My Life by H.D. – Guest Poem

The following poem was written by my friend H.D. We’ve been friends for 8 years. He’s currently being held in a state psychiatric facility. Hopefully soon he’ll be released and be able to take the stage and share his story. Until then, I’m sharing his poem. I found it incredibly insightful. Anyone who lives with or has a loved who has bipolar, PTSD and/or struggles with addiction this poem will resonate.

My life is so contradictory it is as if it has been lived in reverse

My life is so ironic I wouldn’t be surprised if I was born in a hearse

My Life is having a slice of the American dream, a suburban fable

My life is a mutilated body, a toddler lying on an operating table

My life is an innocent boy taught never to yell or to curse

My life is a constant struggle, it stings and it hurts

My life is popularity while clicked in with the coolest kids in School

My life is a rapid rise to success, followed by a permanent position as a fool

My life is a privileged upbringing and food on the table

My life is a junkie brother that my Father would always enable

My life is the path of a warrior and the story of a survivor

My life is seeing drugs turn friends into backstabbing connivers

My life is an epic, yearlong, exotic vacation

My life is seemingly endless social deprivation

My life is a 3.8 GPA at a major University

My life is a mind skedded by psychiatric obscurity

My life is scaling massive peaks and climbing 1,000- foot rocks

My life is a battle to stand and it is agony when I walk

My life is endless mountain ranges that are covered in snow

My life is locked inside a cell with a dark, fluorescent, artificial glow

My life is a constant quest for action and thrills

My life is a daily force-fed handful of pills

My life is designer drugs and performance enhancing amphetamines

My life is barely missing a life sentence served in a state penitentiary

My life is moments of ecstasy and exciting nights without sleep

My life is terror filled unconsciously with Freddy Krueger on Elm Street

My life is being starved of rest till I scream and rip at my sheets

My life is energy so profound even the strongest meds couldn’t treat

My life is learning a language and flying around the world for a girl I never kissed

My life is a vast sea of potential wasted and opportunities forever missed

My life is Freedom to the wind, in Seattle, the city of rain

My life is the scorched Mojave Desert, stuck in confines, certifiably insane

My life is racing seamlessly through forests in an expensive Subaru sports car

My life is a continuous collection of broken bones and a bountiful set of scars

My life is on my hand and knees, searching for leftover drugs till I hurt my back

My life is Flushing a $3,000 necklace, just to see how my ego would react

My life is lived through fast paced excitement and fulfilling passions

My life is waiting endlessly for worthless commissary rations

My life is gliding through the sky at death-defying, terminal velocity

My life is seemingly ruined by a single, psychotic alleged atrocity

My life is holding onto audacious goals, I still believe I can fly

My life is day-to-day challenge, just to get by

My life is a constant case of close calls and unbelievable miracles

My life is intermittent unfortunate events, undeniably satirical

My life is overcoming incredible odds with un-phased determination

My life is a final freak accident, cheating me of remarkable coordination

My life is preachers telling me “you’re never given more than you can handle”

My life is having a guardian angel, when I still think religion is a scandal

My life is full appreciation for the moon, the stars, and all of creation

My life is characterized by risk taking behavior and suffering suicidal ideation

My life is day dreaming so much, my mind changes hand over fist

My life is waking up from a medically induced coma cuffed at both wrists

My life is a beautiful, luscious spot in nature where I prosper and thrive

My life is a barren, fenced off enclosure wondering what it means to be alive

My life is seeing and experiencing some of the world’s most amazing sights

My life is consumed by fire, as I am seared on bloody asphalt, and read my rights

My life is two severe brain disorders mixed with chemical dependence

My life is irreplaceable artwork lost through scorching fires of biblical vengeance

My life is a universe bent on pulling me down, in a world that always prevails

My life is a fate staying on track, when my luck tends to go off the rails

My life is struck by unexplained phenomena, an orb of white light in a powerful storm

My life is obliviously anything but moderate, typical, or adhering to the norm

My life can be summarized or defined in one final rhyme

My life is forever blessed and it’s cursed, at the same time

The Hero’s Journey

Imagine you’re the hero in one of your favorite movies. In a hero’s journey the character sets out from his home to learn, grow and “get beat up” from life experiences. The hero faces villains along the way and overcomes many obstacles.

The hero then comes home and helps everyone around him.

The Pandemic has made us all travel the hero’s journey. It’s never one filled with all happiness or sadness, but generally a struggle ensues. One that causes stress, pain and some level of suffering. Maybe it’s disappointments from events being canceled. Maybe it’s loneliness taken to a whole new level.

What about loss of income? Not enough work or too much work?

Maybe it’s loss and the grief which comes with it.

My message to you is remember the hero inside of you. Focus on your strengths and remember what it was like to get through a difficult time. How did you make it? Who helped you? What type of attitude did you have?

A hero learns from setbacks as much as he learns from successful ventures.

Remember in the movies the hero always wins in the end. The villains are defeated and those who are vulnerable are lifted up.

In our situation the hero has not yet returned home. We are still fighting battles and pushing back the foes.

We make it with a one day at a time approach. Deep breaths and healthy distractions. We make it one step at a time. Sometimes we have to crawl. Sometimes we are injured.

But the hero always makes it home.

You are a hero. This is your journey.

Wishing you well,

Amy Gamble