The Mask

we all wear it

the mask

a smile or a dance

laughter or music

 

scars hidden

we don’t talk about it

 

for a conversation

it’s not always the best topic

 

loved ones in the past

whom we sealed in a bottle

because they hurt us

and we haven’t let go

or we let them fall

and they left for another land

or they hurt themselves

and we could have done something about it

 

we don’t talk about it

the things that pained us

the sadness we thought we buried

that comes out when we don’t notice

the mistakes we have made

the loneliness we feel in bed

 

the nights we toss and turn

because the mask has fallen

the wounds are not transparent

not disguising its existence

 

we don’t talk about it

but we all wear it

the mask

it seems like a taboo

to talk about you

or me

or him

or her

or being lost again

 

we have been taught

what’s positive or negative

what’s strong and what’s weak

to snap out of it

so we wear a mask

so the things we are afraid of

won’t be brought up

so we won’t be blamed again

 

we wear a colorful mask

when we are hollow all day

suffering in our own way

but we don’t talk about it

afraid to be judged

afraid to cause harm

afraid to be exposed

afraid

just afraid

the mask covers so we don’t have to face

 

we all wear the mask

pretending to be okay

at a dinner party

friends’ gathering

important jobs

or maybe in a pub

characters we play

on this stage we call life

 

we should start talking about it

we should stop the judging and start understanding

start loving

start forgiving, you and me

we should leave people better than we found them

not let them fade

behind the mask

 

we should start talking about it

we should be okay with not being okay

with every hey are you okay

it should be a question full of love and respect

not a social gesture that’s a bit awkward

 

we should make others comfortable

feel safe

feel less alone

because in the end we are all the same

we are together in this place called life

and we should stop wearing the mask

by being the one that starts loving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twelve

One

 

How much more does this life ask of me

As if every single breath isn’t already an agony

How much more do I have to do

To live right

When rules are written plain in sight

 

Two

 

My body is drowning

My lungs are filled with swallowed words

This body is burning

I feel anguish

When all I want to do is love

 

Three

 

I smile at you

I make jokes with you

 

I wear makeup

So the dark circles around my eyes

won’t be noticed

So the evidence of pain on my face

Won’t be brought up

So the sleepless nights

Or nightmares

Or panic attacks

Can all be concealed by a mask

 

I laugh

So you think I’m normal

Or perfect

Or perhaps proper

 

Four

 

I dress well

Like my parents taught me

Presentable

I hide behind my attire

So you can’t see me

 

Five

 

I hide in my bed

Counting from one to ten

And from ten to one

Waiting for today to go by

I just want today to go by

 

I hide

I am used to hiding and waiting

After all, that’s what I do best

 

Six

 

I say the right things at the right time

I eat the right things at the right time

I do the right things at the right time

Trying to control my life

As if doing so would make things right

 

Or perhaps just trying not to fail or bail again

Since society has a problem with failures and losers

 

Or perhaps it was my dad’s voice in my head

Warning me not to disappoint him again

 

Seven

 

When you do something over and over again

It loses its meaning

I wake up and go to bed and wake up and go to bed

 

I feel like a zombie

No meaning in repeating

I try and I fail and I try again and fail again

What’s the point in trying

If I am doomed to lose the race

 

Eight

 

You say I am lucky

And I know I have been

But right now I’m dying in slow motion

and there’s no room for appreciation

when I am murdering myself instinctively

 

Nine

 

you ask about my past

you ask what’s on my mind

penny for a thought

I’m scared of telling you the truth

Because then you would dread me too

 

Ten

 

I say I’m tired

I tell you I am drained

But you don’t listen

You nod like you understand

But can you even stand straight

If you were in my shoes

 

Eleven

 

How much more do I have to do

To survive

What meaning does there lie

If death is not the solution

 

Twelve

 

How many times do I have to repeat

Just how much I am drowning

How many secrets do I have to keep

Before I start to feel better

If I will ever feel better

And what’s the meaning in getting better

If death is still waiting for me

 

1246

1246 days

of sobriety

 

3 years

4 months

4 weeks

alcohol-free

 

The drunk version of me

Erased by memory

The crazy days

The erotic encounters

All seem so blurred

Lost in history

 

Buried deep in the dirt

Along with my lonely tears

The hearts I’ve broken

Friends who fled away

The relationships that faded

The sins I committed

People I lost faith in

All buried deep in the dirt

 

Bottles after bottles of alcohol

Demeanor of self-deception

Trusting that alcohol was alleviation

And yet left alone

with empty bottles

Empty as I was

Piled up like my troubles

Taking up all the spaces

Mocking my last sanity

 

Whiskey tasted like self-love

The next morning it reeked agony from my inside

the smell lingered

for 3 years

4 months

4 weeks

the mistakes I’ve made

all buried deep in the dirt

yet always there as a reminder

 

1246 days

alcohol-free

sobriety enables me to see

all the misery

clear and fair

what I suffer

How I suffer

the pain is greater when I am sober

I live through the sadness I try so hard to ignore

 

the past never truly disappeared

always there as a mockery

reminding me of all the failures

the worst version of me I have ever been

 

choosing recovery

but trapped in memory lane

the illusion of how whiskey can cure

seems so tempting

my mental disease

all relied on it

 

1246 days

alcohol-free

every today

is followed by a struggling yesterday

every hopeful tomorrow

is constructed by a skeptical today

 

3 years

4 months

4 weeks

of recovery

 

recovery glows flowers

adorning the grave I dug for myself

white and yellow flowers

on the dirt I buried my history

white as I my heart is now pure

yellow as the sun spreads hope

 

Depression Is

You talk about it

Like it’s something casual

There’s nothing casual about it

 

Depression is not casual

It is not just being troubled

It is not a cold

Which you can recover from in days

 

Depression is an assassin

Depression is the shadow that follows behind

Depression is the dark hole that consumes

Depression is me

 

Depression is the twisted state of mind

It is knowing that there’s something not right

But don’t know what it is

Don’t know how to fix it

Utterly clueless

 

It is being completely blind

Searching in darkness

Everything I touch makes me bleed

 

It is drowning in my own tears

Until I lose the ability to cry

To feel sadness

Or anything at all

Until numbness

is the only thing remains

 

Depression is the defense mechanism

A bubble that claims to keep me safe

As long as I stay in it

And believe in the projections it shows

 

Depression is something I keep in my pocket

Always with me

Wherever I am

Whomever I’m with

It tells me how to act

And not to take it out

So others won’t acknowledge

 

It is a tenant that checks in

Out of the blue

And my body is the landlord

It brings its friends over

Anxiety

Panic attacks

They party all night

Playing horror movies

I toss and turn

Can’t fall asleep for nights

 

Depression stays in my body

It is trying to take over

It gives me a mask

Ask me to wear it

So no one can see

While every cell in me

Is turning into depression

 

It is the bad neighbor

Drilling the walls

Filling my room with lousy noises

And yet filing complaints against me

 

Depression is not casual

Depression is the paralyzing negativity

It is transparent yet so powerful

It keeps me in bed

Everyone away

 

Depression makes sure that I am alone

So it can fulfil its duty

The task of an assassin

 

Depression is choosing recovery

over and over again

failing and succeeding and failing again

it is a loophole in time

repeating everything every time

 

it is hiding the beauty in life

says the blue sky is grey

or the loving friends don’t care

or universe has abandoned me

or I belong to the wrong galaxy

 

Depression

Is the devil with a thousand tricks

It is the opposite of life

It is not having a voice

Or a choice

 

Depression is many things

It is definitely not

Not casual

Like how you talk about it

Reflections

Complicated things by trying to fix it

Bad decisions after one another

Little bread crumbs that lead to despair

Hope is a trick

Only the fortunate can discover

 

Trying to find meaning yet stuck in a maze

gazing at the moon waiting to be saved

stumbling and falling I can never walk straight

energy only ever wasted

on the wrong people

 

all I’ve ever wanted is to be free

here I am tamed in a cage

all I’ve wished for is to be brave

here I am abandoned and scared

 

waking up from nightmares

only finding reality more formidable

traps and monsters are just as cruel

 

looking down into the lake

and see my reflection

I am the very monster from which

I am running away

A dream that can’t be awaken

A trap I can’t escape

 

But then a shadow floated across

Touching my chin with grace

And I stare into its gaze

A child crying at an empty place

Dark and gloomy like a wraith

 

The kid looks back from the shadow’s pupils

I see my childhood face plain as day

A monster yet to be made

Hurt and broken but still can be saved

 

I wish I could hug her in this parallel space

I want to tell her everything is going to be okay

Your future doesn’t have to be this way

There is still a chance for things to change

 

It is not to late

For you to erase the pain

Hurt and broken but still can be saved

 

The metal flesh can be ablated

And you can see the peace inside it

The soft cotton heart you’ve been hiding all this time

It is pure and it is a gate

A ticket to wonderland

So you can for once be the fortunate

 

Look upon the sky

And see the moonlight shines

on a silver lake

there shall be no more reflections of monsters

or the atrocious cage

but just a kid

discovering her way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this Ocean

In this Ocean

I am a carved wooden boat

with the ever-changing wind I float

I guess we are all lost in some degree

Eyes blinded and cannot see

 

In this Ocean

I am a carved wooden boat

I turn my head around

Struggle to float against the force

my body stiffen

eyes wide open

 

with all the strength

the unassailable flow of nature I defy

Just to gaze again

at the breathtaking scenery

which I once sang and danced to

 

In this Ocean

I am a carved wooden boat

always almost immersed by water

but would never let myself be smothered

because of the moon upon me

that I have made a promise to

 

I will always be empty

The carpenter who made me

have not seen me in the ocean

The sailor who once paddled me

Left after the fourth sunset we watched

 

And I will always be searching

for a shore that I can call home

but will always end up with the cold embrace of the waves

 

I let the storm fill me with the rain

convincing myself that rain

can do what glue does

Rain will piece me back like a puzzle

Rain will appease the tempest in me

 

When the stars come out and the rain stop

I realize that the rain drops

were the reason why

there was a tempest in me at the first place

 

but I still miss how the rain showered me

and how comforting it was to not be empty

I blame the clouds for taking my heart away

It would be the twentieth sunset

that I realize

rain belongs to somewhere else

a garden or a river, perhaps

 

I will always be saying goodbye

to the carpenter who made me

to the sailor who once

taught me everything about the ocean

to the waves that pushed me forward

to the sunrise and sunset

to the cruises that sometimes pass by

and with every goodbye I say

there is a crack somewhere on my body.

 

Someone somewhere

Once told me a story about how there is a lighthouse

in the end of this ocean

I do not believe it

I have been floating alone

for too long

and the idea of a lighthouse

sounds only like a story

 

I have counted the sunset too many times

That I stop waiting for it

I start to enjoy the darkness

that follows the sunset

I rejoice in how lost I am

I wonder if I am also like the lighthouse

Just a story someone carelessly mentions

I ask yet again the moon

for some sort of wisdom

 

the ocean water has never been warmer or brighter

I don’t remember ever reaching out for this softness

It seems like the ocean water has been holding me up

from the very beginning

I just never really looked at them this way

 

Then I remember the story someone once told me

About how there is a lighthouse

In the end of this ocean

It became my only dream

 

I imagine

This sublime white tower

this building that looks as jaded as I will have become

emitting light into the impalpable

 

somehow

It would let me close my eyes

And drown

I would hear the sound of nothingness

in the bottom of this ocean

 

When I open my eyes

I will feel the touch of the lighthouse

As loving and gentle

like the first time I sailed

I would find myself

a part of the tower now

Emitting lights into the depths of the darkness

Note to Self: Things I’ve Learned from Depression

Embrace every moment

You are not depression

You are more than your illness

 

resentment

is a cage you need to escape

resentment against others

is always resentment against oneself

 

Fear is not to be afraid of

Look fear right into the eyes

they are not the enemy

do everything with grace and integrity

love your own company

 

Your emotions are valid

Don’t deny them

Observe them

Understand and accept

 

Don’t be afraid to fail

Mistakes and failures constitute success

Learn with acceptance

never devalue yourself

 

when someone achieves what you are aiming for

be happy for them

They probably work just as hard as you do

if not more so

 

try to go outside at least once a day

don’t dwell in an episode

it’s okay not to be okay

and love as many people as you can

along the way

 

Give

Give everything you have

and ask for nothing in return

It’ll make you a happier person

 

Be who you needed

when you were younger

you have fought

to be the person you are today

don’t underestimate

the strength you possess within

and don’t degrade others

just so you can feel better

 

stand tall and firm

for what you believe in

but reserve the right to be wrong

at all times

constantly and regularly

examine your opinions

Make sure they don’t evolve into prejudices

 

Always be curious

Ask questions

Fight for your rights

don’t compromise yourself

you are all you’ve got

 

Happiness and realization

come in the most unexpected forms sometimes

Never reject anything at first sight

 

don’t be afraid to change

We are all different people throughout our lives

and that’s good

We have to move on

Allow others to change too

 

you can’t find peace by avoiding life

Focus on one day at a time

Let other people’s biases stay as their biases

It is what you do at the moment that defines you

And that changes all the time too

 

there’s always room and time

for acts of kindness

there will always be uncertainties

We are all lost in some degree

and that’s okay

we are all the same

Everyone’s struggling with something

We all get desperate sometimes

So be kind

 

you don’t need to have sex to be sexy

your sexuality is yours

Own it

you don’t need to be hungry to feel pretty

please exercise and eat

Take care of your body

you’re gonna need it

 

If you see peace

you can find energy

If there’s not much you can do

grow a plant, or anything

then at least

you’re doing something good for earth

 

Don’t go wherever the crowds go

You matter the most

do what feels right to you

never judge

You always know less than what you think you do

 

You are enough

you are many things

yet there’s one thing you never do

you never give up

 

It’s all luck

Don’t take credit for your success

nor blame others for your failure

always put yourself out there

Try new things

Remember that you can always go home

 

The kingdom of heaven is within

Remember your religion

You are not other people’s voices in your head

you saved yourself

You,

you did it