My Brain and I


"I want to die," I say.

"I wasn't supposed to let it get this bad again," I say.

As if I have any choice in the matter.

As if my brain isn't the traitor here.

After all, isn't mental illness just a chemical imbalance in the brain?

"You're not your disease," they say, but aren't I.

Isn't it me who can't get out of bed in the morning?

Aren't I the one who drags the blade against my skin?

Do I not know what I'm doing when I skip doses?

My mother's favorite thing to say to me is "stop using your bipolar as an excuse."

And it bothers me so much because it's true.

Isn't that what I'm doing when I have to email a professor to ask for an extension

Because my brain wasn't working.

Because instead of writing my paper

I was paralyzed by the thousand ways this could go wrong.

The thousand ways I could end everything. 

Instead of attending class I was sitting in bed having a panic attack 

About the classes I've been falling behind in

Because mornings like this 

When I can't breathe.

Or mornings when I can't wake up

And wish I never would.

Or my manic mornings where instead of sleeping I'm watching the sun rise.

Mornings where I can find the energy to deep clean my entire apartment

Write a dozen poems

Spend a hundred dollars I don't have online

Yet going to class

Dealing with others

Is too exhausting

Too terrifying

Because if they see me as I really am,

The mentally unstable girl

Scared to death of her own traitorous mind,

They'll know the truth.

That I'm broken.

I'm sick of asking for second, third, fourth, fifth chances

I don't deserve and shouldn't need.

Everything used to be so easy

And now basic human practices are mountains to overcome.

My body is failing me at my brain's command.

I can't eat, I can't sleep, I can't shower

I can't 

I can't 

I can't

It's all I ever say anymore.

I spend hours every night parked outside the gas station across the street from campus


My fingers are stained by the nicotine

The only drug I want in my body because it's side effects are a slow death.

My brain begs for death and life in the same breath and I don't know which voice 

To listen to.

Which voice is mine and which voice is the disease and aren't they one and the same?

There are too many voices and I just want them to stop.

Doesn't that mean death?

This poem is about: 


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