i just finished brain on fire.

everybody should read it.  it sparked a lot of thought about things i already think about--how to fight against mental illness stigma, how to create greater empathy from the neuro-"typical" of us. how to understand better & reach out to include better & what are the best ways to communicate love to those who battle mental illness. i think this book could do some good in that direction.

but also.

i never had autoimmune encephalopathy i never hallucinated or experienced psychosis. i'm very grateful for this, and i wouldn't say that i have come close to experiencing what susannah did. it's incomparable.

but the first part of the book...shocked me with how releatable it was? the memories it stirred. i know what it's like to cave in, to lose pieces of your thought patterns and feel disconnected from your own neurons, to hide it for so long until you appear to flip personalities overnight but really you've fallen apart at the seems for a long time now. i just...yeah.

there's a lot of that to process.
and several people to thank. i thought was incredibly hard to love my whole life. (sure, mostly r/t abuse & for all the wrong reasons. i'm still difficult but for different reasons now lol) BUT what i didn't appreciate back then was that it could cause pain. that it probably hurt those i loved. the ones i let in were my closest, longest friends; i'm sorry they had to see me so devastated, broken, defeated, fragile. unable to sleep or eat or function as i used to. i believe i have communicated how grateful i am that they stood by me. but; i better understand with some distance just how that could have been. how mentally ill i was. & i don't think i can ever thank them enough. i jokingly refer to it as "that year i lost my mind" but truly, i did. it was a mental breakdown.

i haven't taken my healthy brain and functioning mind for granted ever since.
especially as there are still parts of me missing.


bury the horse

i'm sitting here in the break room cycling between red's "hold me now" & coldplay's "death & all of his friends in my ears. eating my weight in bacon for breakfast bc bacon makes everything survivable, am i right? 

my demons are having a party in my head, my survival skills are kicking my ass. i wish i could have done things different yesterday. i wish i hadn't trusted my intensivist, i wish i'd spoken up about my instincts & trusted them, thought them out & verbalized them instead of shoving them down as stupid. i wish i'd been more aggressive. but in reality? my supervisors were fighting for my patient and if they could only get so far...common sense says i couldn't have done more.

even here, there reaches a point where control is an illusion. where i either have to face my weakness & limits as a human, or ignore it. sometimes i think it would be so much easier if
i only believer in what my eyes could see. if there was less weight to it all, if people were just flashes of brilliance in an infinite universe. but i don't. i believe we are immortal, stories; sparks that flame for a moment on this earth and then continue to our full blaze in eternity. (what. that still makes me a lil squeamish.) 

anyway. it matters. people matter. there's so much more than what my eyes can see. so ima fight. maybe i made mistakes? but it's over. i'm a damn sure not make the same ones. if i really believe in this God than He will fill up the cracks of my humanity with Himself. 

so i'm not gonna battle from beginning to end, not going cycle/recycle revenge on myself, not gonna follow death and all of his friends.  going to fight this out now. take a breather. gather my courage and strength so i can go hard until the day i die. i wanna look my God in the face bleeding & beat up and able to say i left it all on the field. 


how i pray // letters to my ceiling

i told You to come after me.
i challenged you, last year; to prove you loved me. even though i say i believe you died on a cross to save me from myself. from striving for morality but always too broken, from the failures & mistakes & chains of my humanity, the sharp taste of death being an end. but i asked, if you really want me? well that feels like a fairytale. it seems distant and strange. so even though i have the sacrifice of your life.

i demanded more.

because i didn't
i didn't believe you would respond
i thought you would say:
"you're ungrateful
look what i have already done?
why can't you accept it
just open your eyes
i already proved my love
you are selfish, blind, lazy
too ignorant
or too willful
too scared?
to receive it. why would i waste any more on you?
there's a limit.
you are too much."

i'm still holding my breath for the harshness.

after all the tiny love letters, all the individual alphabet pieces spelling it out
so. very. gently
i can't...my mind fragments. cause you didn't say any of that.
you say i'm... worth it.
worth so much? extravagance.

worth pursuing--no matter how fast i run away, despite my fists pounding your chest, despite the bricks of fear and pain and anger i keep throwing at
you. despite my blind ignorant blame. all my dishonesty, all my rage that we both know belongs at a different door.

you act like you think i am worth convincing
above and beyond the basic
more than life and death?

it's like you...understand?
have compassion?
acknowledge that i am fragile?

what the hell do i do with this.

because i see you
oh God, i see you.
you're running after me
you love me fiercely
you will stop at nothing, use anyone, anything; to show that you love me.

i'm terrified
and relieved
devastated by a calm understanding that all you ask of me is relaxing. letting go. easing the weight off. fragment by fragment
you want my shattered heart

mostly... i'm afraid. but i still want it.

your love

please win.


falling's easy but there's only way up

defying gravity
i tried but i keep falling


this isn't supposed to be like this.

i'm the bad guy in this scenario, i'm the mean one, i hurt you. unintentionally. but, if there's blame to lay somewhere my door is the only one fitting.

i shouldn't be acting like i'm the one with the broken heart. i know it seemed disconnected when you asked. but i really was thinking about grace. how much i don't deserve you. how incapable i am in this moment of my life to give you what you deserve. you didn't find me at my worst; but i'm still climbing up from it. i can't pretend that's ok. i can't give you part of me, when you should have all. i can't give you pieces when you are so willing to care for me whole. i also couldn't say that if i had ever for one moment considered that an option...well i don't know. it never crossed my mind. there's a lot of feeling hiding behind the things i don't allow my mind to access. damn... but aside from the logical cons, i would never have let myself fall for you. i can't be so selfish. i can't take advantage of your sincerity. you're not some little boy playing at romance. damn this would be a hell of a lot easier if you were. but you're intentional & thoughtful & as much as i'd like to pretend it's not true, you do know what you want. why and how did you ever see it in me? that's the part i'm confused about. you were right on that. i know i said i wasn't confused, but that was only in relation to where i needed to go with this. about whether or not we should still be friends at the level we'd grown into. i know i'm not in love with you, i don't like you as more than a friend. but i will forever be confused as to how you fell into these feelings. sometimes i think you looked at me and saw me as i truly am and chose to just care for me no matter where it went. but that's impossible. ? i created a sub-universe in my head (what's that word?) of my own years ago and i've been living in it ever since. where my armor was impenetrable and nobody could be attracted to me. not really. not with any depth or heart or reality.
this was fucking real.
i don't... i can't imagine that kind of fierce courage.
do you have any idea how much you flipped my entire universe off it's axis?
and you do think too much of me. you're not naive, but you are innocent. you wouldn't if you had more experience with women, i think; there are others farther along in their pursuit of being their best selves. women who are deeper & richer in character, who love Jesus with all of them, who are capable of loving you as well as a human can, who aren't so afraid or difficult or stubborn. you have such a steady heart. you shouldn't settle for someone who has no idea what she's doing with hearts.

but i do regret all the things i couldn't say, because i couldn't let my heart start beating. i don't think i'll ever forget what it feels like to be frozen between time and space and hang there, a thousand thoughts racing in my mind and my heart waking up to things that had never been considered. i don't know how i found any words. it's surreal, like a code. where all the thoughts of heart and mind are battling each other but you see with startling clarity exactly what needs to be done. so you do it, & focus in on what's best for the person you're fighting for until all else fades out.
but you know there is going to be hell to pay after.

i wish i had asked for time to think & process before saying goodbye. i wish i had been a little more practical and had asked a lot more questions about what you need and how this could look. i wish i had told you that i needed you for the season i had your friendship. that i was drowning in isolation and unable to pull myself out or even see that i needed too. until you told me what it looks like from outside. that you're the reason i reached out to my squad, that i was shutting them out and decided to just let the deepest, most powerful and amazing friends fade out of my life because the long-distance thing was too painful. but your words gave me the courage to see the depth of my own need, and what damage it would do to my soul. now i'm less afraid of the pain. i knew all along they were worth it; but i let myself pretend to forget. that you reminded me to stop running from my own depth. that your conversations re-ignited my passion for pushing in to life with all i have. i was lingering in the shallows, avoiding myself and letting my world stay in a numb greyscale. meeting someone with all the intensity of my own soul was such a catalyst and a reminder that numb is worse than pain. i missed thinking deeply, missed creating space to write and process, missed engaging with the world on the level i'm capable of. i was on the ropes, and you kicked me back into the ring. i needed tangible challenges to overcome and remember what i'm made of, and you took me places i could climb & physically fight out my fears. i wish i had said over and over until you believed me that this wouldn't work because i'm emotionally unavailable and incapable right now. not because you lack. not because of any deficit or deep flaws in you. i mean, we both have flaws a plenty. but who's to say if those would work themselves out for our growth or be incompatible? those are things you don't know unless you give it a shot. the good qualities you have are ones i admire. i could lean on you and i don't think you would crumble. you earned my respect and a level of trust. i instinctively knew i was safe with you, and for once in my life i went with my gut. i don't regret that. maybe i do, a little, for your sake.
because if i find myself hurting when i breathe and aching in my chest? damn. i can't bear to think what you must be fighting through. maybe not. maybe it was all in your head, and it's easier for you to let it go. i say doubtful, because i'm grieving the loss of a friend and the loss of a potential for something that would have been even better. but you're grieving something you went for. the loss of something you actually

i just thought maybe if i vomited all my feelings and confusion out into the void without edit or correction it may help. because i'm flying blind here. i've never been pursued because i was valued for myself. i've never said no from a place that wanted to think about what it would mean to say yes. i've never been cared about by someone that didn't have a single damn reason, that i haven't done anything for. i've never been the one to receive all of the blessing at another's expense. i've always seen myself an epinone, and you made me a marius.

grace. un-earned, un-deserved favor or approval. that's what i was experiencing. that's what you gave me. i have just been confronted with it, full force. and it knocked me off my feet. i'm at a loss. you've shown me the face of God. how do i recover?


things i needed to hear

you try your hardest to leave the past alone.
this crooked posture is all you’ve ever known.
it is the consequence of living in between
the weight of family and the pull of gravity.

you are so much more than your father’s son.
you are so much more than what i’ve become.

long before you were born there was light
hidden deep in these young, unfamiliar eyes.
a million choices, though little on their own,
become the heirloom of the heaviness you’ve known.

you are so much more than your father’s son.
you are so much more than what i’ve become,
what i’ve become

you pressed rewind for the thousandth time
when the tapes wore through.
so you memorized
those unscripted lines, desperate for some kind of clue:

when the scale tipped,
when you inherited a fight that you were born to lose.

it’s not your fault,
no, it’s not your fault,
i put this heavy heart in you.
i put this heavy heart in you.

you remind me of who i could have been,
had i been stronger and braver way back then.
a million choices, though little on their own,
became the heirloom of the heaviness we’ve known.
{heirloom, sleeping at last}

lately i have nothing to say.
nothing new. 

i avoid the stillness, the silence; i avoid looking within. i'm tired of the same old battles, tired of facing the same inherited demons.i think i've gotten away from my father & my past only to be slapped right back into place by a memory or a survivor skill rearing it's ugly head. i'm really ready for surgical procedure that removes ptsd from the brain. i'd be all in.
 i'm numb & i'm ok with it. skating through life on the surface.
//except i'm not. not truly. i miss depth. i miss putting words to pictures, giving voice to the aches & realizations & felt joys. i feel disconnected from my spirit. turns out, it's hard to have anything worthwhile to say when you've duct taped your soul. 

the barriers to freeing her are too many to name. my circumstances are one big catch-22; and so far every attempt to escape as been stymied. 

but seasons change. life moves forward. 
this heaviness is not my fault. i am so much more; and one day i'll be free to access all that "more" carries.  


life doesn't discriminate

"life doesn't discriminate between the sinners & the saints, it takes and it takes and it takes. we keep living anyway--we rise & we fall & we break and we make our mistakes; and if there's a reason I'm still alive when so many have died, than I'm willing to wait for it." 

this song, oddly enough gives me hope. (the whole musical has become something of a personal anthem but that's a bizarre twisting path deep into my heart and mind that i'm unable--unwilling to take others down at the moment).

it's true, life is indiscriminately harsh (with breaks of sunshine and rest). God directly alters at times, yes. but more often He lets the long long leash of natural law & free will play out.  as He works within the laws of natural science He created rather than bending them; just so in all of life--He enters our humanity & He's with us. but He works in and amidst rather than confronting. He redeems more than He rescues. He's not at odds with the patterns of life. He created it, and when the fall altered it He chose a quiet, slow, deep process of restoration.
it can feel unloving. it can look like abandonment from this side of the universe. we don't see much of the way He acts because it's through the mundane. instead of removing us or protecting us or erasing the struggle; He creates within it. the force of living crashes against our ideals and our faith. our mental framework is torn down, rebuilt, altered with every loss. every storm, every sunrise, every victory and defeat etch themselves into our psyche and become our stories. we are made into fighters, artists; our souls hallowed to hold deeper, weightier measures of both light and dark.

life; this living. it's as beautiful as it is achingly devastating. to struggle, to become; these are the essences of humanity. we keep fighting, striving forward to bring order into the messy chaos. creating beauty & joy despite the cracks & the pain. we wrestle with our doubts. we confront the dissonance of eternal promises colliding with earthly realities, find a way to melodize it. we dance with both the facts and the inexplicable, awkward at first until we grow comfortable with not knowing. these are the things that make faith a leap. these are the pieces of mundane that sparkle with meaning. our resilience and our frailty, our grit and our fears, our inability and our ingenuity are valuable. precious, even. because they are products of free will, of room and space to "rise and fall and love and break and make mistakes". to be human is to be "inimitable, an original."

it's worth it. living is absolutely brutal--but oh, is it worth it.