If I could draw a blade
across my wrist
to show you that my veins clog
with the sludge of ugliness, you would
never again ask me,
“Why are you so tired?”

If I could crack open my skull
to free my mind, you would
see that it is not splintered
by madness but rather patched
together with clarity, you would
never again ask me
to swallow poison.

If I could rip this body open
to show you the raw red wounds
that have been lashed onto my soul
by every inhumane atrocity
this world has endured, you would
never again ask me,
“Why are you so sad?”

Instead, your accusing eyes
demand simple words
to simpler questions that
the simplest minds
can process.

And in all
that I am
I am not.

Nicole Lyons

Nicole Lyons is the creator of The Lithium Chronicles, the popular Facebook page that brings awareness to mental illness and support to those who need it. She was a columnist for the national online magazine, PsychCentral, and has been a guest contributor to the website The Mighty and The International Bipolar Foundation. Nicole has been a featured writer for the OCH Literary Society, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Sidereal Catalyst, among others. Nicole's The Lithium Chronicles website features her own poetry and prose, as well as the work of upcoming and established artists and was added to the Mental Health Writer’s Guild in 2015. She has been nominated for two consecutive years in six different categories for The Wego Health Activist awards, recognized for her work as a fierce mental health advocate and an advocate for others, as well as having built an exceptional supportive online community with The Lithium Chronicles. She is a published author in both Feminine Collective’s Raw & Unfiltered VOL I and The Stigma Fighters Anthology Volume One. Nicole is a hippie at heart with a bohemian soul who believes that the world can be changed by one random act of kindness at a time. She lives a good life in Beautiful British Columbia with her brilliant daughters and gorgeous husband. In her free time Nicole volunteers with a Canadian nonprofit that focuses on suicide awareness and prevention, and hangs out with her best friend, a 170lb bullmastiff named Capone.

11 thoughts on “If I Could

  1. Stephanie OrtezStephanie Ortez

    This is beautiful Nicole. We live in a world where we keep our sufferings to ourselves, living in a shell to keep us safe. You have a wonderful way to connect with others, Nic. Never lose that.

  2. Mary Rowen

    Yes! I’m so tired of people wanting to simplify everything–to understand other people in as few words as possible; hence, stereotyping. It is bullsh*t and impossible. Thank you for writing this Nicole. Your words are a gift.

  3. Heather Lee

    Such powerful words that describe real, raw emotions. I love poetry, it takes thoughts and words to create emotions and understanding – you touched me with this post. I have bipolar disorder and your words resounded deep within me. Thank you!

  4. Nicole LyonsNicole Lyons

    Sherri, thank you for this comment. I wish we could all see what others feel and have lived, somehow wear a cloak of our experiences, good and bad, and maybe this world would be a much kinder place. Love to you.
    I see you.
    N xoxo

  5. SA SmithSA Smith

    Nicole-this is chilling. So often I have felt, if I could just rip away my skin and share my war wounds from life, they might get a deeper understanding of just how it feels to be me. You put those thoughts in words. Thank you my talented friend.

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