There is a tightness in my shoulders

Almost as though my father is there;

His hands correcting my posture

As he sternly tells me to sit up straight.


But he isn’t here.


There is this weight at the nape of my neck

Like a skee ball being rolled sharply over my pressure points,

And it hurts and I wince out in pain 

Because the ball is just sitting there, weighing on me.


But nothing is touching me.


Everytime I try to stretch

Or crack, or snap, or free myself from the discomfort

It returns tenfold.

Like a wave of enormous encumbrance crashing down upon me.


But I am dry.


There is no water surrounding me,

I walk on dry land.

I am not drowning

Though I feel the burn and the rasp in my lungs for a breath of air.


To define my displeasure, 

I am not okay. 

And the statement is confusing for me because I was taught to always be okay.

Even when I’m not.


You are a fighter, Elz. Not a quitter.

In terms of fight or flight, 

You fight. 

You always have.


I fight for what I believe in.

I am headstrong.

I argue and I disobey.

I am stubborn.


But I am also tired.


I am tired of fighting.

I am tired of working.

I am tired of sleeping.

Sometimes I am tired of breathing.


Don’t pity me.


Never have I felt content.

I’ve had spurts of happiness, and they were lovely.

Yellow-met pastel pink and they danced together like a soft flame,

But grey was always so welcoming.


I embraced grey.

Grey was the sky when it rained.

And grey is also the color a white page of paper turns when a tear drops onto it.

I identified with grey.


But grey enveloped me.


I am not fine.

I am struggling and I don’t know how to correctly communicate

My internal dystopia without feeling as though I am 

Invalidating everybody else.


I was always told that I was too overdramatic.

Too dark.

That I didn’t know what I was talking about…

That I didn’t need help.


No, my grey isn’t black. 


From the outside, you cannot see my suffering.

I hide it well.

I know how to pick up my pieces and carry on.

To just keep moving. I am fine.

But to come to terms with the fact that I am not fine…


This null and void is not normal.

This dull, empty pit.

Colorless, and grey,

Where is my vibrance?


I continue to just say that it’s fine, and I’m okay.

Because it comes and goes…

But when it goes, I still do not feel “normal”.

Never 100%.


And when it comes,

It drains me dry.

It whispers sweetly for me to stay in bed and stare at the ceiling.

It urges me to cry tears that just don’t come.


It lures me to the edge.

And it takes the rest of my willpower not to jump.

The grey haunts me.

It bullies me.


I feel terrible for those around me.

Desperately, I want to be my mother’s happy little girl again.

I want my friends to not have to walk on eggshells around me,

Out of fear that I might shatter into a million pieces.


But I’m just high functioning.

Repeatedly, I pick up my pieces

And like a well-trained soldier, I adjust my mask

And I carry on.


I am fine.