my parents say i’m too smart
to be this sad. they tell me no, no,
you’re high functioning
because most days,
i can control my impulses and
convince myself that my brain is being illogical
and maybe they’re right,
maybe i’m overreacting,
maybe every day isn’t as bad
as the bad days make it seem
but on the bad days, the good days
aren’t enough to make me want to stay.
and on those days, when i’m alone,
when i have no one who cares,
i turn to my mom because
she’s the only one who does
and i tell her she doesn’t.
she doesn’t know what to say
and when she tells me she loves me,
i can’t say it back
because when i get like this,
i can’t feel anything but sadness.
so she tells me i’m smart,
tells me i’ll get through this,
and i wanna be like
you’re goddamn right i will,
because i will work for it.
but just because i’m hardworking
doesn’t mean i’m happy.
just because i walk around with a smile
doesn’t mean i’m not struggling.
and maybe it’s true that no one cares
unless you’re on your deathbed,
unless you’re physically screaming,
but maybe it’s true that even then,
people will compare what you went through
to themselves and fault you
for not getting through it as well as they did.
and i get it, i do, how people forget to ask me
how i am because they have their own lives to live
and sometimes lending a shoulder
takes up too much energy when you’re this sad.
i don’t know - i guess a lot of the things
i thought i believed in
were always a contradiction in the end
and i wish i could write a poem
to make it all go away but
sometimes poems fail. sometimes words fail.
on the bad days, most of the time they do.
the truth is, you’re tired.
the truth is, i’m tired, too.
the truth is, neither one of us knows what to do.