I Want My Mother to Understand

my mother always asks
why I can’t stay awake for more
than six hours
and I tell her that sometimes
it’s easier to sleep
than to pretend that the world isn’t
closing in around me
that sometimes it’s easier
to sink into the mattress I have so
perfectly molded
because everything else is uncertain
my mother always asks
why I can’t choose to be happy
as if I would ever choose to be sad
or choose to be anxious
or choose to be miserable
don’t you dare tell me that
depression is a state of mind
it is my entire being
I am nothing more than empty
pill bottles
and tear streaked pillow cases
if my happiness was as simple as
checking the box at the bottom of the page
that asks if I accept the terms and
conditions
I guarantee I wouldn’t care about the
fine print.
my mother always asks
why I can’t remember to take care of
myself
and she asks why my hair is always
tangled
and why my makeup is always so crude
as if I have time between fits of
hysteria and fits of uncontrollable
sobbing
to scrub myself with sea salts
because I swear that I’m trying
I just don’t have the motivation
I just don’t have the motivation
I just don’t have the will power to follow
through
I just don’t have the time
and I’m sorry you can’t take me in public
without feeling the need
to hide me behind your coat.
my mother always asks
why I can’t explain myself on days
where I feel as if mountains are sprouting
in my lungs
and my chest is going to convex until it
explodes
or on days when
my legs tremble with the earthquakes in
my stomach
I’m sorry that I tell you it’s just a
headache
because it’s easier than explaining
it’s impossible to find the words to say
that I am broken
that I am in pieces
that I am in more pain than anything you
could ever understand
without going through it yourself.

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