The moments I can feel, I can’t say I feel completely myself.
Who I am is at war with a stranger who claims to be me, who makes claims over me.
This stranger brings with her a dark, heavy fog that seeps into my bones, my blood, my vision, my heart, my soul.
Even when she is not here or there, I fear her presence.
She takes from me clarity and peace of mind.
When she puts me on like her outfit for that day, I have no say.
She chooses what I see before me, making the fog as dense as mud. When the fog is that dense, I cannot hope. I don’t see potential accomplishments, just inevitable failures and disappointments.
She chooses what I think. How sick I’ve gotten of the refrain she puts on repeat: “I can’t… I can’t… I can’t…”
She gives me glimpses of what other people must be thinking about me.
They must think I’m so lazy because it takes me so long to do simple tasks and assignments. I know I do.
They must think I don’t care about them because it’s so hard for me to follow through. Is that true?
They must think me a burden. When I’m present, my darkness is too.
They must think I’m faking because I feel a fool.
She makes my bones feel heavy and my mind feel muddled.
I postpone getting out of bed so that I can’t be worn by her.
I hurry to get in bed because she’s worn me down.
I fear her.
I fear her because I often feel I am her.
I fear her because life doesn’t come easy when she fills my being.
I fear her because I love sunshine and wildflowers, but she reminds me every day comes to an end and every flower fades.
I fear her because she does not love people like I do.
I fear her because she doesn’t care if she hurts them.
I fear her because she convinces me I don’t need them.
I fear her because she tells me they don’t want me anyway.
I fear her because I know I get comfortable being worn by her.
I fear her because she’s hard to take off.
I fear her because it’s hard to find where she ends and I begin.
I fear her.
~ Hannah Tippens