On Learning To Love Yourself Again (Spoken Word)


Lately I’ve been tracing patterns in my life
as if they are natural disasters.
I tell my doctor
and she says I’m brave.
She commends me for being 23 and doing this self-reflection
and I want to ask her why
I can’t seem to face my own reflection
afraid I will see Hurricane Ari stamped across my forehead.
See, I’m not Manic Pixie Dream Girl
because my mess isn’t fluffy
or one dimensional,
sitcom material.
But the kind of darkness that ebbs and flows
is often covered in light.
I stand at an ocean of my own undoings
and at least remember,
the tide always comes and goes.
But see, Hurricanes don’t only destroy themselves
but take down those within a certain radius.
And I don’t want this,
So I retreat,
Disappearing for a few months as if it’s something noble,
as if I’m sacrificial martyr rescuing others from my downpour.
Maybe storms are trying to do the same,
but us humans, we get in the way,
trying to rescue and save,
alert pedestrians who will be in the path.
This domino effect tragedies so often play.

I spent so long fearing the power within my voice.
Because I speak loudly
and quickly,
and never really know if these are symptoms of something else
because I can google a lot of things about me
and find a diagnosis within seconds.
This is to say I am not always smooth sailing,
but often choppy waves
and I have warned those who get sea sick to not voyage too far.
This is to say I am not always logical,
Right brain heavy.
This is to say I stopped taking math classes as soon as I met my school requirement
so maybe my equations aren’t always well thought out.
This is to say I am not J. Crew catalog or something you can flip through any season and find roughly the same thing.
This is to say I am not always head or tails
but something in between.
This is to say loving me is a bit like those who get pythons, stick them in cages
because they know what may happen if they undo the lid.

It is a problem that I have loved those who wanted me in cages,
who wanted to minimize my manic,
ignore my depressive.
This is to say I have often walked around a mannequin within relationships
hoping if I fake it long enough,
I won’t be so snake slithering in thigh high grass,
won’t be Tornado that empties a whole town
while they wait for it to pass.

This is to say that I am tired.
I am tired.
Even when I get a full night’s sleep,
I am tired of trying to play a character,
someone I’m not.
This is to say I am loving myself today.
This is to say storms need love too.
This is to say maybe the weather man is free to meet me some afternoon. Thought Catalog Logo Mark


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About the author

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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