The Circle of Strife


United States

I’ve let myself become a doormat.


Well, maybe not a doormat that gets stepped on once or twice a day.

No, I’ve become like a paperweight:

Only to be used at the convenience of others.


Only recalled when others see fit,

I sit on the loose-leaf pages of my so-called friends’ lives,

And I strive to hold them together while I’m left to agonize

And wonder:


Hey, you know I’m always happy to help,

But when is the time for me to help myself--

But wait--I’m being selfish.


Yes, I’m here to serve others, so it’s okay if I

Crawl sometimes for the sake of their walk;

I’ll just fall sometimes, or better yet

Throw myself onto the floor

And become a rug for the bottom of their feet.


To ensure their security

And make sure, too, that they never leave

Because without them, there is no me.


Because if I am not here to be used,

Then what else could I possibly do?

I mean, for years I’ve labored, day in and day out

Not a doormat, you see, but a rug near the couch.


So that day in and day out

I’d be waiting faithfully

For my owners to come and step on my face--


But it’s okay.


Because that’s my purpose, is it not?


To be the doormat, the carpet, or better yet,

The fringe on the edge of a circular rug,

Because no matter how many revolutions I do,

I’m still on the outside of my life.


I’m incapable of reaching the center of my life.

I’m living on the fringe, on the outside looking in

Yet each day I come back to be there for them

I stay on the fringe; no more effort to get in,

I binge on the occasional nods of approval,

And signs of satisfaction, though I pray for removal

From this circle I call life


This endless scope of hope and disappointment;

Of acceptance and abandonment --

This ferris wheel of highs and lows and comes and gos

But only God knows where it’s going from here --


Maybe this life is a record:

Meant to play the same tune time and time again;

To repeat and repeat

And replay and replay

Every high and every low

Every single emotional blow,

And get scratched every now and then

For all who care to listen.


Or maybe this life is a wheel:

Revolving time and time again yet still changing

Location, and orientation, and inflation.

For the terrain of yesterday has caused a strain on the journey of today

Maybe that’s why it’s called a tire.


Because although it takes you to your destination,

It is not immune to occasional inflation.

Yes, even our tires get tired,

But they cannot re-inflate by remaining in the state

That they’ve come to hate.


Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

So why does it make sense to return to the potholes, and obstacles, and dirt roads of your past?


The course of this life is not certain,

But the past is set in stone.

And if the people by your side tear you down,

It is better to walk alone.


But first, you have to make some changes for yourself.

You can’t inflate a tire if you don’t pump it.

You can’t clean your record if you don’t wipe it.

And you can’t properly clean a rug if you don’t beat it.


So beat it.


Get away from those who hurt you, because you deserve better.


This poem is about: 
Our world


Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741