Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Words Can Heal

If you have read anything on this blog, you already know why I write. I write because I have to. Addiction, cutting, and as this poem will reveal, more than one suicide attempt are stories that now define who I have become. I am still here for a reason and I feel that reason is to share the experiences that I have been through and the emotions that went along with them.


This particular story, I have not written about before but in honor of National Suicide Prevention Week, I thought it was time. This is just my story and I am by no means claiming to have all the answers. I am just sharing my experience and that I am glad I am still here. That I have found that in speaking my truth, that there are ears that will hear me.


Never stop speaking your truth.

I remember it as clearly as if it were yesterday
but in linear time it’s been close to 15 years.
that night was filled with wanton desperation
a loss of hope, just begging for the pain to end.
there was a fifth of bourbon a bottle of pills
and the chemicals that filled my veins.
there was blood and there was a knife
there was nothing left to save.
at 105 lbs. I was walking death
skin hanging off bones.
I was hollow and empty and aching
and days passed endlessly without sleep.
I rambled and scrambled for something to say
anything that would string words end to end.
it was gibberish as I read it back to myself
how could anyone else possibly understand.
I drove for miles to nowhere
in circles, repeating, just to feel myself move.
the stagnant air that surrounded me
was choking me like a fist around my throat.
it was desperate and dangerous
the habits that I kept.
the situations, and surroundings,
nothing about me was safe.
I remember the night
 I lay face down on the floor
a gun pointed
at my head.
fear not, though the dreams
still haunt me now.
I didn’t change the path
or the road I was on.
tearing myself to pieces
from the inside.
wishing ‘an accident’
would make it stop.
back to that night
and the pills and the liquor.
back to the prayers
that I made into the dark.
‘if I wake up tomorrow
there has to be a reason
I won’t question again
I will simply live’
for 13 years and change
I kept my promise.
and then one day
it got very dark again.
I cut into the skin
seeking a lifeline.
I bled so hard
that I shouldn’t be here.
 I got on my knees and prayed again
not for a sign this time.
I prayed that I could surrender
and stop trying to fight to win.
I woke up a year and a half ago
and put both feet on the floor.
I’ve been walking slowly since then
and sometimes I just have to stop.
simply breathe and listen
to myself and feel the pain.
it never completely goes away
but I’ve learned to call it by name.
I’ve learned that there are words
that will ease the aching.
that there are sounds that will
comfort and heal.
I’ve learned that I know how to make them
that my voice is a powerful tool.
I can speak languages of emotion
that I don’t always know how to feel.
I have learned when I speak the truth
someone always hears.
each day when I wake up
I never quite know.
if I will have to fight for my life
or if I can just breathe.
but I know that I can speak
the name of my pain.
I have learned
that words can heal.


  1. '...riding in the storm', The Doors.

    I too have ridden in 'the storm'

    I've accepted the pain as part of the experience
    to the path I'm on. I accept the 'absurdity' of it all by way of knowing that I will never know, the 'whys'.

    little do we know but if we trudge along and let Nature take its course we will have cecome part of everything, the 'One'.

    I'm glad you're with us, mi amiga

  2. Sending you my appreciation for opening yourself and sharing your story. It is difficult and intense - but such experiences as you have had are that.

    I love the final stanzas about naming your fears or pain, and the power of words. I too, think there is a power in the naming of things, and sometimes the brave stance to delve deeper into and explore the things we are trying to avoid - gives us a bit of power over them. Perhaps then we are able to know these feelings more fully and name and understand them more accurately.

    I don't claim to have any answers or insight here... but I appreciate you... and the way your words invoke images both desolate and beautiful

    And the vulnerability that is on this page

    And the strength...


  3. Your courage is incredible, and I'm glad the world was able to keep such a fantastically gifted poet.