I Will Destroy You

“I destroy homes, tear families apart – take your children, and that’s just the start.
I’m more costly than diamonds, more costly than gold – the sorrow I bring is a sight to behold.
And if you need me, remember I’m easily found.
I live all around you, in schools and in town.

I live with the rich, I live with the poor, I live down the street, and maybe next door.
My power is awesome – try me you’ll see.
But if you do, you may never break free.
Just try me once and I might let you go, but try me twice, and I’ll own your soul.
When I possess you, you’ll steal and you’ll lie.
You’ll do what you have to just to get high.
The crimes you’ll commit, for my narcotic charms, will be worth the pleasure you’ll feel in your arms.

You’ll lie to your mother; you’ll steal from your dad.
When you see their tears, you should feel sad.
But you’ll forget your morals and how you were raised.
I’ll be your conscience, I’ll teach you my ways.
I take kids from parents, and parents from kids, I turn people from God, and separate from friends.
I’ll take everything from you, your looks and your pride, I’ll be with you always, right by your side.

You’ll give up everything – your family, your home, your friends, your money, then you’ll be alone.
I’ll take and I’ll take, till you have nothing more to give.

When I’m finished with you you’ll be lucky to live.
If you try me be warned this is no game. 
If given the chance, I’ll drive you insane.
I’ll ravish your body,  I’ll control your mind.
I’ll own you completely; your soul will be mine.

The nightmares I’ll give you while lying in bed.
The voices you’ll hear from inside your head.
The sweats, the shakes, the visions you’ll see.
I want you to know, these are all gifts from me.
But then it’s too late, and you’ll know in your heart, that you are mine, and we shall not part.

You’ll regret that you tried me, they always do.
But you came to me, not I to you.
You knew this would happen.
Many times you were told, but you challenged my power, and chose to be bold.
You could have said no, and just walked away.

If you could live that day over, now what would you say?
I’ll be your master; you will be my slave.
I’ll even go with you, when you go to your grave.
Now that you have met me, what will you do?
Will you try me or not?
Its all up to you.
I can bring you more misery than words can tell.

Come take my hand, let me lead you to hell.”


The Demon Has Taken Hold

When my Nan got diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease a little over a year ago, our entire family took it very hard. Both Nan and Pop are in their 80’s and live in a retirement home. Its a place where high functioning senior citizens can live when cooking and cleaning and regular upkeep of a house is just too much for them. They meet with other peers in the dining room each mealtime. No worries about having to wash dishes. They are free to come and go as they please. Some of their friends living there still have a car and drivers’ license. Its not a place where you will find people with severe dementia. Nor will you see people being hand fed their meals or wheeled to a room to be bathed. The people there are all able to do these things on their own.

So when Nan got diagnosed, our immediate thoughts were related to her home. Will she have to move out of her current place? Will we have to move her into a long term care facility? And what about Pop? How will this affect him? Thankfully, when she got diagnosed last year her main symptoms involved some minor short term memory loss here and there. Aside from that she was fine.

Oh yes. I failed to mention that Nan is also legally blind. Sometimes I forget that part because she’s been blind for the majority of my adult life and I’m so used to it now. Despite her blindness, Nan continued on with her life, doing things no one ever thought could be possible without your sight. But she did it anyways. As they’ve gotten older both my grandparents have come to depend on each other more and more. Just recently Pop began using a walker to help him get around because of extreme weakness in his legs. Nan holds on to one side and off they go together, side by side.

But this diagnosis has changed things. At first it was ok because there were no big symptoms. But over the past 3 weeks its like a switch went off in Nan’s brain and she is going downhill. Fast. The family has been called in several times because she became so upset and no one could get her to calm down. She is hallucinating now. Today my aunt and uncle are there with her. She says she keeps seeing this group of women who keep standing around her, crowding in on her, standing over her. And they are laughing. She said that one of the women has a flashlight that she keeps shining in her eyes and she randomly covers her face with her arms to block it out.

This is absolutely heartbreaking. I can’t for the life of me imagine what this is like. The fear she’s experiencing is so real. Its paralyzing.

And its only going to get worse.

Please Accept My Apology

My dearest Body,

Oh, how I have treated you so unkind. Oh, how so unkindly others have treated you. Yet, you still remain intact, bearing the physical, emotional, and psychological scars of unpleasantry for so little to see. Body, you have carried my being for years. You are much younger than I am in here. For reasons not yet completely known to me, there have been times where I have pinched you until you bled, cut you until you bled, starved you, poisoned you, and exploited you. Through all of this, you still remain with me: A young, beautiful shell carrying an old, bitter being.

Depression has allowed me to do these things to you. I never meant to hurt you. Family history runs deep within the vile rivers of disparity and self-loathing. I greatly apologize for those times I lacked the emotional and psychological ability to stop forced hate upon you. I want to blame my family history for my own past.

Rightfully so, these thoughts and actions are learned at a young age and I do not believe I would have naturally turned out this way if it weren’t for everything I have witnessed since birth.

Anger, depression, addiction, lust, and selfishness: the list continues. I have always known anger. I have always seen physical anger. These learned actions and reactions have caused me to harm you in ways I would never harm another living being. I cannot even kill a cockroach without crying inside.

My dearest Body, you did not deserve any of those things. I have taught you to stay still while I transcended into deep meditation. I taught you to stretch and run. I nurtured you with medication to heal you even when my brain maliciously told me not to. You are so incredible. I don’t tell you this often enough, but I spend long moments just staring at you up close. I love the rivets in your skin and the olive hue it gives off under its paleness. I am learning to love your eye color and your toes. I am learning how to give you what you need when you need it instead of selfishly taking and keeping from you.

With all of that being said, there is nothing I would want to change about you. Your lips are beautiful. Do not listen when I tell you they’re too thin. Your nose is perfect. Do not listen when I tell you it’s too big. Your vagina is magnificent. Do not listen when I tell you it’s not. Your nails are exactly as they should be. Do not listen when I tell you they’re too brittle.

The only things I wish to change are of my spirit. I am bitter and angry, yet hopeful and happy. I’m sorry that my mind is a bit confused, Body. I’m so grateful for you! For you have not betrayed me once. It is I who has betrayed you.

Yet, you inspire me by continuing to carry me forward!

You give me so much hope!

Thank you, Body.

Submitted by Ashley Godwin

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.

Fighting For My Life 

I hate when my mornings run into the afternoons and then turn into evenings. My day is nothing but a blur. I swear I can feel the weight on my shoulders of a million worries. I’ve been arguing with my own self within my thoughts all day. It’s just like a never-ending game of tug-of-war. Sometimes I lose, sometimes I win. I try my best to portray confidence with a smile to match. It’s easy to cover up my anxieties, but if you really knew what challenged me today, you’d understand what an absolute victory it is for me to still be alive ….

It’s Going To Be Ok

Wherever you are in this journey.
It’s going to be okay.
I promise you.

I wish I could show you in a way that feels visceral, tangible, something you could hold and hug in your darkest moments when your demons are coming for blood, that things are going to be okay.

They’re going to be so okay that you will look back on this time and weep, because you’ll see how perfectly broken you had to become, how fiercely the fire had to burn, so that you could shed the pieces that don’t serve you, that hold you back and down and keep you small, and be reborn:
big and beautiful and light, cleansed of the darkness and master of your dragons.

One day, you are going to help others with the knowledge of what you’re going through, and you will know yourself:
really, truly know yourself.
In a way that many others never do.

You stripped the canvas.
You saw what was there, and what was taken.
You saw what could be created, and you decided to build it instead of following its breakdown to the end.

You are Someone.

This breakdown/breakthrough/break-out is a process that is getting rid of all the beliefs that make you think you are not.

Hang on.

Look to the light.

When you hear the knock, open the door.
And pick up your brush.

My Demons Beckon Me

This is beyond terrifying.

And I cannot let down this guard in my mind, the one that is keeping the demons busy, protecting myself from the onslaught of emotion that might be unleashed if I was to let myself fully feel, fully be. But sometimes the breakdown is inevitable. 

 is a lonely, frustrating place. A place that feels like failure, and disappointment, and betrayal. Not only has my mind turned against me, but my body proves to be very unreliable as well.

Please don’t discount my experience or feelings in any way. You cannot speak for me because you know nothing about the world inside my brains. 

It’s lonely. And I hurt. Oh how I hurt. Sometimes I ache for others. For the connection of my soul to another soul. I dream of engaging in sacred devotion with another human being. I want to look into their eyes, really really deep into their eyes, and become moved by the things that move them. And then I could smile.

No barriers. No walls. As vulnerable and exposed to each other as possible. Real people. None of these ugly fake facades that you use to keep yourself from coming too close to me. I long for something real for a change. 

Sometimes the absence of real communication in my life is so profound it feels like my heart will break. Quite often I feel rejected. I must be doing something wrong, be unappealing to this society, for this kind of ignorance to occur. 

Why do they keep giving me these empty promises? I know you really aren’t going to call. I know that you will never show up at my door wearing that ugly, fake smile of yours. I know that here will be no new notifications telling me I have a message from you. From anyone. 

I know: you say it’s not me, it’s you, it’s your life, but I wasn’t always as cut off like this. 

Is it because I’m getting older? Am I not sexy? Do I make you feel uncomfortable? Why is it that people just refuse to even TRY to connect with me?

My heart is breaking. 

And now my demons beckon me. Unfortunately they don’t always play nicely. Sometimes they reduce me to ashes and I’m left shaking, wide-eyed, stripped bare with my soul torn and bleeding. 

But I always learn from my demons. I can’t outrun them. I don’t want to because they have something to teach me. 

I won’t run away from this breakdown. And I am too weak to fight against the meltdown. 

But how can I fix it?

Neither me nor my demons have an answer.

Is Freedom From Bulimia Truly Possible?

Having a history of an eating disorder is making this journey to a healthier, lighter me is proving to be very difficult. I’m being very careful to avoid restricting but the only familiar voices won’t let up. I’ve done well with my recovery these past few years but I’m quickly learning that I will never truly be free from those demons.