Last night, while I was digging through a closet trying to find something, I came across the box that holds all of my old journals and writings. On top was a poem that I had written in August of 2004. Hard to believe it was 12 years ago! I distinctly remember  writing this one…well the ending of it at least. There are little spots of blood on the paper. I hadn’t even bandaged the fresh woulds on my wrist before I picked up a pen and furiously scribbled my thoughts on the paper.

This poem so adequately depicts what it feels like to dissociate and then counter that dissociation with self-injury. At 16 years old, before I knew what PTSD was or that I in fact had PTSD, I was writing poetry like this. Poems that describe in vivid detail how it feels to go through dissociation, flashbacks, depression, etc. This may be triggering, so please don’t read this is if your head is not in a good place. For me, I didn’t get triggered reading it again for the first time in years. However, it was a gentle reminder of where I used to be and how easily it can be to fall back into that. I was reminded of how scary it is to dissociate and that, even though cutting seems like a great solution for dissociation in that moment, the relief it brings is never lasting. Yoga, on the other hand, is a great way to become more grounded and present when struggling with dissociation. 

I didn’t dissociate today, but my anxiety has been all over the place this week. I haven’t been to a yoga class in 7 days and all of my fears about not having time for yoga seem to be coming true. My husband was supposed to have tonight off so that I could go, but he had to work. He is also supposed to have Sunday off so that I could go, but he informed me that he will probably have to work Sunday as well. I literally do not know if or when I will go to another yoga class….My next big break isn’t until Christmas. I spent my evening going through some restorative poses with my bolster after I put my daughter to bed. It was nice to have a few minutes to stretch and focus on my breathing, but it really wasn’t the same as going to a class. I miss all of my amazing yoga teachers.

Ok. Back to the poem. Deep breath. It’s scary sharing this with the world. Please don’t judge my 16 year old self too harshly 🙂


Suffocating —
In a world of darkness
With a mind so hollow,
A soul so empty
Drowning in these opaque dreams
Where glee is nonexistent
Crying out in agony
To a world so oblivious
Clawing at the gates,
Those forbidden gates to happiness
With pain so intense
And thoughts so extreme
In a pool of blackness,
Slipping underneath
Grasping onto reality
As it turns to dust
Shattering all hope
In the blink of an eye
Running frantically
Away from these feelings
With heavy feet
Pounding the ground
As the earth,
Once so sturdy,
Begins to crumble
All stability
Reality becomes a mere
Figment of imagination
As insanity erupts
Stumbling onward
Through this nightmare
That never ends
Fear comes in jolts
At every turn
Followed by pain
That lasts forever
Lightening strikes
Tortures to come
Demonic thoughts
Creep about,
Prevailing every move
The body—
So weak,
So useless
Trying to escape
The unbearable pain
As visions of cynicism
And failure presume
The vexatious past
Lives on,
Haunting every feeling
Invading every thought
The mind collapses
Under the pressure
Down a bottomless pit
With nothing concrete
To grasp,
Nothing to break the fall
Screaming violently
To no one
As insanity overtakes the mind
Once so intense
Now seems to dull
As freedom is pouring out
Only for a moment,
The eternal chains
Are broken
But shortly after
The pain returns
Gnawing at the body
It watches
In fits of laughter
As the body
Struggles for freedom
With crimson tears
And spells of dizziness
Collapsing in a heap,
Trembling with fright,
And gasping for breath
The mind floats back
To what is real
In reverse,
It all returns
To how it needs to be,
Light beams through
And the ground reassembles
The room comes into focus
The pain,
Dulled only for a moment
Slowly starts to rebuild
Leaving the body,
Once again,
On the verge of insanity
Suffocating in darkness