.

I went to have lunch and, lost in my train of thought,
got hit by a paralysing wave of anxiety about my future.
Warm potato and carrot soup in my mouth, forgetting to swallow,
staring blankly at the tattered tablecloth.
“Go back, go back!”

Went back to painting,
but nothing was the same—
gone in a split second of mindlessly letting the impromptu raft keeping me from drowning
drift away in the sea of
what now’s,
what if’s,
and how’s.

I should’ve bought more paint.

I painted the bathroom walls opal yellow,
but the disillusioned, salty tears dripping into the paint can
diluted the paint.
The tiles still have blinding white streaks
here
and

there.

I thought it couldn’t get any worse.
Turns out, all I’ll be thinking of
are my tears spread on the walls
and sinking into the empty spaces between the tiles,
deeper and deeper,
reaching the frame of the house.
Iamonewiththishouse.

,
,
,

Now I see why people choose to move house
instead of just redecorate.

– Patricia

feels good to be alive

I wanted to end it all yesterday,
Have some sense of agency at least over one small aspect of my life,
But then I ate an ice cream and the end of the cone had more chocolate
Than I usually get,
So
I felt overjoyed!
Feels good to be alive.

For now.

I wanted to end it all yesterday,
I’ve had it with all these 23 springs and summers and autumns and winters
And springs and winters and summers and autumns
And winters and autumns and summers and springs
Of mental illness.
But then I went outside, rode my penny board
And the smell of the linden trees after a May shower
Enveloped me in a hug.
(Heavens know how touch starved I am.)
Feels good to be alive.

For now.

I wanted to end it all yesterday,
Pull the plug on this miserable existence,
But then I rode my bike on empty neighbourhood streets,
Saw the stormy clouds get a tint of peachy cotton candy sunlight
As the sun retreated in the face of impending doom.
Silver lining for a solid 150 seconds.
Feels good to be alive.

For now.

I wanted to end it all yesterday,
Silence the impostor claiming my bones,
Cut the strings pulling me every which way,
One day up for show, faking a smile,
The next hidden away in the dreadful box
Of self-consciousness, anxiety and it which shall not be named
(The skeleton in my closet).
But then I went to the park,
Sat on a wooden bench, feet drowning in concrete,
And looked to the sky,
Heard the vivacious trills of nightingales,
And the occasional crow cawing,
Interspersed with an ever so vibrant “cuck-oo”.
Feels good to be alive.

For now.

I wanted to end it all yesterday,
But there’s still
The small things in life.
Feels good to be alive.

For now.

– Patricia

Comfort Zone

So many never-ending moments spent in entanglement
With the black onyx thorny bushes growing inside the precocious grey chamber,
Expanding endlessly and scratching the newly built walls,
Spilling sacred red on the welcome mat—
Till the fallacious flood of dark claws and crimson plasma
Drowns out any other electrically excitable tree—
Forever staining it with pain and despair.

So young and vulnerable, self-conscious before self-aware,
One too many times unknowingly giving in to the piercing syringes
Injecting intrusive vantablack venom.
Too young to yet fight back,
The thorns have long ago pierced every inch of untainted surface,
Subduing the precocious mind,
Altering reality,
Becoming one with the soul.

Now older, the I has come to grasp their meaning,
All too familiar faces with unforgettable names
Which it calls out in the void of emptiness,
And, although no longer wanting their company,
Safely retreats in their excruciating embrace,
For it is this that keeps it safe from the unknown residing beyond the wall of thorns.

Truth be told,
When the smothering fog is lifted
And a ray of sunshine is allowed to pierce through the clouds of stifling darkness,
The light is far too bright,
Hurting the eyes,
And only fleeting,
And before long,
The self sinks even deeper into the all too familiar dark embrace
Of the known.

For it is the thorns and nothing else that have always been there to hold,
Promising to never let go,
Shaping the I
With unwavering touch
Since childhood.

– Patricia

Anthem of a Generation

We could be outside in the lovely green meadows,
Enjoying the bright morning sun.
Yet we choose the path that leads us to darkness,
A world for us to sulk and be sad.

We could be outside—and we are. Don’t you see us?
We’re stepping right into the light.
Yet darkness we choose and we offer it shelter
Into our weakened hearts and our minds.

And some of us have all the reasons to smile,
And none to be sad, none at all.
And yet this is what we have always been close to,
Anxiety ruling our minds.

Depression and sadness—we’ve known them forever,
We choose their familiar scent.
Self-love is a stranger. We don’t want to get closer
To what is unknown. We are home.

Yes, we could be happy, excited, ecstatic,
And at times we truly are so.
But we always come back to the grey and the static,
It’s what we have always called home.

True, we could be happy. There’s no reason not to. But
Hey, where’s the sadness in that?
Empty we are and we’re fine. We are happy,
For
We’re the generation that loves being sad.