Reader Submission: I Am Not Less

Hey readers! Welcome to this month's reader submission, a tender poem by Christianna Sahadeo, 23, from Trinidad and Tobago.

This poem is about the realities of living with mental health issues and trying to overcome them.


I Am Not Less.

The crooked,
smile cracks your face,
You’re half hysterical,
Half in despair,
You’re strung out,
And too far gone,
And yet you want to keep going,
Keep going until your muscles are too tired,
Going until exhaustion is the only thing you
Until you’re empty,
Void, save for clean
running through your bones
so truly
that you can’t feel it anymore.

You type,
Maybe you’re spilling poison
from your fingertips
as the keys suck it out,
Splash it on pixels,
But somehow, it’s not all dark,
There’s some colour

The anxiety,
The fear,
Marches through you,
Keeping you dancing to tune,
And you ache,
You hate,
You want to cry
because it’ too much,
But you can’t,
Can’t seem to,
Not yet,
You don’t want to and yet, 
You do.

But there’s some colour
left somewhere,
All that you are
is not eroded,
There’s some of you
still here,
You’re even afraid to think it,
You’re a pebble trembling
on the brink
of a cliff.

You wish you weren’t so scared,
Maybe then you could cry.

You wish there was something you could run yourself ragged for,
Wish there were people at the end,
for you,
Wish you had something
you could do,
Could hold on to,
But you’re useless.
Useless somewhere in your mind.

But there’s something,
I am being consumed,
But I am not yet,
Black lines tangle me and
wrap within me,
But I am not lost,
There is still me left,
And at my trembling fingertips,
There still lies my ability to grasp,
To hold on,
I am not powerless,
For all that I am being eaten,
I am not less.