No One There But Me

I’m afraid of being alone.
With myself and no one else.
When there’s no one to talk with.
Except for me.

But I’m learning.

I’ll have completed
The next step of my journey
When I can spend time
Alone.
With no one but me.
And being alone
Doesn’t hurt me
Any more.

When I’ve learned
How to appreciate me.
The things I like.
The things I feel.
I know right now
I don’t.
At least not all that much.

I have a lot of fears
Of being alone.
If having to face me.
Having to deal with me.
Openly and honestly.

I have a lot of things
I have to change.
Things I have to relearn.
Rules I have to break.
And when those rules are broken,
I have to sweep away
Their remains.
Not let them be rebuilt.

There are so many things
I’ve got go change.
But they all come down
To the same thing.

I have to learn
Not to hate myself.
Not to be afraid of me.

That I’m not defined
By how many people I know.
By how many friends I have.
By how well I get paid.
By how big my house is.
By how nice my car is.

None of those things matter,
In the end.
When you get down to it
What matters most of all
Is learning
To live with myself.

And that’s what I’m working on
Right now.
In this journey
That began
Two years ago.

I’ve come so very far
In only 24 months.
How far, you might ask.

Far enough to know
And understand
I have to learn
To live
With me.

So that on afternoons like this.
When I’m at home.
Alone.
With only me.

I won’t hide from myself.
I won’t find endless things
To kill off time with.
So that I won’t feel
Like everything’s wrong.

So that I’ll be content
To be alone.

With no one there
But me.

Me

Sometimes,
I feel pressured.
As if I’m supposed to be
Doing something.
Working.
At a job.
That pays me what I’m worth.

But then,
I stop and think.
What the heck
Am I worth?

Sometimes,
I feel pressured.
As if I’m supposed to be
Doing something.
Making a plan.
With target dates.
So that I have my life
All planned out.
And know
What I’ll be doing.
When.
Where I’ll be
A year from now.
Two years.
Five years.
Even ten.

But then,
I stop and think.
What the heck
Do I want to do?

I know My Lady
Is frustrated.
With me.
She’s told me that.

She’s also told me
That she understands
How badly I was hurt.
And how long that it takes
To recover,
And to heal,
From injuries
Like the ones I had.

But still.
Sometimes,
I feel pressured.

One of my doctors,
Bless his soul,
Keeps trying everything he can
To get me back in motion.
To return me
To a life
Like everyone else leads.

With a job.
And responsibilities.
Chasing the
American Dream.

I try so very hard
To have patience.
To let everyone say
What they want to say.
And make them happy
In some way.

But…

In the end.
I have to face
The person in the mirror
Every day.

When will I pick up
The pieces of my life?
And become what everyone
Thinks that I should be?

I won’t.

I’ve decided to take the time
To find me.
That person that I lost
So many years ago.
The one that got buried
Under all the demands.
The responsibilities.
The one that I could not afford
To have.
To be.
To let exist.

That would have gotten in the way
Of me being able
To be
What everyone else
Wanted.
And needed.
Me to be.

I want to know.
Who I am.
What I believe.
What I feel.
What I think.
What I want.

Because I don’t.
And I never have.

And I know
From the pain
That I’ve been through.

That being
What I believe
Someone else needs me to be.
Someone else wants me to be.

Leads down a long
Dark
Path.

Of self-destruction.

I won’t walk that path
Again.
No matter how many times
You ask me.

I will come back to life.
On my own terms.
In my own time.
At my own pace.
In my own way.

Because I know this truth.
That I learned
The hard
And painful
Way.

I can’t be
What you want me
To be.

I have to be
Me.

Am I Lying To Myself?

Today, I stopped.
For a while.
And I looked in the mirror.
As I looked,
I thought.
And I remembered.

I noted the progress
That I’ve made
In the past few days.
The things I’ve gotten done.
The things I’ve started on.
That I’ve left sitting
For months,
And months,
And months.

Then I asked myself a question.
Several questions
Actually.

Am I doing all these things
Because I’m ready to?
Because I want to?

Or am I doing
All these things
Because
It’s what I’m supposed to do?

And the answer to that question
Says for very much.

Am I getting laundry done.
And the dishes too.
For the right reasons?
Or not?
Do I wash the dishes
Because I want to get them clean?
So we can use them
Once again.
And they don’t take up space
On the sink.
And on the counter.
Or am I doing this
Because I’m supposed to?
Because I have to?
Because I’m expected to?

It’s such a simple thing.
Trivial, honestly.
Washing the dishes.
Running the dishwasher.
It only takes a little slice
Of time from my day.

But I find
I’ve never asked myself
If I wash the dishes
Because it’s what I ought to do.
Or because I like
The way I feel
When I’m done?.

And the answer to that question
Says so very much.

Then there is the laundry.
I’m doing more of that these days.
Than I’ve done in months.
And as I was loading up
The washing machine today,
I found myself asking me,
Am I doing this because
It’s what I’m supposed to do?
It’s expected of me?

Am I doing this
To make my lady
And my son both
Happier?

Am I doing this
To convince my doctors
That I’m getting well?
That I’m on my way
To being OK once again?

Am I doing this
To show everyone
That they shouldn’t worry
About me any more?

Why am I starting to
Do all the things
I’m starting to do?

Is it for me
Or is it
For someone else?

There’s a dangerous line there.
One I’ve never seen before
In my entire life.

One I’m not sure at this point
That I really understand.

Because I’ve come to realize
That the answer to these questions
That I’m dealing with
Makes all the difference
In the world
To me.

For if I’m doing
What I’m doing
Because I want to.
Because it makes me
Happy.
Because it makes me
Smile.
Then I’m doing
All these things
For reasons that I should.
And I know
That I’ll be better
Over time.

But if I’m doing
What I’m doing
To convince the people
In my life
That I’m OK now.
And they don’t have to worry
About me any more.

Then I’m not OK.
For if I’ve learned anything
As I’ve walked the path
I’ve walked
In the past 18 months.

It’s that doing anything I do
Just to make someone else happy.
Is a huge part of what wounded me
So very badly
In the first place.

And left me
Isolated.
And alone.

And that leads me to
One last question
On this Tuesday morning.

Am I doing all the things I am
Because I want to do them?
Because I like the way I feel
When I get them done?
Does doing all these things
Make me happy?

Or am I once more
Lying to myself?