My heart has been heavy lately in the recent passing of Robin Williams. It is scary to see such a successful person succumb to this disease. There are so many people out there that don’t understand the plight of those of us with mental illness and see suicide as a cowards way out. Although I am NOT condoning suicide, I do understand that sometimes that is all we can see as an outcome. I’ve written the following poem to try and explain how it is inside a bi polar brain sometimes. It helps me to get the feelings out of my head and onto paper. If you feel like you are at the end of your fight, please call the suicide hotline. There number is: 1-800-273-8255.
If you cannot bring yourself to call them, call a friend. Send a text. Reach out to one of us on here. We will listen, I am sure of it.
The Serpent Inside me.
This deep and cavernous dwelling is dark, and damp, and cold.
The walls of stone that surround it, thick…callous…old.
An endless serpent has made its home immersed within my mind,
Many eyes and mouths just slithering, always trying to unwind.
High above this serpent, which continues to multiply,
Are petite picture windows that allow a peek into the sky.
I run. I search. I scream. But this basilisk is always there.
Pulling me back into its grip and I’m sinking into its snare.
Then like a dream fulfilled, tiny hands grip at my heart,
“Do not leave us”, they command. But this demon is tearing me apart.
These voices that do beckon me, THEY cannot be real,
Because this monster has convinced me that I do not belong here.
Here. Among the living. I do not fit in.
This inner, vicious, serpent…it….alone…will win.
“The love you seek is false,” it boasts, “A fairly-tale for youth,
You’ll never be truly happy. It is only me and you.”
I try to cover my ears, I try to shield my eyes.
And for the briefest moment, I can tell it speaks in lies.
But days don’t end an sleep won’t come,
And that kernel of hope has come undone.
Back to the dark winding tunnels, in the recess of my mind
With only glimpses of the light that I cannot seem to find.
One day I see a dangling rope and I begin my slow ascent
And with each exhausting pull I can still feel the serpent.
It is following me up this exit, refusing to let me go.
But I can taste the sunshine on my lips and feel that glimmer of hope.
One hand through the window, then the other right behind.
The hope swells within me, I’m escaping my own mind!
I lift my body to the ledge and exhale at all I see.
This is not what I expected from my long and painful journey.
Straight down and out across the land, are endless snakes, basking in the sun.
A single tear, slides down my cheek….I’m too tired to go on.
I thought that I could escape this darkness if I could reach the sun,
But this monster that is inside me cannot be outrun.
In the center of these serpents, stand all of those I love.
The beasties slither close to them and I have had enough.
These monsters they are mine. Mine, and mine alone.
I will not let these vipers reach them. That I won’t condone.
I reach into my pocket and what I grasp removes my fear.
I steel my nerves and inhale, to be sure my people aren’t too near.
I close my eyes, I pull the pin, put my arms across my chest,
Holding tightly to their saving grace, I fall backwards into my serpent’s nest.
I do not want to die here, but these things will never let me be.
This is the only way that’s left to take these monsters with me.
“I do not want to leave them”, I think as darkness explodes in shards of light,
But my demons are coming for you too, and I had to stop the fight.