Tag Archives: Depression

Who are you?

My name is Kiley. I was born on December 6. I am a left-handed Sagittarius. I write poetry. I love coffee. I cry during previews at the movie theater. I laugh by myself often. I have an obsession with touching trees as I pass them. Talking to strangers is my greatest fear…. And biggest source of intrigue. I love the idea of traveling, but familiarity soothes my soul. When I say I enjoy ‘being alone’ what I really mean is that I want others to be around me, just quietly. All of these qualities describe me… and yet, they don’t.

These things are not who I am. None of the ‘things’ you say define you, either. We are very good at convincing ourselves of who we are. These qualities are, in fact, just thoughts, just tools used to label ourselves, to separate ‘us’ from ‘them.’ So who are we? Who, or what, is underneath every thought that we have? Does anyone really know for sure?

What if we came to accept that none of us knows anything about who we truly are? What if we dropped all labels that we use to separate ourselves from others … and we simply existed, together? What would the world be like then?

Tell me – who are you? Who is that being beneath all labels, beneath all thoughts? Can you answer? Ideas come and they go, but what is waiting there between each thought? The mind is a powerful tool. It tells you that you are a parent, you are Caucasian, you are a college graduate, you are an employee, a nurse, a brother, that you are happy, you are worried, you are anxious, you are sad, you are a baker, you are a politician, you can’t afford that trip, you are incapable of writing that book, you are unworthy. It tells you who you are and how to be that person. And most of us listen. We obey. We succumb. Why do we assume that these labels define who we truly are? Why are we at the whim of what our minds tell us? Do you realize that your mind has been conditioned since the moment you were born? From your first breathe, you were told who you are and given a name with which you identify. And what if, today, you quieted your mind…

What if your mind was silent and didn’t tell you who you are today? What is left? Who is there reminding you to breathe?

It is quite a mystery to me. Maybe I am the mystery. Maybe you are a mystery. The truth is that there is something magical that lives in each of us that is indescribable with human language. It lives and grows us each day. Whatever it is, it is strong, resilient, magical. Whatever it is, it lives in us all. Don’t forget that the next time you are quick to judge another person, or hurt another person. What is in him is in you too.

Keep asking the tough questions. Let’s be puzzled by what seems obvious. Never stop searching for the answers.

With compassion, we grow.

xo,

Ki

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Thoughts on ‘being a writer’

Some mornings

I spend hours in my head

Writing poems

Dancing with singed hearts

And kissing strangers.

 

Some afternoons

I sip lukewarm coffee and eat

Sour candy,

Talking to myself,

Spewing thoughts onto penned paper,

Daydreaming of editors

Fancying my plight

To be a writer.

 

Oddest occupation —

Fictionally, speaking.

No wonder

I crave touch

So desperately

The only true affirmation

Of my life’s work.

I hear you, they say.

I know.

 

Silent speaker of the world

I am

Sickly mind squashing

Courage

Hungry to try again, sometimes,

Provided inspiration.

 

Lazy, perhaps

Weird, perhaps

Maybe definitely special

They say.

Maybe.

 

I am a writer

Head inside a dream

Come true,

Or is it?

Rock and a soft place

Sometimes I find big rocks

And climb under

Every ounce of their weight

Upon me

And the heaviness saves me from the

Light

I hide within

 

Chewing on thick

Black dirt

As I wait it out.

 

Darkness

Loneliness

Embrace with

Open arms to those chronically ill

From agony.

 

Sometimes the darkness

Turns warm

From the sun

 

Rocks lift

From my crushing bones

I breathe a breath

Shared with you

And you laugh at

The absurdity of my

Climbing under

Dirty rocks.

 

I laugh in nervous anticipation,

Eye a boulder that will

Consume me

Soon again.

 

We laugh together,

And this is comforting

But not as comforting

As the agony that bleeds

In me.

 

Now I live,

Swimming in the space

Between a rock

And a soft place.

 

 

–Original Poem–

Human interaction is a peculiar thing. Describing what goes on in this head of mine is always so difficult in plain verse. I could talk about depression, anxiety, dark thoughts, but I’d rather just tell you that sometimes I hide under heavy rocks, and this is comforting, more so than truly living…. But it is in breaking free from my agony that allows for my passion of writing to continue. And in writing, I live. One day at a time.

I hope you find your passions, your hopeful ways of escape from the mundane, from the agony that you feel sometimes.

Keep living through the heaviness of the world. Keep going. Keep swimming.

What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.

-Charles Bukowski

Cheers, readers.

for blog -- rocks

Thaw

I trace every face

In search of your love.

I wonder if you do the same…

Like a lost child in search of her mother,

I am.

The weight of that simile

Suffocates me.

Be love, and I’ll show myself to you.

Resilience, live me

Until then.

 

My body is cold from this horrendous winter. I was told to wait patiently and sure enough, spring will show herself again. So ‘they’ said.

I waited, and here she is. Her warmth now mending the aching bones I carry. Like my body, my heart grows cold from relationships strained, and I build walls around it for protection. Yet just as seasons change and frozen lakes thaw, my heart grows warm as I lower these walls and open myself, once again, to those I love most.

I encourage you to do the same.

Cycles, seasons, all things impermanent. Be love, and forgive. Resilience is a beautiful color on you.

 

With love and light,

Ki

sun

 

Need

It feels so lonely, growing up. I feel so alone, as a grown up. I thought I wanted this, but I don’t. Shed me of these layered skins I’ve tried on. They don’t look so pretty after all. I don’t know what I want to be, as a grown up. When will I grow up? I just want to ask questions. I don’t want to have all the answers anymore. I just want to take a hot bath in a pool of unknowns where I drown in naked surrender of the things that scare me…. Like open water. I don’t want anyone to save me. I want to choke the waters that chase my fears deep into my belly until regurgitated truths surface and my breath meets yours in embrace. Relief will hug us as I cry out my fears of growing these roots deep into yours. Breathe in me, you. If I tell you that I’m scared, is that enough to interrupt the pace at which we’ve rushed this life? You’ll always be mine…. Won’t you please let me weather this blow? Changing seasons from a young girl to a grown up. I still need time.

need post

Be patient with yourself…. It’s not the worst thing in the world to wake up and realize that you’re in need.

We all are.

I challenge you to speak up about what you truly need from life, from the Universe, from others, from yourself.

You will be heard, I promise.

 

 

This post is for Sally. Your struggle is my struggle. Your happiness is my happiness. I’ve seen the good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly — as you have seen all of mine. We may not be living the lives we had planned, but isn’t it beautiful to laugh at our naïve ways as we grow to become the strongest women we always hoped we would be? I love you, and I created this with you in mind.

Calling

Sometimes I find myself laying on the floor at weddings wresting ugly thoughts that scream at me, telling me I’m not beautiful, not worthy, I don’t deserve to be here on this Earth celebrating with wonderful people. And then I look up at tiny lights on the ceiling that are actually a direct reflection of lights within me. For the most powerful images are not those from our past, nor the ones that lay ahead; they are the voices and images that lay patiently within us. So I wrote a poem about that day, at a wedding, laying on the floor.

 

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My efforts to love you

Tossed away.

A severed connection,

You put me at bay.

 

Now I find myself in a beautiful house, with beautiful people, with a beautiful spouse.

 

And I lay on the floor only to find,

Nothing consumes me like you

On the mind.

 

I look up.

I see a miraculous sight.

Colors glowing, illustrious light.

I wonder why it is you treat me this way.

Flip of the switch

We’re strangers that lay.

 

One day you love me,

I’m beautifully so

Exquisite like diamonds

Inside, I glow.

 

Yet today we are strangers

With hollowed eyes

Ignoring passion

For you,

Hear the cries.

 

Tonight I know you have left my side

Your abandon, I surrender. You win. I abide.

How long will this last? Who me? I don’t know.

The mirror shouts reflections you refuse to show.

 

This love, it is patient.

This love is for you.

Though you won’t wait for me,

I’ll wait for you.

 

I say I, when I mean we.

For I am you

And you dear, are me.

I speak to you daily

Can’t you see?

I am the light

That only you can set free.

Love me completely.

This is how it must be.

Surrender yourself

Let go

And breathe.

This you know, we both truly need.

 

Love yourself,

That’s all I will say.

That’s all I want

For you each day.

 

Look up at those lights as you lay on this floor,

It’s me, I’m calling, please do not ignore!

Get up now dear

Please lay no more.

Reach out, be brave

Now open the door.

 

I’m calling.

for me from missy

–Original Poem (original artwork created by a beautiful soul and friend of mine)–

I challenge you to listen today. Listen to the voice within. Stop for a moment. Don’t look forward, don’t look behind, look at what is calling out to you in this moment. Can’t you feel it? Can’t you hear it? It’s you. Won’t you accept this beautiful gift?

Love and light,

Ki 

 

 

Burning out

Out of your mother’s womb

Out of this world, you came.

Out of your mind in

Outer space, we remain.

 

Starry-eyed,

In awe of your aura,

I reach for you in a darkened space.

No spoken word.

What is this love, unheard?

Gravity, make us one from two

This I beg of you.

 

Each morning you show yourself,

And I swim to you.

Each night you disappear,

And I remain.

Tell me this is not love, my sun.

 

Your warmth lives me

As I dance around a sickly mind

Swaying, melting into our axis of desire.

Curtsy and waltz away for a time.

Tell me, how is the view?

 

Meet me at the moon

Mediation will caress us both

Just as I long to caress you, and you,

Me.

Making waves as we travel closer.

 

Earthlings can only imagine

A kind of

Burning out.

This love, it begs release.

 

Come out of you.

Come out of me.

Shine these lights on each other

Blending all that we are

Intertwined.

 

Let it burn out of your heart

Out of your body

Out of this world

Just as you emerged,

Allow it.

 

We are but stars burning out,

Time

An imagined friend of ours,

Plaguing our delusional lives,

Whispering sweet tomorrows.

What are you waiting for?

 

I know you’re scared

Of a love that burns so deeply within,

But I fear never unveiling the true essence of mine.

 

I may be your fool,

But every inch of this fading body

Carries a piece of love

Now seen

For you, my dear sun.

 

burn out blog post

 

–Original Poem–

 

I am so grateful for friends who encourage me to live, love, and let it out. Thank you, always.

-Ki

Seen

Facts:

120 pounds

5’8”

Breast size is all of, well, a handful.

These sizes portray the body that carries me.

 

At the ripe old age of 24, I have seen all sizes on my body. 140 pounds during my teen years; a curvaceous 186 pounds by the end of my pregnancy; and for 9 months I witnessed a miraculous transformation as my breasts ballooned from a perky size A-cup to size Oh my GOD your boobs are ginormous! I have pimples, stretch marks, and moles. Dark circles taint the area underneath my slanted eyes, and a rather large nose protrudes from my face. These are all facts. Another fact: On my worst days I want some of it altered, other parts removed, and I welcome the thought of implanting foreign objects underneath my skin.

For years I clung to the saying: “If you don’t like something about yourself, fix it.” Fix what? I thought. The external things? Is that what ‘the saying’ is saying? Or am I just interpreting it all wrong? Since grade 4, I incessantly coddled the idea that if I alter the smudged curves and crevices on my body, I will miraculously look beautiful and feel worthy. I declared, “If I lose that extra ‘insert absurd number’ of pounds, get a nose job, boob implants, and work toward rock-hard abs I will undoubtedly be happy, cured, full of confidence and love for myself. Finally, for the first time, the worries will subside. The anxiety will fade. I will feel equal to those more beautiful than I.”

It is maddening. A fantasy. A trap. A prison of lies.

I’ll admit it though, on my worst days I want bigger boobs, a rounder ass, fewer pimples, straighter teeth, longer hair, tanner skin, god you name it. The recipe for my worst days calls for the vilest criticisms of myself. You’re pale, your thighs are thick, your ass is saggy, your stretch marks are disgusting, you have buck teeth, you’re too thin, you’re too fat, you need to ‘tone up,’ you look like an ogre.

My worst days leave me depressed, doubtful, sickeningly delusion.

As I write this, I am still 120 pounds, I stand five feet, eight inches tall, and my breasts remain, well, a handful at best. Pimples stand their ground on my face, dark circles accentuate my distinctly almond-shaped eyes, and my nose is still – how can I put it lightly? – large. The difference today? It isn’t one of my worst days. For some reason, I am not lusting after a more beautiful body. For some reason, I choose to see things a little differently.

Gratitude fills me on days like today when I wake up to a calm mind, not yet verbose, not yet powerful enough to play tricks. I sigh with relief. I am hopeful that the cunning words of yesterday will be the gentle thoughts of today. I am ready. I think. I muster up the courage to look in the mirror as objectively as possible and take in all that I see. I am gentle with myself, a tad critical, but there is no mention of a giant ogre today. I wince painfully. The thought of accepting my less-than-perfect-figure is excruciating. To take in exactly what I see without judgment or criticism?? Terrifying. The idea of accepting all that I am? Colossal.

I look. I scan. I let go, loosening the grip on everything I’ve ever known. I trace the contours of the body that carries me as eyes unknown to me reflect mine. Pimples surrender to a face. I connect the dots of stretch marks and watch as whole breasts form before my eyes. Flesh, exposed and seen, is taunted by a hungry mind, ready and waiting to pour shallow pools of imperfection into each virgin thought born. And for a moment I stand in naked embarrassment scanning the eroded shore of my body as if to say Here I am, now take this grit and wash it out to sea for good.

I give life to the ghost of fear inside as I feed its existence and it feeds on me. Yet, it is in knowing this diluted path that I choose Truth over lies.

It is a hell of a lot easier to cling to the illusion of myself, believing that I am not beautiful; I am not sexy; I am not lovable. These thoughts would be easy to befriend yet again today. These thoughts are comfortable. This path I know all too well.

Truth is… the problem is not how I look; it’s how I choose to see.

Readers, watch your thoughts. Come to know and befriend the lies that feed upon your insecurities. Yes, they are lies. Don’t believe everything your mind tells you. Believing that your opinions are the truth is the veil through which you perceive reality. Lock away each nagging thought as it arises – they can and will relentlessly fight you with each dawning sun, each hour, sometimes each minute. You don’t have to live with your illusions. Truth awaits you today… It is always there… waiting to be seen.

 

downtown

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Speak

This is a poem

For you.

It says, I’m sorry

I miss you

Please forgive me.

I wanted to write a poem:

Illustrative, descriptive, poignant

Then I thought,

Will you even understand?

Will you even read this?

You never did.

You won’t now

Because we don’t know each other.

I fell for your eyes.

You didn’t know it then.

You don’t know now.

I’m so sorry I never spoke up.

I will never forget the day

That you will never recall.

 

I cannot even begin to count the number of opportunities I’ve missed out on because I, myself, chose not to be a part of them. I cannot tell you how many excuses I’ve made, how many plans I’ve broken off, how many times I’ve said No to the Universe. It wears on me, it really does. It is one of the most embarrassing things in my life to admit that my anxiety is out of control. I live a very calculated lifestyle – always making sure I’m in control of each situation (or at least convincing myself that I’m ‘in control’). If at any moment I feel I am no longer in control, anxiety builds, and a volcanic eruption of emotion ensues. Tears, heavy breathing, blotchy skin, heart racing – full blown panic attack.

Honestly, it is embarrassing, scary, humbling, and beautiful all at the same time. I’ve wanted to write about my anxiety for a few months now. I wanted to talk about how I handle it, give advice as to what works for me, even encourage others to get out there in the world again. But wow, I’ve really been struggling to speak up about it – I think because it is a daily struggle, an enormous obstacle that I have yet to overcome.

I could talk about the strides I’ve made and the new methods I’ve embraced to help calm my mind. I could tell you about the long walks I take at Eagle Creek Park in hopes of centering my anxious being. Or I could talk about the hours I spend sitting, obsessing, blissfully daydreaming about the day I will hold a published book of my own in my hands. I could tell you about meditation and the friendship I am creating, with myself. (Side note, getting to know myself is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.) I could tell you about how I’ve immersed myself in creative projects with strangers across the United States and how this literally, without a doubt, gives me hope that I am not alone; I am special; I will do great things, whatever they may be.

I could tell you about all of these wonderful things in my life, and I could tell you about my silent struggle as well. I could go on and on about the recent outbursts of crying, dry heaving, and panic I’ve experienced as more opportunity has presented itself to me. It’s quite bizarre. I could tell you how I do not now nor have I ever felt worthy of writing for other websites; how I shake nervously each time I send off an ‘original piece’ to a stranger to be judged and reviewed. I could tell you how I wait, nervously, anxiously, for hours, sometimes days, wondering when and if I will receive feedback. I could even tell you that my mind spoils the most joyous moments in my ‘career’ when I receive inquiries from companies saying they are, in fact, interested in my writing. You cannot do this, people will judge it, think it’s silly, there is no talent in this brain of yours. Yes, I could go on and on.

But really, the point of this post is just to say: the struggle is okay, whatever you may be going through, but ultimately it is your choice to deal with what is in front of you. I think every new day, every hour, every minute is an opportunity to start over again, to calm yourself, to just say that everything is okay in this moment. You’re not broken if you struggle with anxiety or depression. There’s nothing wrong with you if you are single, or divorced, or widowed. So what if you’re 15 pounds overweight? It’s okay. It’s okay if you work in a shit job right now…. It’s okay, be grateful that you have a job at all. Your occupation does not define you… Think long-term and look to where you want to be in 5, even 10 years. My point is, too often we look at our lives and always speculate, telling ourselves ‘something is wrong: fix this!’ Readers, Nothing is wrong with you! There is nothing to fix!!

I just want to encourage you to speak up about your story. I encourage you to listen to others. Start a conversation. Be sincere about your life, for once. Let your walls come down a little today. Say it straight, simple and with a smile.

This poem is just a creative way of saying: Don’t let another moment pass you by. Don’t let another minute be a missed opportunity. Don’t pass up the stranger on the street. Say hello, greet him. Call an old friend; call your Mom. Speak up!! Get off the computer. Get away from the Internet. Be a human again. Interact. Touch someone’s hand. Kiss someone’s forehead. Share a hug. Take that class you’ve been putting off. Go to the monthly dinner party that you somehow always manage to skip. Snuggle up with a book that sits dusty on your shelf. If nothing else,

Just fucking smile.

If for no one else but yourself, say yes to what is offered now. Every second, a tiny threshold appears — opening a door of opportunity in which you can step in and say Yes. Feel the enticing unknowns brush against you, and invite whatever is in front of you in. It is exciting! Uncertainty is your friend, if only you’d allow it to be. We all struggle, but don’t let it hold you back from saying yes. Be open, keep going.

Cheers, readers

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Luminous little Lucas

I offer to you, a ray of wisdom shown through a tiny little Buddha I call my son. During a conversation over scrambled eggs and Golden Grahams, his light filled the room and warmed my soul.

 

-Mom, I wish I could fly like a butterfly.

–Lucas, do you think people can fly?

-Yeah!!!

–Can you fly?

-No, but I can run!

 

Children play, wonder, believe, and live each moment – for a living. They see the good before the bad. They hear the song in a silent wind. They do what so many of us adults cannot, or shall I say what we choose not to do. Lucas bypassed his inability to fly and excitedly focused on his strength.

Why do so many of us lose this innate positivity? Why do we dwell on what is not? What we are not? What we cannot? How do we get that excitement for living back? How can we begin to appreciate what is in front of us NOW?

It’s as though we’ve conditioned ourselves to incessantly look to the future, at that place just beyond the horizon that seems so beautiful, yet slightly out of reach. We think, “Yes, we can and WILL arrive at a more positive, more productive, more successful, more satisfying life soon, tomorrow perhaps. I call bullshit.

I don’t know much, but I do know that you will never be satisfied with who you become IF you do not see – today – that who you are right now is enough. Tomorrow will be no more satisfying than today if you do not take a moment each day to recognize all that you are: a beautiful, worthy, successful, ALIVE human being.

We are so caught up in our plans for tomorrow, how do we live for TODAY? How do we, like Lucas, see our strengths before being swallowed up by the reminders of who we are not?

We’ve all heard the saying, “Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction.” Well, STOP! And start over again. Right now. Start small. Look around you, in your office, in your home, wherever you are. Think of a few things that are right in front of you for which you are grateful. Sit with that. Admire the ‘things’ around you. Even if it’s as simple as a cup of coffee, smile – and take a sip, enjoy it. Be grateful.

Then think deeper. What are a few things about yourself that you are grateful for? Who are you, what do you do well today, here and now? What are those characteristics that make you uniquely YOU? Sit with that. As silly as it may sound, think to yourself: I am beautiful; I am doing a great job; I love you. Try it. I dare you!

See the positives in your life, and if you can’t, it’s okay to ask for help. I ask for help every day of my life, really. I email friends; I ask the sun; I consult trees, often. I ask Lucas for extra hugs and kisses when I need more affection. You, too, can have many sources of light in your life, if only you’d ask. If it scares you to ask for help, it might be a good idea to try. There is an abundance of love and support in the Universe. Are you willing to accept it?

You see? Start with gratitude. Be grateful for what IS now. Be grateful for the support you have in your life, and be grateful for who you already are. With gratitude in your heart, you can truly start to live today, now. I promise you, you WILL start to see your strengths. You WILL be able to make plans for the future while appreciating what today offers you.

For my constant sources of light – Thank you. I have an abundance of support, and we take turns, one helping the other. Some weeks, I encourage and hold those in need. Recently, my light sources instinctively know to shed tremendous light on my path. Holding my hand when I’m hesitant, allowing my worried head to rest upon their laps. I need help at times. We all do. Come back to square one. Start with gratitude. Your heart will thank you.

Cheers, readers. Take care.

 

lucas