…something

i look into your face
there is no trace
of recognition
in your eyes

and i don’t know
what gets me worse,
that you don’t know me
or how cliche
that first stanza sounds

getting right down to
the meat of the matter

we are living our lives
full of parting shots
and one-offs
no conversations had,
words left dangling,
left wondering,
as if a complete exchange
would signify,
i don’t know…
something

glb /// “…something”

Causation 1

Thinking on it, my brain says, “you got out of that pretty easily”. Then I get standoffish (to my own mind) “what the hell are you talking about?” Surely, he couldn’t be talking about cancer. We* chose invasive surgery over chemo and even with the enormous physical cost to me, all the margins were clean and I did not need to have chemo or radiation treatments. I just needed to heal. It was only a short while before I could get back to work, and another before I resumed somewhat normal daily activities.

I know that my experience has been different than many, many others. I consider myself extremely fortunate. But, my opinion is completely different than that . I got through it, yes. I’m still alive today, yes. I still have pain in the area of the surgery. I think what I “suffer form” now is remorse that I beat that thing, and in a smaller amount of time.

After that period of recovery I started treatment for depression. It was 19 years later that I was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder (BPD). So, I am frequently pushing it around my head. Did the cancer cause BPD? There is, of course, not any way to know. There have been some experiences in my life that make me think that BPD has likely been with me for a long time. I know that the diagnosis was later in life for me. There are, however, some things that happened in the years leading up to the diagnosis that might be seen as evidence of BPD. So here’s the question I’ve been asking for a while.

Can a trauma cause BPD, or any other disorder or mental issue?

*We is actually my father. He’s the one who, while I was under, communicated with the surgeon and decided to go the aggressive route. Keep going until the margins are clean. Virtually ensuring that chemo and radiation would not be necessary.

weather

I am raked across the pit, but I’m not burning. This fire has gone out, no one has tended to it for a long while.  I am left to grapple with the hardened logs where my fire used to exist. They only scrape and char with every hand hold I try to get. Barking out the dust with every breath, stretching and straining against the dark. I can see where I need to go, it’s getting there that provides the pain.

I seem to find myself here, or someplace close to here when it happens. I seem to find a way out every time. It’s different every time. But I don’t expect to win, every time, any hope I have is dashed against something ominous. I can’t tell myself that it will pass, that only serves to make it worse, longer or darker or both.

So, I wait. I weather and wait. Learning more every time. Not quite getting it, until I do. And that is where everything comes together or comes apart.

Now I am just rambling and wavering and I should stop.

It’s just not as easy as “pulling yourself up and soldiering on”

those words

when you take the time
when you get to slow down
when you open up
when you go back and read
those words
the turn of phrase
the combinations
that capture the magic
the longing for the stars
the sensation brought by
the sparks when we touch
when those words come alive…

glb /// “those words”
originally published 09/02/2019

within/without

i am
completely spread out
in this tiny circle
pushing aside
these accoutrements
of a life spent…

only to pull more out,
that is how i manage
to feel empty,
filling shelves
and boxes
with things that are
worth anything
only to me

this all exists in trillions
upon trillions
of instances,
not a single one
getting it just right

i just chose the one
closest to my truth,
wondering aimlessly
trying to match
the within
to the
without

glb /// “within/without”
originally published 03/29/2018

when the truth surfaces

when the truth surfaces,
we will not be able to
comprehend how long
it has been held under,
gasping and grasping for
the ability to breathe in the life
needed to spread it to every dark
corner, to billow the sails of every
fast ship, to light signal fires
on the tallest peaks, to speak
in the loudest most forceful voices,
to be heard, to be understood,
that is, after all, the only thing
it has ever wanted

glb /// “when the truth surfaces”
originally published 05/02/2014

ask me why

if you wanted to ask me why

my truthful answer would have
come at dinner

don’t ask me why in the throes
of passion

my answer will always be a lie

to ensure the passion continues

glb /// “ask me why”
originally published 04/12/2014

because

i have an abiding compulsion to live
because sixteen years ago i did not think i would still be here
because ten years ago i did not think i would still be alive
because in those intervening years
there was an undercurrent of hope
because there was a pull on my being
because my presence here is important
because it is about more than just me
because whether you want to be it or not
it is about you too

glb /// “because”
originally published 01/14/2019