The second time my world fell apart.
The second time my world fell apart. I got up.
Shook myself off, and stood up.
I stood up to the medicinal demons.
I took their beatings.
I stood up and took my seat, for no other reason,
Then I needed that class.
I needed to eat.
I had to graduate.
I had to sit in the seat with everyone else.
Though I wasn’t like everyone else
And then came
And then came along Lisa.
And then came along Andrew.
And then came along Rob.
And then came along Chad.
And then came along Toni Bee.
And then came along Tee Jay.
And I wasn’t as alone.
And I roll with the devil’s punches.
I learned to fight back the dirt throwers.
I learned that music and poetry can save lives.
And that these words can make me normal where nothing else can.
For the moments when I write,
And that though I might struggle, as much as I hate that word, from time to time.
I can write my life down line after line.
Page after page.
To make sense of this life, this illness,
The obsessive obtrusions, the thoughts that shout out,
The feeling of all the mistakes I have made, every mistake I have ever made,
Playing over and over on loop in my head.
The doubt, the vibrations, the shakes, the weight gain, the lowered chance, the heightened mortality, the tardive dyskinesia, the endless med regiments, the want to smoke, the want to find a cure all, the thought broadcasts, the stupid paranoias, the dumb labels, the fear.
So much fear.
But not when I write though.
I can explain myself, I can rhyme words together, like acing free throws.
Poetry, you beautiful science, you save me if only while I write this. Your language, ink dripping the words
COURAGE AND PERSEVERANCE.
Bold faced, strong fucking words.
Like STRENGTH. TENACITY. AND FUCK IT ALL I’M GOING FOR IT.
AND FUCK THIS MENTALITY
I got this.
And that’s why my wrists stay clean.
And that’s why I have hope.
Cause of this fucking beautiful love affair I have with writing.
AND FUCK EVERYTHING ELSE.
I’m a survivor.
Jason Wright is the editor and founder of Oddball Magazine. His column appears weekly.