As The World Sleeps, Madness Rises

I’m lonely.
I’m going to die too soon.
I should write a will. Nah. I don’t have anything of value.
I’m such a terrible mother to my fur babies. Such a failure.
How am I going to survive spending 4 days travelling next week? Holidays should be fun.
All I do is worry. Worry, worry, worry.
I hurt. I wish I didn’t hurt. I hurt so bad.
Damn it, I forgot to put the clothes in the dryer.

I’ve spent too many nights of my life being an insomniac. Pain keeps me awake, but my active brain does a pretty good job of that, too. It’s dark at night, it’s lonely and I feel like there is no one else in the world awake, even though logically this makes no sense. My mind plays tricks on me. I’m tired all the time but I just can’t switch off. I have been through many phases of taking different sleeping pills, but even then I just wake up feeling groggy and like  haven’t slept for years.

The night brings out the worst anxiety; in the light of day I can rationalize, but the darkness brings with it a heavy depression that is pretty tough to shake. I worry. A lot. I don’t consciously think of anything, my mind just wanders from subject to subject.

I try to survive another dark night. I’m scared to go to bed, frightened of the battle with my body and brain. I don’t want to lie awake all night yet again. I lay there wondering what I did to deserve this. I’m a good person, I’m kind and compassionate. I have made mistakes like everyone, but this? What did I do to deserve this? I wonder about karma and the many gods I read about. Why do I feel like I’m being punished? Why me?

I just want to lie without pain, and sleep without repeating the same battle each night. I do everything right, have tried every suggestion anyone has ever thrown at me, but none of it works. I just can’t sleep and the longer the battle rages, the darker the corners of my mind I find myself in, trying to escape this hell.

The constant exhaustion that comes with being sick all the time is impossible to describe to anyone that hasn’t felt it themselves.

It’s beyond tiredness.
Beyond having flu for a couple of weeks.
It’s relentless.

There is no end and the beginning was so long ago, it’s impossible to remember a time that I didn’t feel like this. The fight with the dark feels impossible to win, night after night, trying to switch my brain off, trying so hard to find that happy positive part I know is there within me, but I lose it whenever the sun sets.

Am I going to get worse?
Will my heart stop beating?
Will I slip away while I sleep?
What will happen to my dog?
What will my husband do without me?
How can I save myself?
What can I do to fix this???

I long for the sun to rise, its warmth not only heals the world but also my tired, aching body and brain. I begin to relax as the hear birds begin their day outside my open window; I hear hope once more, arriving with the daylight. My body finally gives up and my mind clears enough for sleep to take over for a few short hours.

I wake up shortly after, groggy and heavy, my limbs weighed down and stiff as I struggle to stand, smile and face another day.

I’m alive.
I smile.

My day begins with the usual chaos that my labrador retriever brings: barking, whining as she impatiently waits for her morning kisses and snuggles, squeaky toys from one end to the other, and the madness of her hyperactive personality. I remember why I don’t ever quit, why the darkness will never be strong enough to absorb me. My amazing husband pulls me to him and kisses me on the lips. “How are you feeling hunny?” With tears in my eyes I tell him that I’m ok.

It’s incredible how my little family can create such distraction from the pain and my irrational worries. I smile, again.

I’m alive.
I’m fighting.
I’m living.

The darkness may be strong, but I am stronger.

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I Want To Be The One

I don’t want you to love me because I’m good for you, because I say and do all the right things. Because I am everything you have been looking for. I want to be the one you didn’t see coming. The one who gets under your skin. Who makes you unsteady. Who makes you question everything you have ever believed about love. I want to be the one who makes you feel reckless and out of control. The one you are infuriatingly and inexplicably drawn to. I don’t want to be the one who talked you into bed. I want to be the reason why you can’t sleep.

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Her Mind Is No Longer Her Own


Alzheimers doesn’t take big things away, it takes very small things that don’t seem all that important until you string them together; it’s a disease that seems to ‘cut the dog’s tail off one inch at a time’…which is just cruel and malicious if you ask me.

She only remembers one phone number out of the dozens that she memorized over the years. She doesn’t realize that she has already asked me that questions 3 times – in the past hour or that she just called me by her youngest daughter’s name. She has no idea how long she was married, or how many grandkids she has or if she still has that pink shirt or how to use the buttons on the tv remote. It’s all just lost.

Alzheimers takes away very small things.

Every single day, some part of her brain walks off into the sunset and waves good bye. She doesn’t realize this is happening. She doesn’t know that there is a dark shadow creeping through her skull wiping away important information. Her mind tells her over and over again that she is perfectly fine.

In a way this is a big blessing. She still knows who everybody is, she knows how to laugh and she knows where the bathroom is and how to eat a McDonald’s ice cream cone. She listens to the news with Pop at 6 o’clock every evening and always comments on the things they show. She tells me that life was upside down back in her day too, and that all the countries got together and fought to put things right again. She makes me feel hopeful.

I’m glad she isn’t aware of the tears I shed whenever I leave. I want to hold her in my arms and never let go of her. I want to keep every piece of her close to me so I can protect her from the horrors of Alzheimers. But it is an unpredictable, evil thief that chips away piece by little piece of every one of its unsuspecting victims and is never satisfied until there’s nothing left to take.

Fuck you Alzheimers.

Fuck you and the train you came in on.

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A Collection of Madness and Magic

The Lithium Chronicles


My mind is light and dark and always uneven,
a rest stop for a long line of weary travellers
and mischief makers; a home to thousands
of manic spiders spinning sticky webs
of dark delusions against the back of my eyes.
My ears itch with the whispers
of hyper charged bits of paranoia.
My throat burns from the speed
at which I swallow the rants
and raves of transient thoughts,
and I am able to breathe again.
My blood boils with electricity,
ferocious enlightenment kicking
through the walls of a dead heart
and I am alive again.
A collection of madness and magic,
I am a place where art and illness collide.

© Nicole Lyons 2017

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I Sink Deeper

I am good for a while.
I'll talk more, laugh more, sleep and eat normally. But then something happens. It's like a switch turns off somewhere and all I am left with is a darkness of my mind.
But each time it seems like I just sink deeper and deeper. And it's scary.
I'm terrified that one Day I won't make it back up. I
feel like I am gasping for air, screaming for help. But everyone just looks at me with confused faces, wondering what I am struggling over, When they're all doing just fine.
And it makes me feel nothing but crazy.

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Fear The Fire More Than The Fall

Please Stop. Read this carefully. Think about it.

The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of 'hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing.

The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant.

The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames.

And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump.
Not really.
You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.

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The Bravest Act Of Their Life

People like to say that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and they’re right—but those standing in the darkest places can’t see that from there.
When someone takes their own life, we can view it as a tragedy for their loved ones, as a reason to mourn their leaving, as a squandering of what that life may have one day become, we can even be really angry at the senselessness of the loss.

But we should never use the moment to insult the dead by trying to shame them after they’re gone. Believe me, they really wanted to stay.

They did the very best they could in the worst seconds of their lives. They were as brave and strong and selfless as they were able to be in that moment.

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