To Hell and Back

One day you’re going to find yourself

standing in the cold, teeth chattering

another name you used to call yours and

you’re going to wonder who you belong to.


You’re going to wonder why this always happens to you

and you’re going to ask yourself

What’s wrong with me?

when you’re already pretty sure you know the answer.

You’ll probably get emotional,

find your way back to the blade again or

make a trip downstairs to

your parents’ liquor cabinet when they’re not home.


The people you call friends will notice that

you’re getting bad again and

they’ll hug you and

text you a Bible verse that you attempt to appreciate.


Your mother will soon notice the tally-marks on your wrist

and find an empty bottle of vodka hidden

in the pile of t shirts in your closet that

you haven’t washed since the night he slept over.

She’ll scream at you,

He’s just a boy

and you’ll scream back,

no mom, he’s THE boy

and your little sister will ask why you’re always crying

because she doesn’t know what a mental illness is.


You’re back in the hospital.

It doesn’t really help, but you feel safe.

There is no cure for heartbreak or depression,

so the medication the doctors

force down your throat doesn’t change anything.

The lumpy tablets you gulp down remind you

of the so many times you swallowed your pride

and later regretted it.

Pills don’t change the fact that he’s gone

or how you see the world in black and white.

You’re convinced you’ll never live to see the color grey,

although that’s what the overcast winter skies

have painted every morning since he left.


My situation was never nearly as painful as yours because

I wasn’t born with a rare arrangement of chemicals in my brain,

but I can feel you hurting unlike the others.


Here’s the thing about you and I:

We fall in “love” too quickly,

so they call us impulsive.

We let our tears fall too fast,

so they call us too sensitive.

We admit we’re hurting,

so they call us selfish

because starving kids in Indonesia have it way worse than we do.

But telling someone that they can’t be sad

because someone else is shedding more tears than them

is like telling someone they can’t smile

because someone else is happier than they are.

They call us worthless

when they can’t even see the worth in themselves.


We’ve had different bullets

shot through our similar hearts

and we’re not scared of matches

because we’ve gotten used to getting burned

so many times.


Heaven isn’t on our side, but we’re not scared

because we’ve already been put through hell.

Damn it, we’ve made it through hell.



This poem is about: 
My community
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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