Living With Fear – A Poem About Anxiety Disorder and Mental Illness

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Living With Fear – A Poem About Anxiety and Mental Illness

Close your eyes.
Keep yourself blind
To the hideous beast
That hides beneath this veil of security.

Pretend you can’t see me
For who I am –
A scared, frightened, shell of a man
Raging in the solitude of fear’s prison.

I can’t even stand the vision
That stares back at me in the mirror,
So how could I expect you to accept me?
How could I expect you not to judge me?

I only wish that for one day you could see
What it feels like to crawl within my skin,
What it feels like to loose it all –
Everything you’ve ever loved, ever dreamed to your own mind.

Finding myself racing around trying to make up lost time –
The minutes, hours, days cowered in the corner,
Just wishing the world would fade away
And this anxiety would leave me in peace.

The attacks may subside, but the restlessness doesn’t cease,
Always waiting to jump me unexpectedly
Like a mugger in a dark, deserted street,
Leaving me helpless and penniless, staring death in the face.

How do I mingle and mix with the human race
When I know my revelations will label me an outcast and crazy fool?
How do I look confidently into another’s eyes
When inside my soul shrieks and my heart beats through my chest?

Where can my soul find rest
In a world of strangers
Who would surely laugh and jest
At the man beneath the mask?

How do I keep from being labeled an outcast
And not notice the eyes jeering at me like I’m a psychotic loon,
Pretending to understand, but keeping their distance,
With no desire to get close enough to help me clean up my mess?

How do I bear being labeled lazy when I’m doing my best
Just to make it through the day, make it out the door,
To achieve some level of normalcy,
And not get crushed beneath the weight of my fears?

Will they ever understand when my mind rears
Its ugly head and leaves me panicking,
Breathing in short gasps pleading,
“Can we please leave now?”

Will they ever understand how
It feels to be locked in a prison of your own being,
Pacing the hours away, wishing somehow
You could find a way to escape invisible bars?

Will they ever not be horrified at the scars
That cover the face of my soul?
Can they ever comfort me at my worst
And not run from the beast before their eyes?

So do you blame me from hiding this storm inside?
Do you know the shame I sleep with,
Always feeling like a monster –
A freak drowning in a sea of normalcy?

But this is me.
And no amount of hiding can change who I am.
I am a scared, frightened, shell of a man
Terrified of the world finding out how weak I am.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


*Painting “The Scream” by Edvard Munch

 

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Alien – A Poem

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Alien –  A Poem

Feelings run too deep
like the full summer moon,
sinking in the sky’s dark sea of black.
Reminiscing, pondering over burnt out stars,
wishing their beautiful light could somehow be brought back.

But the ancient dust has crumbled,
scattered like ashes in the brisk solar wind.
But memories stand transfixed,
unaltered by time, suspended
in infinity’s domain without an end.

To navigate this sea without your stars for direction
leaves me scrambling, rambling without course.
No heat radiates by the fireside.
No flames flicker in the lantern at my bedside.
My burning passion is extinguished without a fuel source.

Shoot me across the atmosphere,
riding high tides of lonesome tears.
Won’t you pluck this bitter fruit from my hands?
I fear the past may be lost, withered beneath winter’s frost.
So queer to feel like an alien inhabiting Earth as a man.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


 

photo credit: Northern star trails via photopin (license)

The Streets of Love – A Poem

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The Streets of Love – A Poem

Somewhere in the depths of solitude
There’s a searching, a seeking,
An endless pursuit for meaning
Among the daily rendezvous with silence
And the lonely morning hangovers
From drinking too many shots of unrequited love
The night before.
There’s Tylenol for a headache,
but what do I give my heart?
How do I treat this pain
From parading down Main Street
Putting on my best show every night,
Yet only performing to empty streets
And vacant sidewalks?

Once upon a time I wished upon stars
But the veil of darkness has smothered their glow.
Night is now a cosmic sea of black waters galaxies deep.
No longer is hope revived after hours of sleep,
But staggers out of bed like a wounded soldier
With an ailment that has gone untreated.
My hope is not yet defeated,
But is down to its last stand
And is backed into a corner of surrender.

Somehow it seems my time has passed.
I feel like the school boy who wakes up late
And misses the bus, sprinting out just in time
To see it carry his classmates away.
I stayed at home the day the rest mingled and played,
Discovering their partners.
Love has swished me around in its gullet on more than one occasion,
But refuses to swallow, hacking me up and spitting me out again
To wallow in the remnants of its saliva and digestion.
Is my taste not sweet enough?
Or am I missing some tang?
My heart is burdened by the pangs of rejection.

I do not need another to define me,
But my masculine desires rage within my loins
And seek fulfillment and release.
Until this need is satisfied
I am afraid inner peace is out of reach.
Naked. Starving. Ravenous.
My hunger feasts upon my thoughts.

I am lost in this lonely night
And trek across the land
Hoping to find another unfortunate soul like mine.
I yearn for intimacy –
To taste a feminine spirit and savor her juices on my tongue.
But now I lie among the vagabonds and migrant drifters
With endless winters that leave me without shelter and cold,
Shuffling alone through sleepy towns and foreign lands
Searching for a home wherever I can find it.

But cardboard boxes and bridge overpasses
Are no place for relief and asylum
From the weather of the world.
There is still faith that one day I can unpack my suitcase
For the last time and warm myself
By the hearth of another’s heart.
But until then I remain homeless –
A hopeless romantic just trying to survive
Living on the streets of love.

-Poem Written By Justin Farley

If you enjoyed this post, I would greatly appreciate it if you like, share, or comment on it. Follow my blog to receive notifications when new posts are published. You can find my other Christian poems, Lent poems, love poems or inspirational poems at https://alongthebarrenroad.com/category/poetry/


photo credit: via dei funari 2 via photopin (license)

Dealing With Winter – Learning From Nature

2182376536_87a875701eThe temperatures are already putting me in a bad mood, and even though we’ve only had one snowfall, I’d say I’ve had about enough for the year. It is way too early to be already having blistering temperatures in the middle of November in Indiana. I do have a tendency to suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) in the winter – my depression/anxiety is always worse. The lack of light and inability to go outside much (unless you want to freeze) leaves me feeling restless and irritable. But this year I’m going to try my best to change my perspective and flow with nature, instead of against it.

As much as I dislike this time of year, it does remind us that even nature needs time to relax and rest. The forests are still and quiet, blanketed with beautiful snow, with all vegetation asleep until the coming spring. It is a great time for reflection – to be in solitude and think about our lives, our goals, and our destination. As human beings, we all tend to complain about how we never have the time to do anything and constantly feel like we never have time to take a break. But the time of year when nature tells us we can, we tend to ignore it and keep moving, wishing it were spring. You have permission to be still and quiet. If nature needs it, we do too. In our world, stillness is one of the hardest disciplines to practice. Is it any wonder people feel more stressed than ever before?

This year let’s not focus on how cold it is, how miserable the weather is, or count down the number of days until spring. Let’s be still and watch the example of nature – we might even learn a thing or two.


 

Photo Credit: ***Bud*** via Compfight cc