Neerja-

Neerja-

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For Neerja,

Their world was in flames,
An atmosphere- chaotic;
She marched to her own beats,
The sole voice of reason;
Dousing the flames,
At the cost of her own skin;
Engulfed by the embers,
So the children could be free.

Not all heroes wear capes,
Fancy attires,
With a wide fan base;
Some are disguised,
under apparent labels-
Daughter;
Friend;
stranger…
Neerja.


The above poem was inspired by “Neerja Bhanot”, a name familar to most indians. She was a pursuer for Pan Am flight, and lost her life while helping passengers escape the plane after it was hijacked.

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Mental Health Friday: #1

Mental Health Friday: #1

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I was first diagnosed with Early Onset Bipolar Disorder when I was five years old. At that time, my mother did not accept the diagnosis and moved forward with no help. At the age of 23, after I had my first child, I was diagnosed again. I did not accept my diagnosis at that time. At the age of 31, I was once again diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, ADHD and PTSD. I accepted my diagnosis’ and went for treatment.

Through my life, there have been great losses and broken relationships due to the stigma of mental illness. It amazes me when I come to realize how destructive ignorance can be. I wish the people in my life had been educated at least enough to know that mental illness, like any physical illness, is not a choice. It is not a moral issue. It has absolutely nothing to do with values and integrity. Mental illness does not mean less than.

There is so much brilliance hidden in people who are disregarded because of a diagnosis. So much courage, fortitude, loyalty and love. The creativity is endless. Just like anyone else, we are leaders, followers, teachers, friends, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters. We are parents who love our children and children who love our parents. We are human beings.

What I would really like to see, is a way for people to appreciate the value of a person with a mental illness. Just like everyone else, we each have gifts to give the world. Great gifts and it seems such a waste to throw away such assets, based on ignorant assumptions. Over the past fifteen years, I have struggled to accept, understand and become compliant with my diagnosis. Bi-Polar to me is not a bad thing anymore. I know what it means in my life and those around me and I know what I have to do to manage it. Read more

Writer’s Quote: pleasure & sorrow

Writer’s Quote: pleasure & sorrow

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I was scrolling through images on google to get a quote to share for this weeks’s Writer’s quote/poem Wednesday, when I came across the above words by Victor Hugo. I literally said out loud- This is beautiful.

I had intended to share a quote by Robert Browning as his poem is my pick of the week, but I couldn’t pass up the Victor Hugo quote; so much truth in it.

The poem I’m sharing below in turn contains so much wisdom in its few lines. It reminds me of an elderly person giving advice to a young one. It is so true when they say- we learn from adversity. I hope you enjoy the poem below.

By Robert Browning Hamilton

I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chatted all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne’er a word said she;
But, oh! The things I learned from her,
When sorrow walked with me.

From experience, I am a believer that sadness and tears and sorrow help us to grow and evolve into better human beings. Do you agree?

 

 

Mental Health Friday #4

Mental Health Friday #4

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Have you ever felt like you were at the end of your rope? You just couldn’t take it anymore. You didn’t want to talk to anyone, be around anyone, and even form your brain to think about anyone. All you could think about was the extreme feelings of sadness you felt about yourself and your life. You experienced something that brought you down soooo low, you never thought you would be able to come out of it. Two years ago that was me. With the death of my mother and the ending of my long term relationship; those thoughts ran through my mind every day and night.

Heart racing. Shortness of breath. Tears beginning to well up in my eyes. Body feeling numb…every 3 to 4 hours the cycle happens all over again. I lay there trying to control myself, counting back and forth from 1-50… “1..2..3..4..5…….50…49..48..47..46”, praying that I will soon fall back asleep. Crying my eyes out sometimes because I can’t. When I finally wake up in the morning, the feelings I have are no better. I don’t want to move. I don’t want to get up. This little voice in my head keeps telling me, “It’s not worth it. You’re just. Not. Worth. It.”

The moment when I realized that I believed that “little voice in my head”, is when I knew something was wrong with me. It wasn’t until one horrible day that I was forced to do something about it. The devil saw fit to ease his way in my thoughts and it went downhill from there. As I walked down Alcoa Road one Friday evening, I began to have thoughts that I’ve never had before. I was tired. Tired of crying, tired of hurting, tired of feeling alone. I started really thinking about the most painless way to end this all. Again, I. Was. Tired. My life was no longer important to me and I began to speak so much negativity over myself while devising a plan in my head. In the middle of all of that, I recieved a phone call from one of my sorority sisters. After ignoring the phone call 3 times I finally answered.

“Hello”
“Hey Bridge. What’s going on? Are you ok? I was just calling to check on you.”
“Yes, I’m fine”
“Bridge, you don’t sound fine. Are you ok?”
*hangs up phone*

I turned my phone off and cried my heart out for 15 minutes. Thoughts still pounding at my soul. Called her back and told her, “No. No, I’m not ok.” I ended up telling her everything that happened. All of the thoughts that were running through my head and how I felt inside. She told me to go to the doctor, but I refused. I worked at a psychiatric hospital and no one was about to call me crazy. I wasn’t having it. But after all of her begging and pleading I made an appointment and went to see the therapist and psychiatrist the next day. Read more

The girl who Lived-

The girl who Lived-

 

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And if I leave this world,
Tonight in my sleep;
Weep, but only a bit-
Then live out my dreams;
Share my words,
Exhale my stories;
Say to the world-
Here was a girl who lived.

She lived, she sought;
She spoke, she roared.

She dared to dream-
All odds, she beat;
She stood her feet,
Atop thick rifts.

And when the ground is holed,
My mother’s eyes are filled;
Hold her, tell her the story-
Of how her daughter lived.

originally written (2014)

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Mental Health Friday #15

Mental Health Friday #15

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When the psychiatrist first told me I had paranoid schizophrenia, she started it off with, “I have some bad news.” I have heard my diagnosis described as, “Every parent’s worst nightmare” and many other almost fatalistic phrases.

How are you supposed to feel about yourself when people describe something that is so much a part of you as awful, terrible, tragic, or sad? Living with paranoid schizophrenia is not for the weak, but it isn’t the worst thing in the world either. Those of us with a mental illness know that suicide is the worst thing, because in the case of suicide everyone loses and the illness is the victor. Suicide should be every parent’s worst nightmare, not schizophrenia.

Unlike suicide, there is hope with schizophrenia. I have symptoms every day, but I live a good life. I worked most of my adult life as a social worker, a library assistant, and a marketing director. I am happily married to the love of my life, and I am currently enrolled in a certificate program for writing at UCLA. I am an aunt to some wonderful young women and men. I am a sister to all five of my brothers. I am an only daughter to my parents, and I am a niece, cousin, and friend to many people. Does that sound like “a parent’s worst nightmare?” No, it doesn’t and it isn’t.

Read more

Poetry (poets)-

Poetry (poets)-

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She told me to write about
The one thing I owned;
What set me apart from,
The writers i know;
What made my heart bleed,
What turns my head spinning,
Bleed from your pen, she said,
The truth you’ve kept hidden.

It began with a conjunction,
The first line i wrote;
Alternating between free verse
And rhyming, i poured
What kept me at night ,
What made my gut churn;
I wrote till I couldn’t,
And made it my own.

Poetry is a journey,
To each poet, their own;
When one pens of heartbreak,
Another pens of joy;
To each their own story,
To each their own woes;
You just do you– she says,
No need to conform.

I’m sorry I havent been able to reply to your comments and posts. Will get to them soon.

Writer’s Quote: The Nail

Writer’s Quote: The Nail

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The poem below is one I feel strongly about. The reason I am sharing this poem is because I believe it is a poem everyone should read at least once, especially with the state the world is in.

This poem holds a message we all should hear and absorb. We can turn off the news, ignore the papers, block out the internet, but it doesn’t change reality.

Although, I am one of those who like to pretend everything is all peaches and rainbows, but as a human being, it is my duty to remember and acknowledge- there are bad things happening in this world, even though it may seem like a myth. It is not, this is happening in reality. Only by recognising, Yes, there is a problem can we come together and find a solution for it.

The Nail by C.K Williams

Some dictator or other had gone into exile, and now reports were coming about his regime,
the usual crimes, torture, false imprisonment, cruelty and corruption, but then a detail:
that the way his henchmen had disposed of enemies was by hammering nails into their skulls.
Horror, then, what mind does after horror, after that first feeling that you’ll never catch your breath,
mind imagines—how not be annihilated by it?—the preliminary tap, feels it in the tendons of the hand,
feels the way you do with your nail when you’re fixing something, making something, shelves, a bed;
the first light tap to set the slant, and then the slightly harder tap, to em-bed the tip a little more …

No, no more: this should be happening in myth, in stone, or paint, not in reality, not here;
it should be an emblem of itself, not itself, something that would mean, not really have to happen,
something to go out, expand in implication from that unmoved mass of matter in the breast;
as in the image of an anguished face, in grief for us, not us as us, us as in a myth, a moral tale,
a way to tell the truth that grief is limitless, a way to tell us we must always understand
it’s we who do such things, we who set the slant, embed the tip, lift the sledge and drive the nail,
drive the nail which is the axis upon which turns the brutal human world upon the world.

 

Self-Love

Self-Love

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“But I love…”

Of course, we all love someone- mothers love their children, husbands love their wives, sisters love their brothers, some love their friends.

And how many of those love last when self love is not in the picture. You can love someone else true; but when you love all that is within yourself- the good, the flawed, the quirkiness; when you know what you’re worth, passing it on to someone else becomes so much more easier.

Once you accept your flaws, accepting that of others becomes a piece of cake….                 easier said than done- that, I also know.

One more day-

One more day-

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It doesn’t always take a rope,
To end a life.

Its the breakfast you skip,
For the fear of gaining pounds,
The lunch you nimble at,
For the fear of being judged
By the crowd.

Its the road you cross,
Without checking twice;
The nights you spend,
Without shutting your eyes;
The body you push,
To its brink without regards;

Some deaths aren’t sudden,
Its in the little trivial acts;
Hoping no one would notice,
Thinking- none would miss your departure.

You have survived this long,
And your Lord wont leave you stranded,
If there’s one thing i’d say-
Pls stay alive,
the earth needs your presence.
One more day is all I’m asking,
Always- one more day.

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