steps to survival


get through the day

just one day at a time

and if that seems like too much

too all at once

all loud and in your face

go by seconds

and then minutes

and then hours

make the in and out of

air in your lungs

a manageable thing


but there is no

clear map when it comes

to survival

because that looks different

for everybody

and a numbered list

could fill all the blank pages

but won’t you think of the trees


and when my depression

grabbed me by the throat

my feet left the ground

as the blueprints left my hands

the plan that i had planned

all neat and laid out

but an addled mind does not

care about that

because it is too busy screaming

and smacking itself against the floor


and sometimes survival looks

like staying up until it is

almost morning again

so you can rock back and forth

in a nest of your blankets

soaked in tears and sweat

sobbing till the line between

heaving breaths and puking

becomes more than blurred

because how do you tell

your family and friends

that you want to die

because it all hurts so much


and sometimes survival looks

like eyes sunken and glazed

shaking hands around a mug

of tea or coffee

with alcohol optional

but not much can mask the

acidic taste of panic

that comes with your heart

continuing to hammer against

your ribs


and sometimes survival

is all smiles

and laughing until you cry

and sloppy kisses

and laying in the middle of a road

on a dead end street with

the person you love most

and your hands are almost

touching and they are so

beautiful and you are alive

and it feels so good

and you are alive

and you are alive

and you are alive

and you are past the survival

and you are LIVING

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  • marielababy

    this is inspiring and I love it!!

    • queer-with-a-pen

      Thank you! I wrote it while listening to "Angels in Gas Stations" by Storm Large 😀

    • James Michael

      A real wallop of a poem. Started out with words from many therapists’ mouths. Turning into the harshness of what is truly felt. Brilliantly nearly ending with “and you are alive” x 3.

      What is the point of living? To live, I believe. No matter how messy it gets!

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