Poetry Friday: Phantoms


No phantoms speak black words tonight
within my ears and out of sight.
They often whisper chillingly
The awful truths that I can’t see
about the world and those that live
and barely breathe and never give.
I fear the phantoms but they come
because, they say, there must be one
to bear the truth of all the world.
They touch me with their claws uncurled
upon my chest, “This place,” they’ve said,
“is where the people have gone dead.”
This happens almost every night;
their voices echo as in flight
upon the still air of my room
as I lie huddled—Hark now! Soon!
I hear their wings and feel their touch
and breath—now I have said as much
as can be said. All that is heard
inside my room are phantom words.

* * *

P.S. Happy Halloween! 😀

I Miss Crying

Over a year ago I was diagnosed with depression and I started seeing a counselor. I don’t even know how to describe those months preceding my first appointment. Have you ever wanted to die? I’m sorry. I get it. There are no words.

This counselor recommended I take antidepressants, so I got on and off the pills in just over a year. I have the experience documented here. After I worked off the meds, I thought I had moved on. But it happened again recently–the onslaught of depression, the inability to care about life anymore. So I’m taking them. Again.

It’s only been a week or so but already I miss crying. I miss feeling pain. I miss feeling hopeless because at least then I was feeling something. Now, although my emotions have lifted to a more normal human level, they don’t fluctuate as much as I would like. I would love to laugh until I cry. I would love to cry until I laugh.

I’m never satisfied with what I have.

I fear I’ve lost the ability to be content with where I am in life. Content with the school I’m going to, content with the people I love, content with where I am financially. Of course it’s good to be ambitious and set goals, but there’s a point at which ambition becomes greed; when what you have is never enough, and you can’t be satisfied with life for more than a few moments each day.

Lately I’ve been learning how to breathe in a way that decreases stress. The method is breathing slowly in through the nose and slowly out through the mouth, making sure that the diaphragm (belly area) is expanding and not the chest. My best breathing frequency so far is six breaths per minute. I breathe in for five seconds and out for five seconds, concentrating on the action for about twenty minutes.

The slow breathing helps me focus. It reminds me that I am more than just a head moving around on tense shoulders and a hunched spine; I am a whole body, one that can feel light and airy and at peace. I can connect to all the cells in my body through healthy breathing. I can be aware of everything around and inside me. I can be content in this one moment.

Matt wrote an amazing piece on meditation on his blog Must Be This Tall To Ride. I loved his closing words:

“It wasn’t that long ago: not attractive enough, not smart enough, not rich enough, not strong enough, not tall enough, not good enough.

We cannot change the things that happen to us.

We can’t.

But we can change how we experience them.

Just breathe. In, then out.

I’m tall enough.”

Readers, here’s a video of chirping birds. Take two minutes out of your day and see if a little meditation makes you feel better. I care that you be happy. I hope you care, too.

Kristin Chenoweth and Twitter

I have nothing to say. I’m writing this on Sunday night so I can schedule it to post at 8:11 like on “Taylor the Latte Boy,” which BTW is just so funny. Here’s the video. It has Kristin Chenoweth, so just yes.

And then watch this, because at this point… yeah. It’s funny, too. “Many a girl had let me court her–never did I need a restraining order,” lol.

You should all be glad to know that for the term-long class I thought I was going to fail, I GOT A B! Usually I’d be all, “Oh, but what if I lose my scholarship…?” But, no, my friend. Whenever I think about just how magical the letter B is, I am filled with thoughts of marshmallows and sunshine and the smell of clean laundry.

You know what doesn’t start with the letter B, though? Twitter. T for traumatizing. T for trying to be cool. T for trying also to be funny every day. It’s hard! I have to, like, warm up with a few dull paragraph before my writing even resembles humor. Some people can tweet, and I am finding that I am not one of them. It feels distinctly like it should only be for serious people who can handle daily socialization and public humiliation. Like high school.

Maybe if I’d made a Twitter account in high school, I wouldn’t have eaten lunch alone in the science classroom so much. Go figure.

Do great things! Love, Maney

Poetry Friday: I Dissolve

These are technically guitar lyrics. I adjusted them to read more like poetry.

I Dissolve

The mountain mists highlight rays of sun
catching hidden blues and grays
my fingers clench around the steering wheel
I’m lost as thoughts of better days
sweep over me, overcome me
swallow me, and I dissolve

The engine cuts and I am more alone
that I have been in all my days
the first steps crunch and then there’s silence
I lose myself, and the forest’s ways
sweep over me, overcome me
swallow me, and I dissolve

The river dances up my body
‘til fingertips just touch the rays
of morning light on the surface
I close my eyes and let the waves
sweep over me, overcome me
swallow me, and I dissolve.

Weirdness and Curiosity

Weirdness has been in my life lately and I’m kind of caught between wanting to write novels about it and wanting to keep everything all locked up. Knowing myself, I’m sure I’ll eventually pump out the paragraphs, but for now I’m just kind of reveling in it all.

But anyway, the happy pills make the world seem a little brighter–literally. I think they’ve made my eyes more light-sensitive. It’s been a few days but I still feel a little nauseous in the mornings, not to mention totally twitchy and distracted. What can you do? At some point I guess you just have to decide that living is more important to you that a little discomfort. And I guess for me it is. Now.

As I slowly lift out of the depression that has so consumed me, I look around and realize that I’m pretty interested in what I’ve been learning in school for the past two months. Though my grades don’t really reflect that interest–oh, well. I think C stands for Celestial at Mormon Harvard, right? (If you don’t get the joke, you can go here for an explanation.) (If you still don’t get it, it’s my fault. The joke’s really not that funny.)

Also I realize it’s almost Halloween. Now, don’t anybody go crazy on me here–I’m not actually excited for Halloween, but it is a slightly brighter spot on the vast black expanse which is my future. I like being scared once a year. I mean, my favorite show is Fringe. If that’s not an indicator, I dunno what is. I don’t feel like getting all poetical with describing how fun and awesome Halloween is, but I do want to share this YouTube video.

Let it be known that I love Vsauce, and that Michael has helped me through some hard days. Like, sometimes I’ve been super down and I just throw on one of his videos to distract me or give me a positive view of the world. This video in particular was fun to watch because I got a really creepy, Halloween-y vibe from it. And if it matters, I have found Vsauce to be consistently clean, interesting, and entertaining for as long as I’ve watched it. (Just make sure the YouTube account is “Vsauce” if you want this serious quality.)

Bam. P.S. Happy early Halloween! ^-^ <– That is a Halloween cat face thing. For you.

You’re welcome.

Amanda Bynes, Robin Williams, and the Spectacle of Mental Illness

Just wow. Everyone should read this.

Let's Queer Things Up!

Internet, we need to have a talk.

I’ve had a number of readers ask why I’ve neglected to write about Amanda Bynes this last year. It’s simple, really. I don’t believe that celebrities are “fair game,” and that, when they have very human and very difficult struggles, I should capitalize on those things by writing an article, however well-intentioned. I believe they are deserving of privacy and respect, by virtue of their being people.

However, I’m making an exception here, because in the midst of the negative and callous press that Bynes has received, I think it’s time we had a chat about it from a different perspective. And then, after we’re done, I think it’s time we stop speculating about it altogether. Deal?

First and foremost, there is no way for us to know what, if anything, Bynes has been diagnosed with. The family has denied schizophrenia and bipolar…

View original post 1,074 more words

A Letter to the Editor

Dear Maney,

We, your humble readers, have a few thoughts to share with you. We’ve been following your blog for some time. We feel that we know you. We feel that you have adequately expressed to us your sorrows and weaknesses. And we have something to tell you.

When you write about how sad you feel, we suffer with you. You don’t know this, but we’ve had a fair amount of suffering as well. Some of us have also lost loved ones–parents and children. Some have suffered abuse, verbal and physical and sexual. Some of us have been broken by divorce, misplaced trust, war-torn countries. Some of us have been in the army and our PTSD is far more severe than yours. You complain because you feel sick when you see life flight helicopters? Some of us become incapacitated when we see children. For some of us, our life or the lives of our loved ones has been severely limited by disease, poverty, addiction, enslavement, and more and worse. But we’re sorry you cry alone sometimes.

And, Maney, we were shocked to hear about the explicit rap. Thankfully you dusted your shoes at the door with your little comments about how proper your sinning was. It was a relief for all of us hardcore, real-life sinners. Some of us are still struggling to forgive ourselves for past wrongs, but thanks for throwing salt in the wound by flaunting your obviously spotless record. We appreciate the comparison. On days when we wonder if we might actually have atoned for our sins, we think of you and realize just how much longer we have to go.

Dear, dear Maney. Would that we could fix your problems. We would go to any lengths to make you more comfortable, for we love you so. However, because of your pride, we cannot give you this simplest of cures, the very thing that would fix you up and shut you up, so we can worry about our own very real problems–ones that can’t be swallowed away with medicine. So in your anguish, please keep in mind that most of your struggles will end with a little blue pill. And this very cure is what you are angriest about.

Grow. Up.

Several umpteen readers you keep in your head

(P.S. I started taking happy pills again. I feel sick now but maybe in a few days both my stomach and brain will feel better.)