Before you read this poem, there is something I would like you to know.
This poem is absolutely, 100% true. It is personal, it is painfully honest, and it tells of my own experience, not anyone else’s. And you may find it quite confronting.
Despite its darkness, it is written to be positive, not negative.
It was not written to win sympathy or make anyone feel guilt: it was written so that people might understand what’s in my head, and what I’ve been feeling, and why I’ve made the choices I have.
To answer your concerns: I have chosen to stay here and to defy all impulses that tempt me otherwise. I don’t always feel okay, I’m not always okay, but I will be okay.
For anyone in a similar position: hold on. Stay here. You matter more than you know.
For a moment-
One fleeting, isolated point in time-
Or maybe two,
I thought about it.
I had the means.
God knows, I had motive.
But I couldn’t do it to you.
I know you would have understood.
But I know, too, how you would have mourned.
I would have destroyed much more than myself.
So I resisted,
Summoning strength I didn’t have,
Holding on desperately
To everything that matters-
To everything I know that I love-
Even when I couldn’t feel it anymore.
I am thankful to still be here,
Despite my fragile state of mind,
For I know too well what it is like
To be one of the left behind.
©2017 Joanne Van Leerdam
This poem and fifty others are published in a collection: titled ‘The Passing Of The Night’