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Sometimes when I’m lying in my bath,
Water as hot as I can make it
Coloring pale skin red,
I fixate on the shower head
To turn off my thoughts –
They chase me everywhere
Often bigger than my control of them,
They’ve never taken to leashes or cages
Though there are a few medications that quieten them.
Some days I wish I were simpler,
Possessed of smaller, shallower musings…
I repeat to myself it is what it is
And fix my gaze on the shiny shower head,
Avoiding the inward looking
As well as window dreaming.

Avoidance by Karen Ballou, 2012©


Burning Up


Another day, too much business inside me, can’t seem to slow down.  I’m ultra sensitive.  Every word spoken or written by someone I know feels like judgment, I feel this enormous energy but at the same time I feel like a failure, like I don’t measure up… I am a secretary; that’s not even a career, just a job, but a job that keeps me from being with my family as much as I’d like, as much as I *should* & my house is disorganized because I’m not home enough and the other thoughts racing through my mind involve something I won’t get into here because it’s a sensitive subject for some people in my life and while I am emotional and affected by it, it’s not my story to tell.  Suffice it to say that when someone I know attempts or succeeds at committing suicide, something jerks inside of me.  When I’m depressed, it intensifies the depression and causes panic.

Being the opposite of depressed, with all this zinging, buzzing energy, I feel differently but also I recognize that… well, that could be me.  I’ve lived with suicidal thoughts on a fairly regular basis since I was 8 or 9 years old.  I tell myself I’m stronger than those feelings, but is it guaranteed that I’ll always be stronger?

I feel like my mind is spinning it’s wheels so fast, the friction may burn me out completely.  I don’t even know how to explain what I’m feeling.  It’s like a fever.  I’m burning up.  Not physically, but I’m burning up just the same.