EIF #2 — The Global Warming of My Mental Illness (A [Very Long] Poem)

Author’s note: Hey everybody! I am super nervous about posting this because 1. It’s been a hot minute since I posted anything resembling “poetry” on this blog, and this particular poem is super long. 2. It’s a really vulnerable piece I wrote during a manic episode earlier this year, after coming out of a really dark depression.

The first half-ish is pretty sad, but hopefully it’s worth the read.

TW: Brief, non-descriptive death mention.

Please let me know what you think in the comments!


Desperately ill,

The ink, oh, it spills from the corners of my mind.

Black fades to white,

A longstanding fight with the monsters in my mind.

The harsh winters, they nip at my fingers, and so I light a fire.

But I stand too close to the flame.

And oh, the fire burns, but oh, so do the words, as they tangle my throat and on them I choke,

But nothing, nothing hurts like it used to, ’cause even the burns, I’m used to.

When everybody leaves you.

You are alone,

And nowhere is home.

And everything new is just something else to get used to.

And people are sure to abuse you.

And they’ll use you.

Til you’re not you.

Just a “used to”.

Til you don’t even know what you used to be.

So, if You will,

Oh, I’d like You to spill,

Just a splash of truth on these lies.

Maybe it’ll get me through the night.

Just tell me, how long must I fight?

And tell me, is this even right?

And am I enough to survive?

The summer comes but once a year,

And every year it gets a little colder.

And the harsh winters, they nip at my fingers.

It’s too cold to light a fire.

So, as the ashes smoulder,

I pull my sweater closer,

But try as I might,

I can’t win this fight,

It’s forty below and I can’t see the light!

They told me that all brokenness, no matter the level distress, will all be a means that leads to an end, and if that’s the truth, I’ll will be such a good mess at the end, when I’m dead.

They say that brokenness makes you stronger.

But I’m just getting bitter,

The battle gets bigger.

And the summer gets colder.

And fall just gets greyer.

And I truly don’t think that this spring will come.

But soon the year will end,

And then what?!

What is the point? I scream to the void,

Is anybody listening? Am I just making noise?

Oh, what is the point? I scream to the void,

Am I alone in this thing?

Come back, and answer me!

You’re the one who created this brain that I’m hatin’ and my demons, they refuse to leave.

My winters get harsher and summers get colder and You’re awfully bold to assume,

That I, just a girl,

Can handle this world,

With nobody’s hands to hold,

Or is it me that’s being too bold?

I stand on a rock,

And I scream up at God,

And I must be a sight to behold.

The King of Creation must feel devastation when He sees my desolate soul.

But if I’m gonna fight,

He should turn on a light,

‘Cause a battle in darkness seems a one sided fight.

So give me a knife, or give me a pen, give me a weapon with which I defend myself.

And a light for my path couldn’t hurt.

But now this is greedy,

I’ll stop being needy, but please, just answer my cries for help!

And He said,

Trust in My plan,

This isn’t the end,

Bitterness leads only to bitter ends.

You can be bitter or you can be better,

You make the choice now, it’ll serve you forever.

This battle is almost over.

Victory is nigh.

And yes, you are strong to survive.

So, take your madness and turn it to light.

Oh, you’ve had the switch this whole time!

Power, it spills from the ink on my quill and I no longer shake in the cold.

My hands they may tremble, for but a moment,

But only ‘cause I’m growing old.

A life was lived long and to full.

The earth, oh, she creaks beneath my feet,

Signs of a weathering storm.

But I’m not alone anymore.

And together we weather this storm.

So in the harshest winter, the cold still nips my fingers,

But I use what made me bitter,

And I let it fuel my fire.

The fire, it is warm, but it does me no harm,

I stand far away from its flame,

The words come out fast and they make sense at last,

And they no longer choke me inside.

I put pen to paper and become a narrator of the stories I have in my soul.

So what I learned in the seasons is that even when it gets colder,

The summers will get warm again,

It can’t stay cold forever.

And you must not surrender.

March on in the darkness, and don’t ever quit ’cause the moment before you surrender, is when you’re the closest to light.

The madness that chases you down and threatens to bury you now is the very same madness that summons your sadness, but can also bring joy or delight.

So harness the darkness and drag it behind you until you can set it on fire.

And the fire will burn,

But no, it won’t hurt,

And oh, what a sight to behold!

The warmth and the light will fuel you at night,

And you will be safe and sound.

Spring brings new life to the world,

And the summers will get warmer,

So, even if the winter sends a chill through your bones,

Don’t fret,

Every season comes to an end,

And fall will put things right again,

But only if you remember,

That you must not surrender, as a pen must have a holder, and your story begs to be told, in only the way that you know.

And only your madness can turn all your sadness into a light.