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Emotional, Free Verse Poetry About Relationships and Mental Illness

Justus is a freelancer, content writer and English teacher. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree and TESOL certificate in 2020.

Many Silently Suffer Around Us

Justus as a young boy

Justus as a young boy

An Account of the Experiences Which Inspired My First Poetry Collection

  • Having been diagnosed at a young age with generalized anxiety disorder, chronic major depressive disorder and various other ailments of the mind, I was more than just a rebellious teenager with feelings of angst and sadness. I struggled to attend high school and am very grateful that I graduated on time. Like many young adults, I had trouble managing my relationships and lacked compassion for those around me. As time has passed (and although life is surely unpredictable), I've come to much better understand the results of my actions, and the affect that my compassion, or lack thereof, has on others

    In high school, I was in three major relationships. These relationships were all very different from one another. However, despite that they occurred over ten years ago and while I was a teenager, the deep emotions that I felt during this time in my life were very real. Although I have never let my disability define me as a person, and although my life has improved drastically throughout the years (through perseverance during the worst of times, like when I was bed-ridden for an entire year in my early twenties), my fear of being alone coupled with my lack of closure and self-confidence led to obsessive thinking. I would blame myself for every wrong decision that I had ever made and group myself into categories with people that I had little or no respect for. I also had strong feelings for two of my exes, simultaneously, and felt overwhelming guilt for not only this, but also for the way I had treated them.

    I am now extremely grateful, because I have found closure through time, and have had conversations (some short and others long) with these individuals where understandings have formed and forgiveness has been given. I wrote these poems as a way to cope with my negative emotions and the despair that I felt after having been separated from the people that I cared for as a young man. While my wounds have healed and I was able to move onward with my life long ago, I hope these poems provide catharsis or act as a source of inspiration for not only those who are suffering from mental illness (and for those who struggle in relationships or society for this reason), but also for those who have unresolved feelings, or who have unwanted, distressing thoughts.

  • Descension, Obsession and Rumination were all written prior to 2019, although I am unsure of the exact composition dates.

Obsession

the same old thoughts have been haunting me,
and I feel shame for what should have never been;
and I feel longing for what could just never be.

I obsess over the past
and wonder if I’ve ever
truly known love at all.

Rumination

perhaps I thought
that if I told myself
I wouldn’t have her,
I could one day accept
that she wouldn’t have me.

Descension

we were living in the past
... detached and downcast
but seldom uninspired;
unquestionably suffering
from an aggressive disease:
fouled, forlorn, and chronic;
and as taboo, as the Moros method
of self-destructive release;

yet in the upset of the night
... you ignored the dotted lines,
and with needle and twine,
consoled my throbbing mind.
the art got me by, as we danced!
below blood soaked sheets,
I cut and loved and sinned;
and placed you on an altar
atop demons and draugr.

alas! my psychosis overcame the once glorious and glowing.
no longer in your eyes, am I brilliant ... I am beaming.
not ashamed of an inherent yet induced vulnerability,
nor yearning for the embrace of another, the victimized lover,
whose wailing cries won’t haunt me in the summertime:
I lied. I am living in my mind.

Despite All I've Endured, My Friends and Family Have Always Supported Me

Justus spending time with his beloved brother

Justus spending time with his beloved brother

We All Must Live with Our Own Decisions and with How We React to Hardship, Which Shapes Who We Are

"You are never destroyed by anyone except yourself."

— Friedrich Nietzsche

© 2022 Justus Reinhardt

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