I lost myself for a while there. I chased the white rabbit into a world of madness and wonder. Now I’ve woken up and I find myself sitting under a tree and wondering if it was all a dream. Joy and despair tangled together and somehow I was more fully myself and, at the same time, I couldn’t recognize myself when I looked in the mirror. For the past few months I’ve been mostly camped out in my head, trying to steer my craziness back to some degree of normalcy.
I tend to obsess, turning variations of the same thought over and over in my head till I’ve worn all the jagged edges smooth or I’ve cut myself to shreds. I don’t always consider this to be a negative, sometimes my focus can help to bring something new and positive into my life. But, sometimes, I feel like I’m possessed. When I’m in the throes of obsession, I can’t write about anything else because my brain keeps inserting my obsession into my thoughts, flashing bright like lightning, leaving all other thoughts dull and gray in comparison. All I can do is pour my emotion into visceral poems until I’m completely drained. Once they’re out, I can breathe again, and get back into balance.
I hesitate to share this, to expose my soft underbelly to the wolves. But, it can feel so isolating to have a mind full of darkness and a constant thought pecking, pecking at your brain like Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart beating beneath the floorboards. And, though I’m not ready to share all the details (no, I didn’t murder anyone), I do want to acknowledge my experiences for those of you that might be in your own dark place right now. I have been there. I drank tea with the Mad Hatter and almost drowned in a pool of my own tears. But, I fought the Jaberwocky and here I am on the other side where it all seems like a strange dream. So, if you’re feeling small and lost, like your path is being swept away and the darkness is closing in, take a breath, take my hand, and take one step.