Too Much

I wrote this poem last year, but I performed it for the first time last night at a (zoom) spoken word open mic. Initially, I never thought that I would share it with anyone. I have since then, but every time it’s a nerve-wracking experience.

Poetry is possibly one of the most vulnerable forms of writing for me, and this poem is no exception. I only really began dealing with my mental health issues near the very end of 2019, and thankfully there has been a lot of progress since then. It’s something I will likely be working on my whole life. I wrote this in one of those moments when everything needed to explode. I wrote it in one go and didn’t edit. It just flowed out because it was my catharsis. I couldn’t scream and I couldn’t cry, and I couldn’t stop, but I could write (don’t ask me why.) 

Too Much Recording

Everything is so close to the surface right now,
Behind my eyes,
Clinging to the back of my throat
Rising through my chest until it gets too high and I have to push it down
Again
 
Every little thing sets me off
Sensory overload punching me in the gut as every sound and sensation gets 
Too Much
I have to think about every inhalation
Or risk hyperventilation
 
And I would deal with these feelings and thoughts,
Except I’m wearing mascara
And I don’t want to re-do it
 
I’m also not through my list yet
It keeps growing, swallowing up my time until I blink and its midnight.
That can’t be right
 
All I want is to crawl into bed and cry
But my bedding is in the dryer
And I know that if I hide now,
If I cry now
If my eyes overflow now
 
I won’t be myself again until the day after tomorrow
Because tomorrow will be spent trying to recover from today
 
And I feel as though I shouldn’t have to recover,
Covering myself in blankets and staying in bed all day
There’s no way that’s healthy
 
And there’s no catharsis from screaming inside my own head
I know I should just go to bed
But I have too much To Do
 
And the nightmares I had last night are still circling in the back of my mind
Never-mind that I’m done
I’m exhausted, but I can’t be done yet
 
I don’t even remember the last time I watched the sunset
Everything is too much, too close, too loud, too bright,
I thought it was supposed to get dark at night
 
Maybe I shouldn’t be trying to handle everything at once
Maybe I should sleep
Maybe I should cry
Maybe I should eat something, I don’t remember why
I’m doing everything by myself
 
I’m faking every interaction because if I fracture now
I’ll fall apart
 
And I’m not letting myself ask for support
My throat is constricting but I make myself speak
“No problem!” “No worries!”
I am far up this creek by now
 
My mood swings up and down
I wish I could just lie down
Instead I’m keeping myself together by threads,
Pulling my hair out to tie off loose ends
 
Stitching with scratches and running on fumes,
My skin is revolting and itching and bruised,
Now might be the time to eat everything in sight,
I’ll hate myself later, by the time that it’s light out, but baggy clothes
Are the only filter I need
And I’ve already decided which crutches I’ll leave in the dark
 
Too much
Everything is Too Much
Everything aches,
And I am shaking from frustration and 
Freezing in a perfectly warm house
 
I want to wash my face and break
Down already,
Hug myself before I drown in Too Much
Crush everything until everything inside me is dust
 
I want release
I want peace
I want silence and warmth
I want to cuddle with someone until I fall asleep
And don’t dream
 
Screaming into my pillow isn’t enough,
It’s be tough and fake it
Make it ok
Lie to myself;
You’ll get done today
 
Everything is so close to the surface right now,
Behind my eyes,
Clinging to the back of my throat
Rising through my chest until it gets too high and I have to push it down
Again

By: Jules Sherwood

TL;DR: Finally sharing this poem I wrote a year ago and talking a bit about my journey with mental health.

3 thoughts on “Too Much

  1. This is so real and raw, you can feel the tension as you read. So many more people feel this than we realize. Thank you for your incredible emotional words, that capture this all to real emotions.

    Like

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this. It takes a lot to be vulnerable and say how we are feeling. I know this will touch lives and help others through their own difficult times.

    Like

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