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Excerpt for I Love You by , available in its entirety at Smashwords







I LOVE YOU

HIBA AZEEM






















Copyright © 2018 by Hiba Azeem


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or used in any manner without written permission of the copyright owner except for the use of quotations in a book review. For more information, address: hibaazeem915@gmail.com


E-BOOK SECOND EDITION


www.hibzeem.com



















This book is dedicated to all those going through hardships no one else knows about. Fighting is hard, sometimes the hardest thing you could do but I promise you things will get better. Everything is temporary including the bad days. One day at a time, you can do this. I believe in you.









A note from the author:

My favorite thing about people is that we constantly change, sometimes we fall like leaves and other times we’re blooming more beautiful than spring flowers. I wrote this collection in hospital beds, on park benches, in quiet corners in ‘barnes and noble’, and on the ‘notes’ app on my phone while half asleep.

This book reflects my own mind’s changes over the course of about a year. Tuning into my own feelings, the feelings of loved ones, and the world. I’ve always felt the world in high saturation. The news often makes me cry and seeing strangers in love leaves me smiling to myself. While navigating this world, I’ve found my greatest joy in writing.

Writing has never been about money for me and after months of research, I’ve finally figured out the best way to be able to distribute my baby freely. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for choosing to read my words, and I really hope you enjoy what I feel to be a piece of my heart.



















Index

  1. Beginnings

This section serves to introduce myself. My philosophies, some history, the way my two eyes perceive the world around me.

My World

I Love You

Solitude

Magic

At Once

Anxiety

I never liked my nose

Daisies are my favorite flower

Head and Heart

Beyond Words

Piece of Me

Little Best Friends

Well

Time

Mother

9 Things I want to ask him

Falling in love with the moment

To someone who used to mean a lot

  1. Burned

This section serves to tell a story of a temporary love. Getting burned can sometimes make you stronger, it talks about giving your all and dealing with heartbreak.

Caution

I can’t say I regret us

It all changed with you

Coal

Ember

Ten Dollars

I faked it every time

Dansin

Desperation

Fire

Ashes

Compare

  1. Boba

This section is about the sweet beginnings of a new love. It explores the honey within the “honeymoon phase” and the moments you realize you want someone to be more than temporary.

Sweet beginning

The wonders a short exchange bring

A dream

Paradox

Would you feel weird if I wrote about you?

Melody

All in

Noble Man

Realization at 2:53am on Thursday

Prayed for you

  1. Of Two Minds

This section gives a little taste of my bipolar brain. Poems written enveloped in manic while others telling my destructive thoughts as I sat six feet under clinical depression.

I’m on fire

Boring

Good thinking

MPDG

Bored Again

Empty

Love yourself”

Blank Space

Afraid

You’re a little much for me

4p.m on a Wednesday

Muffled

Drowning

Jagged

Rapunzel

Words I’ve Texted Too Many Times

Alive

Wait with me?

  1. Home

This section is about acceptance. Accepting myself for who I am, finding home within myself and a special someone.

Home

Liability

Twin Flames

Right

A life like war

Your voice

Love me through the storm

Happy pills

It’s me

Long distance

Unsure and Insecure

Yours

Spontaneous or manic, sad or depressed?

Dreamy evenings

An artist or just crazy?

Bipolar 1

Freedom

Every moment passes but I want these to their sweet time

Sunshine

I am strong. Leaning on.













BEGINNINGS















My world

Some of this is fiction, some is very real, and some is my reality romanticized, written to be told under a thousand stars in a faraway land. If you’re reading this to look for some grand parallels or scandalous secrets about my life, I’d suggest stopping now. Some poems are inspired by my own life while others come from the heartbreak and love I see around. All of these pieces have some of my heart, in an effort to show you how I love, how I speak, and how lucky I am to be alive. Thank you for choosing to read my words.





















I love you

I didn’t say I love you often.

I said it scarcely and rarely.

But now I say it freely, love shouldn’t be hard. I’m learning to say ‘I love you’ to myself, to my family, to everyone in my life, three words at a time. Giving it with small acts, with kindness, and more. Putting a little love into everything I do. Every meal I make, every small gift, every little word. If I don’t say it, who will? If I won’t give it, who will? I want to be generous, love is infinite, boundless. The more I give, the more I have to give. The more I breathe it in, the more I feel it.

There’s nothing more important to me than love.

This book is a compilation of years of thoughts on life and love. Loving myself and others, platonically and romantically. There’s no feeling greater, there’s no word greater. I love that film, I love that person, I love that book,

I love you.





















Solitude

Solitude. Silence. Soul.

Loving my head isn’t easy, sometimes there’s nothing harder.

As an extrovert, it’s easy for me to love others.

I can surround myself with people,

I can talk, joke around.

It’s when the world gets quiet, when the only sounds are the echoes of my own thoughts that I’m really me. I can reflect, grow, change, be.

Life is nothing if not an elaborate journey of self-improvement. I want to be the best me and in order to do that, I need to understand myself. I need to make the world quiet sometimes to do that.

It’s not easy when the world is quiet though. It’s when waves of panic wash over me, it’s when I get flashbacks and when facades come crumbling down that I question who I am and what I’m doing. It’s when I make my most important declaration of love. Sitting alone in my car, brown eyes staring back at me in the rearview mirror, “I love you.”



























Magic

I don’t know if I can be satisfied with mediocrity. A quiet house, sweet family. My heart yearns for more, something bigger, some way to touch the world.

I want to leave a pixel in the bigger picture.

Can I make it or has my overtly optimistic self just convinced herself of this? I’m foolish, and I’m young. I dream big because I can. I wish on shooting stars and birthday candles, I smile alone at the sky. Am I teetering the line between positive and naïve? Can I really do it all or am I living in swirls of delusion? Is this a manic high or will everything be alright?

My life won’t feel real until I do it all, my existence incomplete.

If I fail, it might break me.

I whisper to the universe,

“Please don’t break me.”





















AT ONCE

I look around and I can’t help but be overwhelmed. There’s someone laughing with their cheeks aching and crinkles in their eyes while someone else may be ugly sobbing in the house next door. There’s life ending, life being created, life entering the world. There are people falling in love, people falling out of it. Marriages, divorces, children crying themselves to sleep and those smiling with ice cream in their tummies. The world is running on a million different feelings, and it’s all happening right now.

















Anxiety

Breathe.

I try to inhale, bigger breaths but no breath is deep enough. The air doesn’t reach my lungs. My heart is beating faster and faster.

Breathe.

Why are you freaking out?

My heart is pounding, I need to run away, I need to walk away, I need to be alone, I’m going to cry.

My hand comes to the floor.

Breathe.

Count your breaths like you were taught.

Breathe.

I can’t do this, I can’t do this, I can’t do this.

I’m trying to stay grounded, my arms wrapped around myself. I’m completely on the ground now, and the sobs just won’t stop.

Breathe.

I just can’t fucking do this.

Moments of panic envelop me from time to time. I can’t explain it, the panic attacks, the break-downs, I’ve perfected the art of carrying myself to never show any cracks despite being on the verge of breaking so often.

I’ve perfected careless laughter, silly jokes and the right smiles.

When people hear my stories and I get the surprised faces and the comments about how strong I am for overcoming everything, I want to laugh in their face. ‘Overcoming’ is a funny word when memories will wash over me in moments unexpected, moments where I’m supposed to be happy and safe and yet the past starts playing like a highlight reel I can’t end.

A flashback accompanied with the feelings I felt, insecurity, doubt, every part of me feels violated once more. Will this ever end?

I never liked my nose

I never liked my nose,

felt too big,

out of place.

Like my mother with her hijab,

in a carpool lane of soccer moms,

or the way the teachers stuttered,

when it came to my name.

I wasn’t a fan,

of my unruly, dark hair,

impossible to tame,

like the internalized mess,

of insecurity and hatred.

I’ve spent years untangling,

and unlearning,

and trying to smooth over,

with creams of two cultures.

Or my brown eyes,

that always seemed too plain,

and not sexy,



or fun.

My shoulders have carried

heavy expectations,

trying to do

all my parents couldn’t.

As I stand,

learning my own voice,

forming thoughts,

contradicting theirs,

a constant tug-of-war.

My happiness or theirs?

Is my happiness in theirs?

Is my happiness lost entirely,

to the petty gossip,

from the lips of aunties

spreading further,

becoming vile,

surrounded by rumors,

and shattered hopes?

I vow to use my lips

to sing kind words.

The weight on my shoulders,

building courage and strength.

My brown eyes

seeing the good in people. ,

My untamable hair

reminding me to live freely.

And finally, my big nose,

telling me that I wasn’t born to fit in.



Daisies are my favorite flower

Daisies are beautiful but they’re weeds.

Showing up unexpected, strong, resilient.

Brightening up dull ground,

Sprouting,

strong,

Beautiful.

I don’t want to be like a rose, beautiful but full of thorns. I want to be a daisy, hidden in patches of grass, open, inviting, brightening up the dull ground beside me. I want to be strong and grow despite the odds. I want to be open and feel the sun on me and the dirt below me and the life beside me. Daisies are my favorite flower.









Head and Heart

Following my intuition doesn’t come easy,

Nor does it make sense.

And more often than not, I follow my head

when all of my cells scream for something else.

My body buzzes with electricity,

putting pen to paper,

creating things,

little films, poems, pictures,

my heart finds ease.

But my head begs to differ,

And so I seek passion,

And so I seek purpose,

In a place where my head and heart meet. And hope one day that I find it. But I’m afraid I won’t. I’m afraid I’ll grow old and regret not listening to my heart. I’m afraid I’ll listen to my heart and grow regretful surrounded by broken dreams. Instead, I remain somewhere in the middle. Indecisive and confused.















Beyond words

Searching for passion,

I’ve found love within healing,

and speaking,

and observing the mind.

I’ve found love in

history and politics,

and film theory.

I’ve found love in

giving and planning,

and bringing people together.

I’ve found love in things beyond words.

But no thing I love beyond words.





















Piece of me

I like to think we leave a piece of us in every person we love, and they leave a piece in return. There’s a piece of so many left in me, old friends, old flings. I can’t seem to shake the nostalgia.

A song they showed me, a book we read. I feel it when I hear the song I danced to in sixth grade with my childhood best friend. Every time I play with chalk, I think of my neighbor in my old house. He showed me this artist, she showed me that show.

Every day these people cross my mind, a piece of them embedded in me forever. Where are the pieces of me?



















Little Best Friends

As the oldest of three, I’ve always had to be a strong role model for the little ones after me. Even despite being nearly a decade older than my sister, I can’t help but call her one of my best friends. I’ve always cherished our fights and long talks while we were home alone. My brother’s snarky wisdom and my sister’s wide-eyed innocence are things that I’d do anything to preserve, to capture, to keep with me forever.

Everyday they inspire me to be better, every day I push them so they can be the best version of themselves. I think something I’ve always known is that despite anything, friends may come and go but family is forever. I don’t think there’s any kind of love that compares to the love I have for my siblings. I’d give up my entire life for them without a second thought.















WELL

I sometimes wake up unable to believe I’m actually alive. I’m overwhelmed with memories of my cheeks losing their color and being reduced to a skeleton with skin. I remember asking God to cure me but then as time went by, asking God to take my misery away. Once I began to question my own mortality, from one hospital bed to another, is when I realized what matters to me most.

Those years were difficult, there’s no questioning it. But it’s years later, in complete health that I have to remind myself I’m not sick.

I’m okay. I’m okay. I’m okay.

I look in the mirror to see my reflection in panic although I don’t know why. I’m able to move my arms and legs and run. I’m able to breathe and dance and sing. I am beyond okay, I am healthy, I am well. I’m going to stay healthy and well.















Time

I’ll never forget breaking down in tears when she asked me why it took me so long to speak up. It wasn’t until college that I felt confident enough to overcome every fear I have by putting this into writing. I’ve spent the last ten years feeling like the guiltiest person I know. How was I supposed to open my mouth when my eight-year old self was taught that it was her own fault that this all happened? How was I supposed to tell a soul when I couldn’t even get the words out?

“He um.. did stuff” is the extent of what I’ve said to the few people who do know this story. I physically can’t say the words it takes to describe what it was like. I physically want to throw up as I even write this. I typed “molested” for the first time last month and typing it again right now made me feel disgusted inside. I still can’t say the word.

I still deal with guilt and I still have trouble saying no or telling anyone what I’m going through and I can pin point those years as the root of all these problems. I’ll still be driving and think to myself “Why did it have to be me?”

Pushing down all feelings related to this situation left me seemingly apathetic, my friends joked that I didn’t have feelings. Over a decade later, I’m learning to feel for the first time. I’m learning it’s okay to be vulnerable after spending my entire life with my guards up.

I’m still healing.

I still need time.











Mama

Soft touch.

Softer words.

You whisper goodnight

The moon begins to drip,

forehead feels the magic

of your tender lips.

I feel your arms around me.

I feel them squeeze me tight.

A warm hug.

A warmer smile.

If only I could be as good as you.

I’ll spend my life,

trying to be

as beautiful,

as selfless,

as caring,

as kind,

as you are without trying.













9 Things I want to ask him.

  1. Do you ever think about what you did or were you able to easily put it behind you?

  2. Was it even significant enough for you to remember?

  3. Do you feel sorry or do you not care?

  4. Did the lack of consequences make you forget how serious your crimes are?

  5. Have you ever thought of the effects?

  6. What was going through your head?

  7. Did you realize I was a child whose greatest worry should’ve been what would happen on the next episode of Hannah Montana?

  8. Do you look in the mirror and feel disgusting?

I definitely would if I were you.

Most importantly,

  1. Was I the last one?













Falling in love with the moment.

I’m no longer consumed with the past or sure about the future.

Everything is temporary.

People, moments, feelings.

Fleeting.

Here one second,

gone the next.

Happy turns to sad,

turns to worried,

turns to mad.

and then I’m happy again?

Evolving, changing, growing.

Give me time, I’ll be different, I might be new. I’m learning to live in the now, let the present shape me, breathe in every experience.

I’ll never be here again.























To someone who used to mean a lot.

I’m not blameless by any means but when I look back, we just weren’t right for one another. Two people who crossed paths on very different journeys. We had some good times, some bad times but I’m sure we both learned a lot about ourselves which I’m discovering is all that really matters. I have no use in regretting you, I’m happy you happened and I’m happy we’re over. I’m sorry for when I hurt you although I no longer live consumed with guilt. I’m lighter now, I’ve grown a lot. I hope you’re doing well.





















BURNED





CAUTION:

I wouldn’t let myself fall

without a safety net

of my own creation.

I lived with caution,

always dreaming of crossing lines

with yellow tapes,

but backing out before

the plastic could touch my skin.

Tired of living apathetically,

of feeling nothing,

of standing on the outside,

looking in.

I wanted to feel,

I made a conscious decision,

I let you in.

I wanted to heal,

I made a pros and cons list,

I let you in.





I can’t say I regret us.

I’ve grown too much to regret us.

For a while it had been like someone had taken my heart and stomped on it. Every time I’d try to pick it up and smooth it over, it’d make it under someone’s foot again. That was the price I was paying for letting you go.

I loved you.

I really did.

Everything we shared from the whispers to the kisses but was it worth it for the pain that followed?

Was it worth it for the heartbreak,

the sleepless nights,

the longing in our eyes?

















It all changed with you

Despite being a hopeless romantic,

I've always been someone that is absolutely terrified of love.

I've preserved my idea of romance.

I’ve kept it close to my heart,

under lock and key.

I never let people get close enough to see my chest,

let alone open it.

I've surrounded myself with boys I don't care for.

I’ve been infatuated with boys unattainable.

I've been afraid of letting someone real get too close.

I've been afraid of getting hurt.

I've been afraid of the thing I've spent nights writing poems about.

It all changed with you.



COAL

The idea that doesn't leave my head is that it can only go two ways. Either it's end game or something that’ll crash and burn. I'm not sure if I'm ready to handle the ashes so I keep the fire at an arms length.

Eventually,

I’d had enough.

I was a bad gymnast on a tightrope, with the knowledge that if I kept going I would fall. I just wasn't sure if anyone would be there to catch me. It wasn't until I saw open arms waiting for me that I let myself go.

I let myself forget the consequences,

I let myself fall,

madly, deeply, suddenly,

completely in love.

The thing with being someone that carries her heart with such caution as if it had "fragile" tape around its edges is that when I give it, I don't hold back.

Once I'm in it, I'm really in it.

I'm free falling,

I'm hurtling towards the ground, letting the momentum of the gravity take me.

The first time,

I wanted to stay falling,

never reach the ground because only once you hit the bottom do you know if you survived.

I didn't want to know if I could survive the fall.

I learned that I could,

But we couldn’t.

Like in the Taylor Swift song,

it could be forever, or it could go down in flames.

This one, became a forest fire.

I used to wish I could take my matches before I burned it to the ground.

But now I think some coal is meant to turn to ember.





EMBER

They say,

It’s either love or a lesson.

You showed me a lot,

You showed me that it’s forever or flames.

You showed me that I couldn’t learn until I experienced.

You showed me that I had capability to love so deeply,

and care so much.

You showed I could forgo the caution tape,

I could survive the fall.

Through the heartbreak,

I found my strength.

I found courage to leap.

I found I could pick myself up.

I could survive it all.

I let myself love you,

I gave my all to something I knew would catch fire,

I made it out better than I was before.

I let the caution tape burn,

And I learned to love wholeheartedly,

And embrace all the scars.













Ten Dollars

I told you I didn’t think we’d make it past Thanksgiving. You said you’d bet me. My intuition told me we were built to fall apart. I knew to enjoy you while I had you because you wouldn’t last very long. Despite my gut feeling, I let myself fall in love with the softness in your heart and the bruises on your knuckles. I overlooked the toxicities and I overlooked the feelings of us being temporary. I overlooked it all and I gave you my all.

It wasn’t enough.

The day after we ended it. I sat in my car, tears streaming down my cheek, a sad smile crossed my face as I realized you owed me ten dollars.













I faked it every time.

I don’t think you knew it as you were doing it but your words often cut like daggers, under pretenses of honesty you brought me to my knees with insecurity, all cause you could never love yourself. You made me doubt who I was, and you twisted your words so it was difficult to see who you really were. And yet, I loved you with all my heart. You were once everything to me, I now look at you and feel very differently.

You made it seem like you were it for me,

I’m telling you I no longer have to fake it.











dansin.

We were dancing in the flames,

twirling over coal,

our feet burning,

felt the heat crawling,

now I’m standing over embers,

surrounded by smoke,

covered in ashes,

knowing I’d dance through fire,

If you asked again.









DESPERATION:

For a taste of your lips,

For that look in your eyes,

I’d jump through the hoops,

I’d cut all my ties,

I’d break all my rules,

I’d tear up my lists,

If it’d make you mine.

My hearts ablaze,

Locked in your love,

I’ll never be the same.

FIRE -a letter I wish I didn’t send.

I never told you how I felt because every part of me was afraid, I’m not afraid anymore.

I secretly hoped that as I sat next to you on that Monday, you’d tell me that there was some chance, some tiny sliver of hope, a way to cut the finish line. It was the kind of morning with perfect weather, with the nicest clouds and gusts of wind. You were the perfect boy, with the cutest laugh and a blind optimism that would seep through every conversation.

You laughed at my jokes, I couldn’t help but laugh at yours. I could lay down in a bed with you, my arm over your chest, my leg crossed over yours. A special kind of feeling found within your embrace. I could lie like that, you know, filled with that feeling for the rest of my life. We don’t have to speak, to move or to think of anything but the feeling of each other’s arms.

I wish I could ignore the world, ignore the reality.

I wish I could blindly let you in completely, see the depths of my soul, see how many of my thoughts are filled with you.

I wish I could let you let me laugh again, I wish I could let you fill my dreams again, I wish I could have you forever.

I wish I could lie like we did, once more.

As I walked away, past the concrete buildings and college students rushing, I knew one thing for sure.

I love you.

I love your passion. I love the way your fingers move around the piano or the fact that you always have a song to hum. I love your smile and your laugh and the dumb way you walk.

I love your heart, your soul, your body. Even when you don’t.

I love every piece of you that comes together to make you who you are.

I let myself fall. I let myself feel. I let myself hurt.

Every moment I spent with you lightened my heart. I wanted to engulf myself in your goodness, your love, you.

I loved having your arms around me, your eyes on me, your lips on mine.

You asked me how I knew it was love, I have an answer now. You walked away and took a piece of me with you. You walked away and my tore up my heart. You walked away and even though I pushed you away, I wanted to pull you right back. I wanted you to run to me, to tell me I’m yours, to call me that dumb nickname of yours.

But you’re right, in that I was right. You’re right that there’s a reason for our separation. You’re right that a girl like me can’t end up with a boy like you but if this break up was so right, why does it feel so wrong?

I don’t know why life is the way it is or why you and I could love but not forever.

I wish I could shift the universe, I wish I could meet you in another life, I wish I could feel less or you could feel more, I wish for a lot of things but wishing is pointless in the end.





ASHES -the letter I wish to send

That letter was written by a girl whose heart poured love to you with every word. I couldn’t fall for anyone for a while, my heart kept coming back to you. You were a record on repeat, my mind consumed with who you were. I had to untangle my life from the mess that was yours to understand myself and what we were, a simple romanticized notion by a young girl in love.

I knew you were temporary from the beginning, but leaving you wasn’t easy. I so, desperately wanted you. I missed you, I craved you. It felt like outside forces had pulled us apart as if it wasn’t me who sat you down on the round in table, in the middle of the University Center saying “we need to talk.” As if it wasn’t us that wasn’t raising my anxiety and as if it wasn’t you that wasn’t driving me crazy.

But I wanted to remember the good parts so I let the other ones become blurry.

I let myself be consumed in the love I felt for you.

Our relationship was always tinged in darkness but it was easy to remember the good parts. The car rides where we’d fight about music choices. The stolen kisses in study rooms and the back of my used car. I let you cry on my shoulder, I gave you everything, my entire heart.

Maybe you didn’t feel it like I did. We always had an edge to us. Something a little wrong, despite the joking and the laughter. The lies I saw you tell but I kept quiet about because something about you had me blinded. I was excusing things I’d never tolerate and becoming the girl I vowed to never be. I convinced myself that love could only be the twisted fantasy you showed me and that you were it.

After you wasn’t easy.

But after you I learned to be me.

I took the good parts of our relationship as moments from a first love and the bad parts became lessons. After I cut ties with you, I started to become the woman I wanted to be. Ironically, ‘Our movie’ became the thing that brought me to someone new. Someone different. A love less dark and more bright.



Compare

I feel safe in his arms,

Listening to his voice,

Touching his skin,

Feeling his lips on mine.

I have no need for pretense,

I’m not afraid to say “stop”,

He loves me for me,

Never tries to mold me,

Into the woman I should be.

I never feel used,

Or insecure,

Or so frustrated I could cry.

Maybe comparing the two of you is like apples to oranges. Maybe comparing any two people is immoral and wrong but I can’t help but compare how I feel, how right this feels with how dark you felt. Maybe you had your own demons to work through, maybe I had mine but the devil in me compares to find that the day we ended it, was going to be one of the best of my life























BOBA















Sweet Beginning

There’s a tiny little café,

on the side of Stirling Road,

you pointed out the penguin,

I never noticed it before.

There’re nervous little butterflies,

fluttering in my chest.

You’re wearing a suit,

straight from work.

overdressed.

There’s something so sweet,

sweeter than tea,

the awkward pauses,

the small sips,

something has started.

There’s a certain kind of magic,

in the jokes we take too far,

in the calls we don’t want to end.

I’m beginning to fall for the way you didn’t like the boba, but you asked to have it again.

























The wonders a short exchange bring.

There was one samosa left on the plate. I was a stranger behind you in line and yet you turned and offered it to me. A kind gesture but I smiled and explained why I couldn’t have it. Thank god you got curious about my allergies. Thank god for my need to plug my blog in too many conversations. Thank god for you cleverly getting my Instagram. I imagine you read my words while pretending to do work, I really didn’t expect you to. That night my phone lit up with a notification from you.

My phone hasn’t stopped buzzing since.

























A DREAM

A true romantic,

starry eyed,

staring out of my window.

A notebook in my hand,

fingers twirl around my hair,

speaking in hushed tones,

and musical notes.



Handwritten letters,

feeling through,

syllables and words,

tiny couplets, summer blooms,

each line carrying a piece of you.

Hands intertwined,

leisurely strolls,

I’m beginning to understand

art.















Paradox

There are flowers and

colors and

the softest breezes.

blue skies,

uphill climbs,

patches of daisies.

I don’t care for them without you here.

I don’t care for them with you here.













Would you feel weird if I wrote about you?

Coming close to me comes at a price. I watch them talk but my brain is rearranging words and forming sentences for poems I may never write. Crushes immortalized in margins of notes I may never look back at. People come and go, but their memories drive me to open a notebook and starts scribbling. Friends, family, flings, they’ve all found their home in a word doc somewhere in my computer. I’ve written a poem about someone I haven’t said a word to. I’ve written an open letter to my ex best friends for the world to see. It doesn’t cross my mind to see what they think, it’s not like I’m using their name. I’m writing for myself, to process, to think. I’m inspired by people and the way they interact. I never found it necessary to ask to write about anyone, until I met you. At first, your name never came close to my messy cursive-print hybrid, you felt more than a muse. When my heart ached to write you within my poems, I pondered the question over days.

“Would you feel weird if I wrote about you?”

Now you’re scattered all over my pages.



























melody

I think of your eyes as my fingers move in circles,

dancing to a rhythm,

picturing you beside me.

The heat of your body,

the intensity of your lips,

my back arches to your song.























All in

Not sure when it happened but I know I’m all in. Maybe that terrifies you but for once, it doesn’t scare me. I look at you and I hear your words and I can’t help it. I have a strange little habit of making pros and cons lists for every decision I make, the school I chose, the boys I talk to. I never made one for you, falling was never a choice. Neither is hearing you say “goodnight, I love you” and knowing I’m all in.















Noble Man

You carry a sense of duty.

I love that about you.

Determined to care,

and provide,

and to give.

But a part of me can’t help but wonder, if you find your love for me beginning to fade, will I become just another responsibility for you to fulfill? A commitment you’d like to keep to satisfy your sense of nobility? Would you love me just cause it was the right thing to do?

Will you please let go of me,

unless you truly love me?

Can you please refrain from seeing me as another responsibility?



















Realization at 2:53am on Thursday

I’m watching you talk, tell a story that trails off to little tangents, and I know you are my everything. No matter how soon it seems.I know one day I’ll take your last name and stand next to you with every chapter of my life. I know I’ll walk down the aisle to meet you on the other end. I know you’ll fit in with my family and I’ll fit in with yours. I know we’ll build our own family, unlike anything anyone has ever seen before.

The day I first saw you, I remember it as clear as day. I was smiling and so were you. Your eyes were lighting up like sparklers, I wanted mine to reflect the same. When we sat in the movie, only inches apart, I wanted to lean over and make the universe forget there’s space between us. I think there’s magic, gold sparks, between us.

We’ll tell that story forever.

Argue over the small details of it.

When you smile, I think the universe shines, when you laugh, my world collapses. I know with every heartbeat. I’m yours to keep and yours to lose. I’m yours forevermore.

I know you’re mine too.





















Prayed for you

In hues of blue and red,

I found a beginning I did not expect.

I prayed for help on the floor,

My forehead touching the rug,

My heart begging for something unknown.

Not too long after, you appeared with a wide smile and a joke about a bird. You challenge the things I say and push me beyond words. You make me think and evaluate and grow. You show me that I don’t have to go through it alone.

Maybe I’m just romanticizing how your eyebrows quirk as you’re quoting people in the stories you tell or the magic in your voice that has me hooked on your words. Maybe it’s my tendency to see stars within skies but I look into your eyes and I know that I prayed for you.

















P.S

You’re the best part of my day.

















OF TWO MINDS























I’m on fire

A monsoon of bad decisions, get drunk on the beach, I want to make out with strangers, dance to music that’s far too loud. I want to be new within the swirls of gold sparks, let needles create art on my skin. Pain will reach me but bounce off, my energy creating a forcefield. I feel unstoppable, my insides buzzing with electricity. I can do anything I put my mind to. I feel it in my bones, the universe will come to my terms.

I am young, there’s so much life ahead of me.

I can do anything.





















boring

I meet your eyes, not a spark in my soul.

I talk fast, letting the electricity dance between my fingers.

My words with a side of lightning.

I kiss your cheek and grab your hand, letting you spin me around, anything to shake my core.

It remains still.

I have to find someone else to light me up.



















Good thinking

I flirt with the universe,

I find it flirts back.

There’re sparks in my fingertips,

lighting everything I touch.

I tip my head back,

laugh towards the sky,

the moon hears the sound,

throws some magic back.

There’s happiness in my aura,

gratitude in every cell,

there’s a ringing in my ears,

I know I can do it all.





















MPDG

I bring my wand,

and smile wide,

I empathize.

We have adventures,

in your room,

in my car.

We laugh,

we kiss,

we drink up the stars.

But when the sun rises,

I take my magic,

kind words,

and flirtatious eyes,

to light up another sky.



Bored Again

I’m fun this way,

I laugh a lot,

sing off-key,

bleeding spontaneity.



We drive to the beach at three in the morning.

Feeling the sand between our toes.

I remind you of the stars,

Endless possibilities.

Rules are criminal,

Let’s break them all.

Let’s never look back.



But there’s cracks in my chest,

I’ve been filling them with flowers,

the petals begin to fall,

and our timer begins to tick.



I leave you standing,

Between pillars of daisies,

and sleepy conversations.

I never look back.













Empty

Today I almost crashed my car,

almost caused an accident,

but it wasn’t on accident.

In a tired moment,

washed by panic,

and the desire to feel,

I slammed my foot on the gas,

as the red light approached,

the corolla was getting closer,

I braced for the impact,

but something in me snapped,

I swerved into the turning lane,

pressing hard on the brake,

my heart beating fast,

struck with disbelief at what I’d almost done.

I realized I didn’t want someone else to suffer the consequences of my sick mind. I never understood the jokes about walking in front of a car, why let some innocent person suffer on your way out. I can’t believe I almost tried to kill myself.

















I don’t know why I did it. I don’t feel anything anymore.







Love Yourself”

Loving myself isn’t easy when my heart feels hollow, bound by thin strings to few people that seem to stretch further and further each day. This can’t be what they meant by heart strings. I’m losing the energy to talk to those I love, I’m losing the energy to be myself. I’m alone, I want to be alone, everything around me feels a little dull. Feeling isn’t what I’d call it, floating is more like it. Existing, but barely, on an isolated cloud of my own creation.

I’m losing sense of what it’s like to be alive.

I’m losing sense of what it’s like to be myself.

I want to stop existing but ever so often I get a sliver of a feeling, some sort of hope as I dream up some silly scenario in my head. Some sort of happiness as the record on the turntable spins and my body sways. I want to feel like myself again. I want to breathe and I want to feel it in my lungs.

I don’t want to choke on sobs in my car,

or hate myself for not being normal,

I want to go back to being me.

How can I love myself when I’m not myself?







Blank Space

It

was raining,

The sky was reflecting the tears rolling down my cheeks.

Convinced I’d ruined my life, I figured it’d be easiest to just stop it all. I didn’t stop to think of how my mom would react if she didn’t know it was the last time she said goodbye to her oldest daughter. Or how my dad might be consumed in guilt, already weary of my driving skills, cursing himself for letting me take my car out by myself. Or how my brother and my sister would lose their role model and they’d have no one’s room to go into and wreak havoc. Or how my cousins would lose a part of their family. Or how my best friends would lose the person they call at night. Or how my boyfriend wouldn’t know that the “Goodnight, I love you” said on a random Tuesday night would be the last one. There’d be an empty seat in my classes, there’d be one less person going to my favorite Boba Tea place and bookstore. There’d be an empty space in place of me.

“They’ll get over it” A small part of me whispers.







Afraid

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't afraid that this was going to be my reality forever. I really do have an innate belief in happy endings and the feeling that in another fifty years, I'll be looking over my life with satisfaction and a soft smile on my aged face, perhaps in some arm chair, probably surrounded by books.

But what if my mind's disease doesn't leave me so easily? What if this lasts my entire life? Periods where I think I'm floating, pushing myself to exist. Barely eating, not wanting to get out of bed. What if my mind was the only thing standing between myself and happiness?

My therapist once told me that I'm in charge of my emotions and I'm the one who carries the mantra that "happiness is a choice" and yet in times like these, when hopelessness surrounds me. I begin to wonder the validity of both.











You’re a little much for me

I’m what they call a crowd pleaser, making jokes, laughing along. I do well with being the entertainer, the light-hearted friend, the manic depression nowhere to be seen. They don’t want to see me break down, I don’t want them to see me break down.

I feel heavy, a weight that can’t be carried by those around me.

I feel heavy, a unique weight weighing me down until I’m gone.

They like me light.

They like me airy.

But I am heavy, left out, too much to carry.







4p.m on a Wednesday

I’m sitting in my car in the parking lot of a Denny’s.

Waves of sobs are washing over me.

Used to dealing with problems in isolation,

I’m not the girl who’s known for her tears or her breakdowns.

I flash smiles at strangers, make silly jokes and laugh at most everything. I’m known for being cheery and happy and it’s not that it’s a façade. I am that girl but there’s another part of me that begins to sob when the door closes, that crawls to the floor in the hopes that it could ground her. She believes in being strong, she comes out on quiet car rides and moments alone. When thoughts get too dark or too raw or too real. When distractions and people subside, it’s just me and her.

There’s high points and low points.

Sometimes I’m the best I could be, and other times the worst. I can’t seem to find a medium. I live a little too saturated, feel everything a little too much.

Falling in love with the intricacies of me is harder than falling in love with you has ever been.



















muffled

I’m loud in my car, I scream and cry. My season’s playlist standing in for my soundtrack. No one can hear me, I can’t even hear me, my voice drowned out by a soft rock melody. I let out the frustration, the sadness, the anger. I close the music, flip the mirror, wipe my eyes, practice my smile, like it never happened.















Drowning

I don’t feel good anymore. I don’t feel happy. I feel a little bit like I’m drowning and every once in a while I come up for air but it’s never enough. I feel like I was thrown into a pool, unable to swim, I’m kicking and I’m trying but the water is winning. Everyone around me is shouting instructions on how to swim but no matter how hard I try, it’s not enough. I want to give into the water, let myself sink, let gravity do its thing but everyone is telling me to just hold on a bit longer. When will it get better?















Jagged

My puzzle piece is jagged.

Not curved in the right places.

Not meant to sit with theirs.

I never used to feel like this but now the feeling consumes me a bit. Like I don’t quite fit in. There is one limb in the door but the rest of my body is out in the hall. I’m just there and it wouldn’t quite matter if I wasn’t. I used to feel like I belonged, like I was innately part of it.

I haven’t felt that in very long.





Rapunzel

Blue and white walls

White bed

White sheets

A sterile stench

Blue and white sky

Green leaves

Brown bark

Smell of fresh dirt

I picture myself like Rapunzel, let down from her tower for the first time. I wonder how she didn’t have more allergies but I smile thinking about lying in the grass, feeling the dirt. I imagine smelling the kind of air you can only find in places that are green as far as the eye can see. There’s an art in surrounding yourself with the beauty of earth. There’s an art in skipping pebbles and smelling flowers.

Like Rapunzel, I want to see the stars, I want to discover what they are. I want to leave my tower where I’m completely alone and yet never alone. On the fourth floor, in a shared room, unable to escape, I dream of the blue and white sky and count down till I can smell the fresh dirt.







Words I’ve Texted Too Many Times

I’m doing SO much better. Yes, I’m back home. Thank you for checking up on me. I’ll absolutely let you know if I need anything. Heart emoji. Heart emoji. Heart emoji.

Maybe I’m ungrateful, maybe I want to crawl into a hole where no one would interrupt me. Unable to take up any of these kind people on their offers, they’re only being polite after all. A plethora of superficial connections leaves me curled up in a ball with my arms around me. A part of me knows it’s all in my head, I’m very blessed and I’m very lucky, I have people that care. A bigger part of me doesn’t want to cause interruptions in their lives, I’d rather suffer alone than annoy someone else. It hurts so much today. Maybe tomorrow will be okay and maybe I’ll tell one of these great people “yesterday was a little rough but I’m so much better!”

Maybe one day my words won’t just be words anymore, I’ll actually be alright.





























Alive

Nineteen years and two days old.

I had become detached from everyone I knew,

I knew I’d end it all.

life had become a burden,

My shoulders could no longer carry.

In a moment of clarity,

I walked to the ER,

told them it hurt too bad to be alive.

I watched my mom cry that day,

my best friend called me sobbing,

reminding me that I’m half of her heart.

My brother, my sister, my father,

my friends, my grandma, uncles and aunts,

more affected than I could imagine.

For the first time in a long time,

I felt something.

Three days spent with vital checks,

sterile scents,

and so much support.



















Thank fucking god, I’m alive.





















Wait with me?

I know you want to be with me when I’m wearing a sundress and spilling flowers around the room. I know you want me when I’m making you laugh or reminding you that the world is soft. You want me when I’m laughing or dancing off key but will you want me when I start crying to the same record I once danced to? When the pieces of the manic pixie dream girl fall and the depression settles in. When a simple question of “what do you want to do?” sends me into panic in the passenger seat of your car. Will you want me on the floor of my bedroom, covered in self doubt, tears crawling down my cheeks? Will you want me when my carefully built dams come crashing down? Will you want the rush of the water, the pain, the cold? Will you wait with me till the girl in the sundress and the flowers comes back?













HOME





















Home

You taught me what it’s like to find home in a person.

In the midst of the storm,

I find a calmness within you,

your voice begins to dissolve panic.

You push me to get better.

You help what feels helpless.

You call when I don’t ask.

You make me feel safe,

and loved,

and home.























Liability

I want to shake you and show you that I’m not good for you. That in ten years you’ll find me sitting by the bed, crying my eyes out, anxious for no reason at all. That you might wake up one morning to find all the furniture rearranged with no warning at all. That you’re signing up for break downs and crazy instability. But you just shake your head and tell me in ten years, you’ll get up with me when I’m crying my eyes out and hold me till I calm down. That when you wake up to see the furniture rearranged, you might trip on the way to the bathroom but comment on how much better this arrangement looks. That what I call instability is nothing short of an adventure. That it doesn’t make you love me any less. I don’t know how I got so lucky to have you.







Twin flames

We’re all stardust,

scattered among our earth.

There’s an air of familiarity with you,

our bodies are connecting,

while our souls reconnect,

from lifetimes past,

Awestruck.

There’s a magic in your touch,

a spark in your eyes,

wondering if this is real,

wondering how we feel so strongly,

wondering how we got so lucky.

It’s strange to be understood,

it’s strange to hear “me too.”

My heart feels like it could burst.

For once, my heart is content.

You are me,

I am you.

You are everything.





















Right

I’m not really sure how else to say it. I listen to your heart beat, your slow breathing, laying against me, fitting like a puzzle piece made to be beside me. It feels right.

It’s 12 a.m., I’m in my head again. Overthinking, analyzing, full of doubt, of fear, feeling empty and dull. You make the world bright again. Nothing feels more right.

I see it in your smile, in every part of your soul. You make me feel understood. Never crazy, never too much, just the right amount. It’s a deep kind of love, untainted, right.

A miracle brought to me by the stars, a once-in-a-lifetime kind of connection. Living out my life like goldi-locks, I found the porridge with the right amount of magic. You are right for me.















A life like war

My war is not like yours,

and yet the same.

Losses and wins.

As you read this,

you have your battles.

As I write this,

I have my own.

But I am not alone.

He may not fully understand my battles,

but he lets his light reach me anyway,

letting my armor down,

I envelop myself in his love,

surround myself in his hope,

and the sword isn’t so heavy anymore.

It’s too hard to fight alone.

Much easier to give and take softness,

Let the universe balance itself,

in light.





























Your voice

The sound of your voice makes me happier than

  • Pretty flowers on pretty days

  • Alternative endings to La La Land

  • Warm tea when I have a cold

  • Laughing so hard I have to pee

  • A popsicle on a sunny day

  • Blanket burritos

  • Re-watching Tangled

  • The nostalgia of old Taylor Swift songs.















Love me through the storm

I have a tendency to separate myself from the sadder times.

It was me with tears streaming down my cheeks, slamming the brakes in my car.

It was me, spending nights alone in a psych unit.

It was me who spent days not eating, or sleeping, barely existing.

I like to pretend that deeply wounded girl wasn’t me.

But she is me.

I am a happy girl but no one can be happy all the time, especially not with mood disorders standing as hurdles to jump over every day. I am optimistic and loving but it’s okay if I have times where I feel like being neither. I have to love myself in more than the good times, I have to love myself when it rains and when that rain turns into a hurricane.

I have to love myself as I fix the damage from the storm,

I have to love myself through it all.

I have to know that it’s okay to not be okay.

I have to know that it will get better.

I have to love myself.

I’m trying really hard.











Happy pills

Her hair is very messy.

Unkept.

She smiles at me.

Wide,

Crooked teeth.

I see her frown suddenly,

She’s frustrated.

I back away from the mirror,

Watch my hands as if they’re someone else’s. Hear my voice like it’s a stranger’s. I know it’s me who is talking, speaking, and moving but it doesn’t feel like me. I feel detached from my body, looking down, watching this girl make a mess of her life and her attempts at cleaning it just slipping through her fingers like sand. Am I losing myself trying to find myself? Is my happy pill bringing any happiness at all? Is all this just an attempt to suppress who I am?

Am I losing myself?

Am I even getting better?





















It’s me.

I’m learning it’s me in the manic highs and it’s me in the depressed lows and it’s me when I’m drugged up floating in between the two.















Long-Distance

I’m sure I’m not the easiest to love.

Between the laughs and adventures,

there’s crying in my car,

pictures reeling through my mind,

feelings I can’t articulate.

There’s sadness

and it’s heavy.

There’re eccentric highs,

and crippling lows.

You offer yourself as a crutch,

help hold me up,

You’re there but you’re here,

Next to me,

While a hundred away,

Thank you.



























Unsure and Insecure

I’m not sure if I can trust myself anymore. Is this intuition or delusional thinking brought on by my unstable brain? Is my gut telling me I’m gonna be successful in swirls of mania or are these really signs? Do I leap and find out that the feeling I’d fly was nothing more than psychosis? Are my own thoughts a road map or simply tattered up paper? If I can’t trust my brain, what can I trust?

























Yours

I find my fingers typing to text you before I even realize what they’re doing. Tragedy or triumph or whatever’s in between, I want to share with you. I want to jump in your arms when the melody of good news finds me and cry on your shoulder to the melancholy of the opposite. You’ve become my person to sing sorrows to and dance destruction with. You’ve become my person to plan adventures and see the stars with. My world has become yours.























Spontaneous or manic, sad or depressed?

I’m not sure if my mood swings are from something normal or a summation of the mood disorder plaguing my mind. Would a normal person be crying right now? Is my adventurous spirit a sign of me returning to myself or a telltale sign of mania? Should I be feeling this good, should I be feeling this down? I’ve become hyperaware of everything I feel, always a little worried that it’s wrong. I don’t know what’s normal, what’s right, and what I should be telling in detail to my therapist.

























Dreamy evenings

I want to come home to our tiny apartment, eat dinner at the table made for two, and tell each other the little details of our days. I want to wash dishes while you dry them and get distracted with tickle fights and makeup kisses. I want to wrap my leg around yours and rest my hand on your chest as we watch the same sitcoms for the hundredth time in the living room with the furniture we so carefully picked out. I want to feel you next to me as I drift off to sleep, comfortable, home.























An artist or just crazy?

I always knew I felt too deeply, everything in extremes. Love, loss, happiness, sorrow. There was either a weight on my chest or I was given wings that flapped so hard I couldn’t help but fly. I felt a lot, I poured it into words and pictures and art. I’m afraid to stop feeling, what if the words and pictures and art stop with me.



















Bipolar 1

Sometimes I wish I never got the diagnosis. I used to always say that my brain was my favorite part of myself, strange, an enigma. I didn’t understand it but I loved it. I felt everything more than anyone I knew. I was spontaneous and strange and danced to a drum no one else heard.

That was until the labels, the pills, and the therapy. No one heard the drum cause it wasn’t supposed to be there. I loved it but the world wanted to dull it. I called it the best me, you call it mania.










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