Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH!
If you’ve only got to know me in the past year and a half through TNTH, then you probably didn’t know that I used to write poetry back in high-school/early college. Poetry was my form of escape through my depression six years ago, and honestly, because of that sadness I had inside of me, it made me write some pretty sick (in both ways) poems that to this day are untouchable. Nowadays, I don’t write poetry because I’m simply just horrible at it, plus I had some really discouraging people in my life at the time who told me my writing sucked…
Anyway, I thought it would be fun to “react” to a poem I wrote back when I was 18. Warning: it’s dramatic, it’s dark, but it’s possibly the poem that suggested me being more than just an “angsty teen”.
This poem was simply entitled. “Elizabeth”.
First, off the bat, I read this and remember why I wrote this poem.
Like I said before, I was in a really bad place at the time and I had just heard through the grapevine that something bad was being planned to happen to me. After being kicked down time and time again and feeling lonely in every aspect of my life, I decided to write this poem. I called it “Elizabeth” because back then, I used to believe that I was living two lives. The person everyone knew me as was Liz; the person who was “Elizabeth” was this foreign, out of touch human being that I didn’t know, and I wanted to so badly be that person. Trust me, it’s extremely stupid as I think about it now, but I was a dumb, naive 18-year-old girl who believed I could’ve been this completely different version of myself after having my name and reputation ruined.
Now that’s out of the way, let me say this: at this point, I contemplated suicide frequently, and this was in some sort of way my suicide poem.
Anyway, the first line (I shit you not) was inspired by the absolute worst sunburn I ever had. My body was truly stinging, and I guess it became a good ass opener for a poem! Following the first two stanzas, I pretty much was writing about the anticipation of said bad thing to happen, and at the end of the day I pretty much accepted that fate and suggested to do it to myself before anyone else could. I guess it then stemmed off to the metaphorical killing of myself, or “Liz.”
“The anxiety feels like 11:30’s on the night before your birthday” WHAT? That line was extremely clever! It’s like that feeling when you’re sitting around anticipating for something to change or to happen, and honestly, that’s how I felt about my life on a day-to-day basis. Life was extremely valuable during this time in my life because I never knew what was going to be my last straw, in all honesty. That anticipation of waiting up for midnight for your birthday was a cool way of explaining how life felt for me at this moment. That last line in that stanza pretty much summed up my cry for help in all honesty: “I’m too tired of waking up if I want myself dead in the end.”
The following stanza, in all honesty, was about the people in my life who I’ve tried finding comfort in. Although I look back now and see just who was truly there for me in my time of need (newsflash: it was just my partner), I honestly felt like everyone around me was just the same, who treated me the same, and who made me feel like shit in the same way. I’m assuming that’s what the seashells metaphor was about; I kept picking up all these different people trying to find something different and what was able to help me out of my own mind, but every single person felt the same and did the same thing, and in the end I was still very lonely.
Following that same theme of not being good enough (not even for myself), I really liked the metaphor of the dream and only waking up happy when I kill myself in them. So dramatic and dark, I know and I’m cringing too. I only like it because there were days when I actually felt happy and able to live on with my life because I felt different and new. Of course, things never lasted that long, and I always ended up being my old, sad self.
The poem pretty much ends by me “metaphorically” killing myself in my mind, but reading lines like “I’m tired of living” really do send shivers down my spine because at that moment, I was tired of living. I was tired of being in my skin and being this person I did not recognize anymore. These little hints in some of these poems are extremely haunting because it makes me realize just how much I wanted someone to help me and yet I masked my cries through the art of poetry. I read the comments on this poem and think, “these people really thought this was just creative expression.”
“I’m done living in a body that I don’t deserve.” I really thought this to myself.
“I like this. It hurts.” // “I’m feeling this!”
As a 24-year-old woman who has lived to see past this time in their life reminds me that eventually, things do get better. Never give up on yourself if things get too hard. Things take longer to go away, and sometimes the pain and the hurt teaches you a valuable lesson about life and about yourself in general. Poetry was my scapegoat whenever I needed my voice heard. Yeah, I should’ve used it to get proper help for everything I was going through, but hey, I’m here to tell the tale.
Despite the heavy subject, this was really fun to do! Let me know if you’d like another one of these “me reacting to old poetry” posts in the future!