Emma Carter (Pt. 1)

My room hasn’t been clean in months. My head is a cloudy mess. My body isolated from society. I haven’t left my bed besides to binge eat in two weeks. I don’t remember the last time I showered. My friends gave up on me. I don’t blame them. Maybe I should get out of bed today. Or maybe today will be the day I finally disintegrate into this bed…. 

Mornings are all the same: alternating between sleeping and scrolling through the internet. I was having an exceptionally bad morning, seeing horrible news on my Twitter feed and angry people in the comments on Facebook. I’d seen everything on YouTube last night in one of my binge-watching late nights. Bored was an understatement. 

In the middle of another suicidal thought, I found a post on Tumblr I’d never seen before. It said, “you don’t need to hit rock bottom to get help” and it resonated with me. Maybe I had been subconsciously looking for a sign, maybe I was open to advice at that moment, or maybe that was just what I needed to hear. Either way, it helped me out of bed that day. 

I hadn’t done it in almost six months, but I texted my therapist for a new appointment. I made myself cereal. I had a whole glass of water. I took a screenshot of the post. I sat at my kitchen table, old newspapers and dirty glasses scattered. Making room for my cereal, I stacked a few glasses in a corner. I might move them to the sink after I eat. 

Eating is tough. Nothing really has a taste anymore unless I’m manic. Today, I could actually taste again. Granted, it was chocolate-y sugar cereal, but I was taking it as a win. There was still a weight on my shoulders, but it was lessened. At least for now.

I wanted to take small steps. I didn’t want to overwork myself with self-care. So, I put the dishes in the sink. All of them from the table. Then I took a nap on the couch. It was a depression nap, but at least I was out of my dark room. The sun shone from the window behind me, warming me up under the blanket. I smiled for the first time in a month. It felt good. 

“Maybe I’ll be okay eventually.” I whispered to myself before drifting off to sleep.

Self Care

Self care is laughing at yourself

instead of beating yourself up.

Self care is going to sleep at 8pm because you’re tired.

Self care is eating when you’re hungry.

Self care is not buying yourself things you don’t need,

in hopes that it’ll cure your broken mind.

It’s letting yourself be upset,

and doing something that makes you happy.

It’s asking for help when you need it,

and letting yourself have a good cry to that one sad song.

It’s reaching out to an old friend,

even though you two haven’t talked much recently.

It’s being honest with yourself and those around you.

Self care is important,

because you’re the only one who will always be there for you.

He lied comfortingly.

“I know how you feel.” He lied comfortingly.

“I’m not sure I believe you.” I said, awkwardly fiddling with my hands.

“I know, but you will. You just need time.” He said, and I stupidly believed him. His lies were reoccurring. Comfort grew in his lies. Our relationship crumbled, but I couldn’t bear to live without him. He lied and cheated, and I should know better. But I was too broken to fathom leaving. 

“What if it happens again? What will I do then?” I fought back a little.

“It won’t happen again.” He said. This time it wasn’t a lie because he was referring to me finding out. He’d be more careful next time. He would make sure to close all his tabs and delete his messages. We would live a happy and lie-infested life. 

Months would go on, years passed, and I hadn’t forgotten it. I had nightmares of the night I found out, that Instagram message notification, it’s innocent but brutal ding that defined who we were as a couple. Her message, I memorized. The screenshots she sent, I saw every time I closed my eyes. I told him I got over it, but I could never. I thought about it every time he smiled, every time my phone went off. When I got message requests, I thought, “This is it. Another one. The last straw. I’m finally done.” When it ended up being nothing, I was angry. I was angry that I didn’t have a reason to leave. I was angry that I wanted to. I was angry that it had been years and I still stayed. Why didn’t I leave? What was keeping me here?

I was scared to tell any of my friends about it in fear that they would tell me to leave him. I knew it was abusive, it wasn’t that easy. He was all I knew. We dated since high school, we’d been through everything together. If I left him, I’d be leaving those memories, too. And there weren’t just bad memories, we had a lot of good ones. Watching the football games, hanging out with his friends late at night in the summer. 

I knew it was bad. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was he had me convinced I would never be happy without him, that he was the best I would ever do. I finally left him three months ago, and I’ve never been happier. I’ve been hanging out with my friends again, I moved into my own little apartment. I deleted him from my phone, blocked him on social media, and I haven’t been prouder of myself. I’m still recovering, but I’m doing a lot better already. 

Snowy February Night

The cold, crisp February air turns my face red,

something you’ve always been good at, too.

We’re standing outside as the snow falls around us.

It’s not the first snowfall of the year,

but it’s the first in a while.

A flake falls onto your nose and we laugh.

I’m filled with a joy only you can bring me.

We’re bundled up in coats, hats, gloves, and scarves,

you bury your face in your scarf, a twinkle in your eyes.

It’s 9 pm in an empty parking lot,

the moon, full and bright, illuminates the vacant lot.

I see just your silhouette, 

but it’s enough for me.

A car drives by, the low hum of their engine breaks the silence,

their headlights brighten up your face for a moment.

I’d never seen someone so beautiful.

As we stood out in the cold,

waiting for our friend to pick us up,

I tell you I’m freezing and you take your hand out for me to hold.

I smile, and you take your glove off. I do the same.

Your hand is hot on mine, and a warmth fills me deep inside.

I never believed in love before I met you.

I never believed in anything before you.

Our friend drives up to us and we climb into the backseat.

He apologizes for taking so long, he had to get gas.

I don’t mind.

A year’s time.

            Mid-summer. Sticky air. The sun set at 8 pm, now it was 9. The stars were out. The humidity ran high, but so did our spirits. We all had the weekend off from work. We could be out all night if we wanted. The possibilities were endless. We sat on the beach, the sand still warm from the day’s hot sun. A fire roared in front of us, and I looked over at you and fell in love for the millionth time. The fire illuminated your smiling face, your laughing body, and it burned deep inside me. We were young, and we had our whole lives ahead of us, the unnerving future far away from our minds.

            What we didn’t know was how little time we had left. What we didn’t know was that by this time next summer, we wouldn’t talk anymore. No one on this beach, not even me and you. The grief sits on our shoulders, knowing we could have done something, but instead we let it happen. We didn’t stop him, and we should have. For a while after the funeral, we tried to stay friends, but he was the glue that kept us all together. Without him, we were a broken group. We fought constantly, over every little thing. 

            What happened? We had so much time, just graduated high school, no real plans for our future. And now, it’s forced upon us, all because we didn’t reach out after he had another episode. We didn’t say anything when he told us he was done living, because he’d said it before and he never meant it. He was just dramatic, he’d get over it in a year or two. 

            But now he never will. And neither will we.

This story is a little different from my poems, what do you think? Just wanted to remind everyone that it’s not true, it’s just a little vignette I thought of.

springtime.

I love the spring

The hopeful air,

Knowing we made it through another winter.

I love the smell of open windows,

That first warm day.

What a relief it is,

My depression has lessened

And I feel whole.

The bitter darkness inside me

Has turned sky blue.

Clouds scatter the sky,

As though leaving my head

And finding a new home.

Clarity is something I’ve taken for granted.

I’ll never do it again.

I’ve never found something so therapeutic

As sitting outside in the morning,

That first warm day

Drinking coffee and reading a book.

An overwhelming feeling courses through my veins.

it tells me I’m going to be okay

And I foolishly believe it.

What to expect from Lauren Writes Too

So, I’ve wanted to start a website for my writing for a long time. Like, since I started writing. But I never knew what to put on it and where to begin. So, I’ve done some thinking and I think, for now, this is what you can expect from me.

On Saturdays, I’ll post a poem. On Wednesdays, I’ll post a really short fictional story. For now, that’s all I’ll be posting. In the future, if I have more to upload, I’ll post more, but since this is very new, I figured I should start with just two posts a week.

In the meantime, feel free to check out my short stories on Kindle, they’re each $0.99. You can find those at http://amzn.to/2NUFf6b. 

I Will Recover (Poem)

I’m done fucking lying to myself,

Keeping things in just because it hurts.

When I’m in pain, 

I’ll talk about it.

I’ll work through it.

I’ll get over it.

And I’ll be stronger for it.

I’m sick of being a bystander in my own life,

Watching as things just happen.

As I make a friend,

Lose a friend,

Drop out of school,

Start again just for the hell of it.

From now on I do things because I fucking want to

not because it’s what everyone else is doing,

But because it’s my god damn life

And I can make my own decisions.

If I don’t want to go back to school,

If I want to work part time while writing on the side

I fucking will.

If I want to go get a coffee,

And that new book I heard about,

I will.

Even though the mall is a half hour away,

And there might be traffic

Or a lot of people.

No more excuses for easy things. 

I’ll call for that doctors appointment,

I’ll go get my oil changed on my own.

Hell, I’ll go for a drive just to clear my head

Just because I wanted to listen to that one song as loud as I can handle.

And scream the lyrics along with the band.

And I’ll be a stronger person for it.

I’ve been through hell already,

Who’s to say I can’t get through more?

I Want To Care About Myself (POEM)

I want to matter.

Not to you,

To myself.

I care what you think, 

But I don’t want to.

I wish I cared less

What you think of me

And more what I think of me.

Because I’m the one who will be here

when life gets hard again

No one else is guaranteed. 

So why do I care so much?

You shouldn’t matter to me.

It makes sense for me to care about me,

But why won’t I?

What is so fucked up in my head

That I focus so much of my energy on what other’s see?

I can’t even tell anyway.

I don’t know what you think of me,

And I’m done trying to decipher it. 

I want to love myself.

I want to eat healthy because it fuels me,

I want to go on daily walks in the morning,

To the pond and watch the sunrise

Because it’s what my body desires.

I want to stop sitting around,

Playing games for hours on end,

To distract myself from my aching loneliness,

when I could go for a run and feel better faster.

I want to matter.

I want to care about myself.

Depression VS The Fighter in Me

I’ve never been good at love,

I’ve never been good at anything.

I’ve never wanted to be better,

Until I met you.

I had no reason to stop my self-destructive behavior.

You made me realize I’m worth more.

You made me want to love myself.

You make me want to be better.

Everyone left and I didn’t understand why,

I was suicidal and I didn’t understand why,

I was anxious and I didn’t understand why.

I knew it would get better,

But I didn’t understand why I needed the pain to begin with.

I was so naive 

to think the pain didn’t make the pleasure better.

I was so naive

To think I couldn’t beat depression.

I was so naive

To think I couldn’t find coping skills.

Part of me knew I’d get better,

The fighter in me.

Part of me thought I’d never get better,

The depression in me.

The fighter is stronger,

But the fight isn’t over.

It probably won’t ever be,

But now I’m stronger,

I have better weapons.

I can get through anything you put me through.