Day Drink (flash fiction)

One of my NAPOWRIMO pieces was picked up for publication!! It’s called Day Drink and it was published at The Flexible Persona.  You can read it at this link.

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Don’t Glamorize Mental Illness

“stop romanticizing things that hurt”

The following is a rant-introduction draft that I’m working on for my memoir project.  It still needs some work, obviously, but it’s a valuable start.

Putting a teenager in a psychiatric hospital is, in a word, problematic.  I’ve heard accusations that claim it’s not real life; it’s easy to fix problems in a controlled environment, but that it’s not representative of what those problems look like outside of a hospital setting.  I’m here today because, as it turns out, it’s not so easy to fix something a delicate as your mind, even in a controlled setting.  And, let me tell you, there are very few things that are “controlled” in an adolescent unit.

I, for one, needed the break from real life.  And if I needed it, I’m not the only one.  But it wasn’t the first choice.  Aside from drastic events such as virtually out-of-nowhere suicide attempts, hospitalization should be the last resort.  By the time I got to the hospital, I felt like I had exhausted my capacity for life.  I was a freshman in high school and had been battling untreated, misdiagnosed mental illness for years.

I’d like to tell you that I entered the white walls of the hospital and things were instantly washed clean, but if that were true, I wouldn’t have spent months of my time in and out of lock-up, in outpatient therapy groups, and in one-on-one therapy after I finally reached the point where I no longer needed inpatient intervention.  If everything had been washed clean, I wouldn’t be writing all of this out for you.

None of this is glamorous.  Facts are facts: I was so down for so long that I wanted to be dead. None of this is quirky, or cute.  The media tends to do this to stories of mental illness, but there is nothing desirable or romantic about hospital gowns and not being allowed to shave your legs and waking up at eight in the morning to stand in line for some pills.  There’s nothing hauntingly beautiful about deciding that you have nothing left to offer this world.  Don’t make this into something it’s not.

Endeavors

I finished my freshman year of college on May 9th. I made Dean’s List, which was pretty amazing – nobody who knows what they’re talking about has ever told me that I’m GOOD at school before, so that felt good.

Currently, I’m waiting to hear back on several poetry submissions and one submission of flash fiction.  In the meantime, I’m working on a chapbook of love poems. I’ve never been able to write quality love poems, so this is exciting to me.

Also, I’m still doing school online! I’m currently taking a prerequisite Spanish 102 course and a gen-ed course called Contemporary Social Problems (SOCL 102).  After SOCL 102, I’ll be taking Enviromental Science and the World History: 1500’s – now.  It’s kind of dumb, but these classes get me out of bed in the morning.

Lastly, my family is moving! In 6 days, I’ll have left behind being a resident of Northern Virginia and will begin living in Midlothian.  Pretty cool.

Those are my endeavors.  Here’s a excerpt from a poem I wrote today called “The B Side”

I’m no longer in mint condition

because someone took me out of my box

and played with me,

National Poetry Month BURNOUT

I can’t poem any more, not for a while at least.  I had a good run, but anything past twenty days of writing is too much for me.  I’m done.  I quit.  Here’s a line from when I tried to pick up a pen this evening.

If I come off a bit loose to you, it’s only because somebody untied my knots.

This is my last NAPOWRIMO post.  Generic blogging will commence in the future. Peace out, homies.

National Poetry Month DAY NINETEEN

You ever write a poem, and you’re like, “damn, I didn’t realize I felt so strongly about this topic.”?  But it’s like, all there, in the poem.  Anyways, today’s excerpt is from one I wrote called Fever Dreams and it’s a love poem, I think.  This excerpt isn’t too love-poem-y, though. It’s about a boy.  I’m in love; I know I’m in love, I have been in love for a long time. And he’s finally mine.

I’m all push and no pull,

ghost peppers under my tongue,

flames licking at the part of me that fears

until I’m laughing

because it tickles

instead of burns.

National Poetry Month DAY EIGHTEEN

Today’s going to be a good day.  Tuesdays are always good.  I have an easy class at 2, get to hang out with my man until 6, then I have poetry workshop!

For today’s poem, I adapted a small piece I’d written earlier into a slightly longer piece.

your chest a pit of hot sand for me to sink my feet into,

dry – they buried their madness inside of you

I have nine poems in a folder marked “Handle With Care.”  I’m going to spend May going through them, and any more I might write that can go towards the folder, and seeing what I can do with them.