Monthly Archives: October 2016


when the sun is melting down
the sky & there’s a rainstorm
in your head
that’s the best time
to shovel coal into the furnace
& steam open the seals that keep
your madness at bay

you will overthink your thoughts &
you will overthink last week &
you will overthink astrology &
you will overthink these words &

when there is nothing left to burn
you can create
a brand-new world to obsess over

isn’t it nice when your heart is made out of ice?

Every Day Is Today

Today is World Mental Health Day. Since this blog is all about my journey and adventures in dealing with my mental health, I thought I’d write a short post to say:

Hi! My name is Josh. I’ve lived with mental illness since at least high school. I experienced my first panic attack (which I didn’t recognize as such at the time) when I was a senior in high school, but looking back, I was probably dealing with depression and anxiety for longer. But I wasn’t formally diagnosed until much later, in my 30s. I was first diagnosed with generalized anxiety and depression and started on an anti-depressant. A few years later, I realized I needed someone to talk to and help me deal with my wonky brain. After seeing a couple of therapists who weren’t a good fit for me, I found a brilliant therapist, got diagnosed with cyclothymia, and was started on a mood stabilizer. I recently went off my anti-depressant, but have continued with my mood stabilizer, as well as an anti-anxiety med. I stopped seeing my therapist last year after we both decided I’d gotten from her what I wanted and needed. She gave me a hug and we’ve kept in touch since. I still use what she taught me, along with various things I’ve picked up from manuals, self help books, and friends.

What I really want to say is this: if you’re struggling with your mental health, it’s okay, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, and you’re not alone. If you need medication to help keep your brain chemistry from being a mean motherfucker, it’s not weak to admit that and it’s not weak to take them. It’s no different from a diabetic needing insulin or someone with high cholesterol needing to take a statin (this is also me). If you need to talk to someone who won’t judge you for your brain chemistry and the assorted psychological issues that we develop from trying to live with wonky brain chemistry, someone who will help you develop tools and techniques for living, it’s not weak to admit that and it’s not weak to see a psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, or other qualified counselor. Mental illness will often lie to you, telling you that you’re alone, that no one wants to help you, that you’re beyond help. These are lies. You are valued, useful, and deserving of love and care. There may even be aspects of your mental illness that are strengths, features not bugs. I’ve come to see aspects of my mental weirdness as superpowers, not weaknesses. Being different doesn’t have to mean being broken.

If you need help, get help. If you need a friend, I’m here for you. None of us can get through this life alone.

777 Hours

how long will it take?
how long will i be awake?
how long will i be at war
with the love that boils in my heart

for how much longer can i howl
into the calm night
& summon up a storm?

how long can i wait
until i’m full up
until it’s all enough
& i want no more?

for how much longer can i burn
from the inside out
spitting flames into the night?

how long will it take?
how long can i wait?
how much will be enough?

Ghost of a Chance

last night i had a dream
that she was in love with me
& when she kissed me
it wasn’t complicated or awkward

but that’s how dreams go

& when i was a little kid
i thought courage & porridge were the same thing
& you could eat a bowl of bravery
& never again be afraid

but that’s how youth goes

& now i think wisdom is something other people have
when i’m alone in the house
& the dust is everywhere
& the shadows whisper of despair
& i wait for moonlight
& i wait for sleep
& i wait for the stars
& i wait for the leaves to fall

but maybe
just maybe
i’m beginning to see the light

Crisis in Sidereal Time

one chord is all you need
to fall in love with a dream

& so

with a snap & a crack
& this weight on my back
i know that i’m broken but
i know that i’m broken but
i’m not really so broken
i’m not your puppet
i’m not your toy
i’m not an old man or a little boy
with a squeak & a creak
& my back feeling weak
i know that i’m broken but
i know that i’m broken but
i’m not really broken yet
i am lightning & time
i am lemonsugarlime
i’m just learning to rhyme
i’m just learning to lie creatively
& meanwhile…

there’s a crisis on earth-j!

& so