To My Friend with Schizoaffective Disorder

Asaf R

After I ask you a question,
You hesitate to respond.
I watch the elaborate thought process
Unfolding behind your eyes,
As you process my question,
Study a multitude of possible answers,
And choose one.
You always speak deliberately.
Your words are sparse,
But infused with wisdom.

You name yourself more rational
And less emotional
And fear that you are not enough
Since your feelings are not intense enough.
You speak literature and poetry.
Your speech is always paragraphs and stanzas.
You usually smile with only the corners
Of your mouth.
But sometimes you laugh,
A singular laugh,
That comes from deep within your gut.

Sometimes you drift from reality
Into mystical sequences of thoughts
And stuttering sensations that shake you.
Sometimes depression nearly smothers you.
Usually, anxiety accompanies you.

When you reach out to me
In friendship,
I treasure the gesture
Since I know it is rarely given.

I speak quickly, then wait
For your cautious response.
Your deliberate phrases
Are steeped in compassion
And brimming with truth.
I keep listening,
Because listening to you seems to be key
To unlocking new truths in the universe,
Which you have studied
And I have not yet understood. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Lynne Shayko is a master’s student in clinical mental health counseling at Kent State University.

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