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(Poem) I Don't Know How To Dig
Another poem from my upcoming chapbook shared exclusively via my mailing list.
I Don’t Know How To Dig
what i mean by that
is this body is covered
with shallow graves:
moments i want to forget
buried a thumb’s width
beneath this skin.
some nights i wonder
if it’s too late
to cut them out of me.
some nights they pull
themselves through the gaps
while i sleep.
If you’ve been reading these letters each week, you’ll know that I’ve been struggling recently. I’m used to the wolves that stalk my thoughts being opportunistic - only ever approaching when my back is turned - but the recent relapse into anxiety has got me thinking a lot about the nature of healing.
I know anxiety is something I will have to carry with me for the rest of my life, but some days that weight feels easier to bear; some days it doesn’t feel like a weight at all. I think it’s these periods of quiet that make the return to my own private earthquakes more difficult to bear - the peace has a way of convincing you that you’re healing, and the noise then feels so much louder when it comes.
But the truth is, the experiences that caused this condition are always with me, always a tiny distance below the surface. Reminding myself that healing is a complex and non-linear process really helps me to cope with setbacks, and I think maybe I’ve forgotten that in recent months.
And this is what this poem is about: A personal reminder that these moments are still with me, even when it feels like the anxiety isn’t. And maybe it’s a reminder to other people, too, that a step backwards doesn’t mean that you’re not still on the right path. Searching does not have to mean lost.
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