Your bright pink beans are
A beacon in the grey sea
That is depression

Written by my daughter, Rachel


(The following were written before this blog was published. New poems are tagged #poetry.)

Not this time

The insidious black fog
begins to roll back in.
She can see it from a distance.
She can feel its presence.

As it moves closer,
she stands taller.
And with a look of determination
etched on her face,
she picks up her weapons
and strides in to battle.

It will not defeat me,
Not this time.


for almost 8 months
my body tried to destroy her
I fought to save her
with modern medicine

centuries ago
my body would have won

would it have been better?
for her
for me
for them

dangerous birth
problems for the next 20+ years
different diagnoses
different doctors
different psychiatrists
different therapists
different medications
nobody knew why
nobody knew what
nobody had answers that worked


stolen from me
as if she were pulled
from my arms
when she was born

Just Numbers

40 years of living under total control
10 years of struggling to break free

25 years of missing real love
2 years of wondering if it’s been found

30 years of pain
20 years of brutality
15 years of scars
15 years of fear

20 years of wanting death
10 years of fighting against life
5 years of trying to die
8 years of fighting for life
2 years without living in fear

125 pounds was acceptable
120 pounds equaled love and beauty
150 pounds equaled disgust
150 pounds is now age, beauty, acceptance

25 years of of battles won and lost
25 years of gravity
25 years of aging
25 years adds a different kind of beauty

3 days spent considering love
3 days until holding love in my arms

Just numbers
Numbers that add up
To a life of which to be proud

the hard shell protecting my heart
has been built up over many years

several times cracks have started
but they were soon filled in
making the shell even stronger

the first time our eyes met
one small crack began to slowly work
its way through the multiple layers

the first time you kissed me
more small cracks branched their way out
working deeper into the weakening shell

the first time my skin touched yours
the weakening shell began to crumble

the first time I heard the words of passion
the shell of fear was obliterated
leaving a heart full of hope and love

the fog of depression
envelopes me
holds me hostage
prevents me from being

the stabs of mania
try to infiltrate the fog
only to become agitated
increasingly angry
eventually ineffectual

depression always seems to win
forcing me back into hiding
waiting for it to be safe
to come back out into the world

seemingly endless waiting

Mommy Heartache

I see your struggles
I see your triumphs
I am grateful to be there for both
I wish I could fix the pain
but no band-aid will help
I wish you could remember the triumphs
when the pain of the struggles becomes overwhelming
I wish I could put my hand on your head
and pull out all the ugly memories
I wish you could believe your life will be better than mine
I wish I could wrap you in bubble wrap
I wish my love could be enough

I wish you could believe how truly remarkable you are

love at first sight
big blue eyes
blond hair
smiles all the time
laughs at my goofiness
mimics without derision
eager to learn

unbridled joy in life takes away my pain

my beloved grandson


A small helpless infant
A loving big sister
A terrified mother

A scared little girl
An abusive father
A mother who was stronger than she realized

A confused teenager
An inept psychiatrist
A mother who fought for her daughter’s sanity

Broken heart
ER visits
Psych hospital stays

The desire to keep going

She made it through her first twenty years
I was so scared she wouldn’t

Two children hide under their bed
Father roars with anger
Mother cowers in fear

Then something snaps
Mother becomes lioness
Little ones are whisked to safety

Start over from the beginning
Two scared little girls
One terrified mother
An army of loving women

The three grow together
Into strong women
Fueled by love

Bipolar Disorder Tug-of-War

go away
you’re stuck with me
let me go
you’ll always be trapped
i can’t do it anymore
you have no choice
take care of me
you’re all alone
i need help
you have to help yourself
i’m slipping away
no way out
i’m depended on too much
you’ll always be trapped
i’m drowning in despair
there are no life preservers
i feel hopeless
there is no hope
will it ever get easier?
it will only get more difficult
aren’t there any answers?
only things you don’t want to hear
i’ll just close my eyes
never open them again
i’m so weary
no rest for the weary
my heart aches
you should be used to that by now
sometimes i feel hope
it’s an illusion
but i am loved
you are still alone
i want to feel better
there is no cure
please let me go
you’ll always be trapped
just let me die
too much pain to others
but what about my pain?
i want it to stop
you’re not listening
you’ll always be trapped
then what is the answer?
there isn’t one
but i ache, i’m afraid, i’m tired
but you’ll always be trapped

Caught in the web

Intricate spiderweb of depression
Exacerbated by chronic pain
Life should be good
Happiness should prevail

Depression’s spider is insidious
Spins a sticky trap of tight threads
Whispers thoughts of despair
Escape seems futile

The Lake

As I stumbled through the dark forest of the unknown
The sounds from the leviathan diminished
Until they were barely a whisper

Small beams of light from the rising sun
Began to show through the branches
Of the thinning trees

The lake at the edge of the forest
Reflected the sunlight back into my eyes
Burning away the terrifying images of the past

I slowly stepped into the lake
The coolness of the water
Soothed the burns from my scorched heart

Lowering myself completely into the lake
I allowed the calm movement of the water
To wash away the filth of the past

Your hand reached out to me
Drawing me out of the water
Into the warmth of the sun

As we lay by the lake on the grassy shore
The warmth of your body
Dissipated the last drops of water

The beat of your heart renewed mine
The breath from your light kisses
Breathed life into my soul

Holding your hand,
The rest of the journey
Does not seem so daunting

I have finally been released
To revel in this beautiful new world.


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