Eighteen years later

“Eighteen Years Later” Free-Verse Poetry, 9-23-17

My inability to hate you
Is the biggest detriment in my adult life.
I was young and inexperienced,
Putty in your hands,
Moldable and folding myself over and over again
Until there was almost nothing left.

I want to sever the insatiable connection to you,
Because it still hurts that you didn’t feel it too.
Losing you damn near killed me.
I thought I knew what love was,
But you said I didn’t.
You were wrong; I knew everything.

-Brandi Easterling Collins

What does depression (and anxiety) look like?

Most commercials for antidepressants show people in despair, lying on a couch crying or dressed in baggy clothing with unkempt hair.

Is that what depression looks like? Yes. Sometimes.

But often, depression can look like a person who has their shit together. A career woman who gets things done. A soccer mom with perfect hair and perfect kids. A lawyer. A doctor. A musician. An artist. A movie star. A writer. Me.

Anxiety medication ads often depict a person having a panic attack, complete with hyperventilating, rapid heartbeat and sweating.

So that’s what anxiety looks like, right? Sure. Sometimes.

It also can look like standoffishness. Indifference. Disengagement. Irritability. Forgetfulness. Me.

Continue reading “What does depression (and anxiety) look like?”

The loss of my stepfather

Ronnie and Opal wedding, 1985.

My father died when I was little, and my mother remarried Ronnie Campbell. Ronnie was born on March 17, 1954, St. Patrick’s Day, and he died June 7, 2009. He was 55. Unlike my father’s death from cancer, Ronnie’s death was an accident and completely unexpected.

 

Ronnie and Opal, yearbook staff, early 1970s.

Mom had known Ronnie since elementary school. He had been one of her best friends. I remember their wedding. My stepsister and I got to be flower girls, which was a great excuse to be princesses for the evening in our white dresses and ballet slippers. After that, my mom and I moved into Ronnie’s house to live with him. What I remember most about that house is the green carpet in the bedroom I used. I was only four, so it’s funny what things stick out in my mind.
Continue reading “The loss of my stepfather”