A Sigh of Survival...So Far
A poem for New Years 2021.
And a sigh of survival...so far.
At least, through this,
And then, a sigh of bracing.
Words like ‘together’
Or ‘we’ on the radio in the car,
Feel bitter and at once make me weep.
From hoping I am not alone.
That this whole time
‘We’ have not been alone,
Yet, very much lonely.
Each night this past year,
My routine became more and more perfected:
Teeth, face, pills, heat, locks, lights.
And then try to feel loved.
While I close my eyes,
And hope for the nightmares to stop.
It’s been a long, long year.
A birth from safety to danger;
As all births are.
A birth from trust to discernment,
From freedom to independence.
A sunny nook to a studio splattered with paint and pain,
And a joy of knowing something so foreign to me,
I did not think God had created it.
Or, perhaps, I thought God had not intended it for me.
So, it atrophied.
As if 100s of 1000s of years in space,
Rendered it not even a memory.
Something less real to me.
That I was worthy.
This year, fear was like medicine.
The only kind I’ve known.
The cruel kind.
The kind that kills.
And I took the tincture daily.
But, only some days did I know it,
Only some days did I see its effects.
There were days I feared for every living thing.
Wondering if the end had come to pass.
And I had to continue on,
Knowing what would never be,
And what was still to come.
And, that I was worthy.
Karin Jervert is an artist and author. She identifies as a psychiatric survivor and is currently working on a memoir which is a collection of short stories about her journey into, and out of, the world of psychiatric labels and trauma. Her work can also be found on madinamerica.com and litro.co.uk. Visit something-wonderful.net for more information.
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