Reading Time: 3 minutes

Author’s Note: This poem reads two ways. Read it straight down as usual, then take a moment and only read the indented lines. This poem came to me through tears and heartache as I processed through some poignant emotions that resurfaced through a traumatic event. 


I sometimes sense distance between who I am  and  who I could be.

It waivers and thins itself out, 

building the insecurities that wrap me in a blanket

of meltdowns and inferiority complexes.

 I forget my self-worth 

through self-doubt and self-deprecation.

You see, I’m a selfer

With the selfies

  And self-love

But sometimes it is the self-hate

And the self-standards

that gives me a substandard way of emotional living.

Instead of knowing I can,

     I doubt

Because someone else steps into the light

And shines as bright 

As I thought I was shining,

Only for me to find that my ego is a fraction of the opposition

And I am thrust into the situation

That causes me to panic and shut down

Because depression is great like that

Stacks you against yourself

Giving you odds that destroy your better half when you are at your worst.

To know my value would be giving myself credit

And I am nothing but a stack of debt 

On a mound of anxiety and depression

Saying “sorry” for every step I took to shine

And for every moment I wanted to call mine.

It’s easy

You see

To say that you love yourself

When you’re on your knees 

Begging your insecurities 

To step down from the ledge 

Just so you can have a moment to accept a compliment.

I spend so much time trying to be perfect that I sometimes forget to be good

        But nothing is…

                                     As it 

                                    should

                                      Be 

Because I cannot always see 

the point in being me

the blurred lines between vision and sight 

blur further

through tears.

I am someone who needs and seeks

The acknowledgment and acceptance of those around them. 

I can tell someone to love who they are 

While at the same time hating everything that I am because 

Preaching and living are two different things. 

To preach is to be a preacher

But to be alive isn’t to be a liver

That! cleanses the body and unburdens the soul.

Mine just shows my cowardice and lack of gaul. 

Poetry perpetuates personal prosperity

and

Mass metaphors make music

So I aspire to note the facts:

I’m not as strong as I appear.

My insecurities cause havoc in my relationships. 

I half-ass my career

Because I’ve never mastered anything

That jack who trades it all for a little of everything.

  I hide behind my faults 

and use them as catapults into my next marvelous moment

Where I make someone else feel better 

      Just so I can ignore 

   my own. damn. problems. 

At this point, it’s a talent. 

I, like Odyessus, can master any facade. 

I am both victor and victim.

        I am both nothing and everything. 

I am somebody and nobody.

Maybe, for the first time, in a long time,

I can use this, this poem, these words, these thoughts

To feel good again

Because I would give anything 

To feel good again. 

Sadly, I cannot overnight ship confidence, 

nor can I expedite my process.

I can only continue ever forward

like a boat that beats against the currents.

However slow this ride may be, I will not be another Gatsby. 

I’ll rise above and uncage myself from myself to be myself for myself as myself

Because that! Is the answer to the question to be or not to be.

So, maybe my self-worth is a little self-centered.

Maybe my self-confidence is a little selfish.

Maybe my self-hate can be lessened with better self-love.

However you perceive me will no longer dictate my ignominy or nobility

 I have enough animosity for my own impurity

Without your words licking the inside of my dignity

And I’ll no longer be feeding the demons that you bestow upon me.

 

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