BITS

7/27/2017     11:55am

God has been all around me lately and on Tuesday He spoke this prayer. I was trying to think of a name for a Facebook group of my friends and words wafted through as I walked to the car. Then BITS came in. I wondered if it stood for something. I got “Blessed in the Struggle.” I like that. As I drove down the rather steep hill from my therapist’s office this prayer came to me, in lines and different colors. I finally pulled over to let it come through. I AM BITS.

BITS

I am BITS.
I AM Blessed in the Struggle.
I welcome His purifying pain.
I release my need to understand.
I submit my life to the Lord.
Every piece I’m angry about, 
every care I hold, like each stone in the lake, I let go of.
My pain was never mine to begin with.
Jesus is mine.
Please Lord, show me your way.
Teach me how to read.
Teach me how to be, free.
BITS.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2017

Failed Fairies

6/4/17     4:52pm

You know, I was just thinking Bambi is a terrible kids’ story or fairy tale. Then I caught the next thought that there should be more happily-ever-afters. But that’s not right. The fairy tales fuck us up. Maybe if there were more tragic kids’ stories expectations would lower and there would be less mental anguish.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2017

Quiet is Purple

11/29/2016

meter-11

(sit quietly near to be where I’m not)

What seems like a void isn’t.
And what’s heard as silence isn’t.
The lack of air that fills my soul, it makes no sound.
No one hears the silent screaming.

Tea. Broadway. Fading lies.
No Giving Tuesday for me.
No Denver, or Ohio, or Scotty.

Quiet is purple.
Quiet is me.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2016

No Batteries

5/2/16     9:53am

I want to write but I’m SO scared.
Curled up in a ball on the floor,
Scenes flash through my head.
TERROR, Horror, Guilt, No control.
I don’t move.
I can’t do what they want me to.
They don’t know who I am.
Do you?

Tick, tock, tweet, meow, the sound of cars.
My mind has passed by.
Why did you leave me?
Radical acceptance. No batteries.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2016

I am a thunderstorm

11-5-15  

I am a thunderstorm, slow to enter, firece to make its presence known. I dance with fury ‘cross the sky striking down shame, raising up love. I water the laughter and revive joy. My eyes see fear and anger. My heart feels the black heavy weight of depression & loss. My hands reach for the lost and hold the pain. My feet walk slowly away. Today I am your thunderstorm. I leave for you a quiet gratitude rainbow. Trust in me. I exist only for you.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Dropping in

3/2/15     11:20pm

I didn’t go to Soleil’s today. She let me reschedule due to rain. I also couldn’t stay awake. I spent the day with T- instead. It was nice. Shopping, the beach, group. I’m exhausted.

I’m dropping back into life and I’m confused by what I see. I didn’t realize how many demands are placed on me, what people expect, what I was able to give. It’s astounding. Life didn’t ask it of me. I chose to give. And I chose to take a break. Life didn’t change. I did. Praise God for that. But I’m not sure where I fit.

I have a very low tolerance for other humans right now. I’m also not fond of bright lights or noise or extended car trips. My creativity is blossoming and I feel peaceful and calm, but I have no use for or real ability to do what I usually do. I don’t want to help people. I want to be at home. I don’t want to do paperwork or answer emails or look at texts. I don’t even want to be on my phone. It’s not that I’m depressed. Quite the opposite. I’m alive. I’m alive for Christ’s sake! And I’m dropping in, assessing the damage, deciding what to do next. I’m not sure what that means for now but I’m pretty sure it will turn out to be nothing less than miraculous. God is good and I trust He has me here in this state of disarray and confusion for a purpose. I wait with anticipation…

What helps you when dropping into your life after an absence of some time? when you find what you left doesn’t suit you anymore?

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Unimportant Grace

2/15/15     2:30pm

I want to die. I played Apples to Apples. I’m in a spiritual service now on repentence, turning toward goodness. Apparently lent starts next week. Hot damn. Who cares? Aside from Auntie. Not me.

     I need to go home now.
     It’s too far, too much.
     This transition will hurt.

I am proving how unneeded I am. (sigh) Damn. I am at once important and not important at all. Dr. N. It’s important to understand my unimportance. I can only get out if I do. I don’t want to. I don’t know how to know and survive. Jesus, help me. Thank you, Lord.

It is only through being unimportant that I am freed to do something else.

I don’t want chocolate.
I don’t want steak.
I only want to feel okay.
Soaring freer than ever before,
Far up over the open door,
I watch what’s left here on the ground.
Where I am headed there is no frown.
No time, no terror, no second base.
Only the glow of His great face.
I don’t want chocolate.
I don’t want steak.
I only want to feel His grace.

I miss you, Sonny.
Only surrender.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Presence over Present

2/2/15     8:10pm

Presence over present – my message from God today. His presence over my present. I shared the phrase with a few people. They gave me their interpretations. For me, it stays the same. His presence over my present.

I wondered what this meant. DBT stresses mindfulness and being in this moment – the present. But being in this moment is really hard for me right now. Can I be in His presence without being in this present? Yes. Yes, I can. I was so relieved to realize that. My present doesn’t quite matter. It’s simply a bonus to drop into when I can. All I need is God.

Wrap me in your healing warmth.
Surround me with your presence.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Salty Desert Dirt

IMG_8693My doctor asked me to write a poem about gemstones or nature. This is what came out.

1-31-15     5:30pm

When I think of nature, the thing that comes to mind is salty desert dirt. I see the multicolored orbs – white, tan, brown – piled on top of each other, shifting with each of my steps. I stop, bend down to look at them, to ponder the earth. Large black ants march on their way. I’m fascinated by their roundness, their focus. Is it of fear or motivation? Intently I watch the ant hill. What is the project? What is the mission today?

The smell of the earth fills the air. It permeates by being. I want to be here with this earth, this special earth. When I leave, it isn’t hurt. When I return, it isn’t happy. It is simply my earth. Salty, talcy, dusty, dirty earth. I need no gemstones.

The earth doesn’t judge. It listens. It respects me. It hurts predictably when I fall on it. Salty desert dirt.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Let the Monsters Go

1/24/2014     10am

I’m holding onto some monsters,
and they’re eating inside me.
They burn my flesh and rot my food.
They wear barbed wire and twirl.

The monsters eat my words.
They have the power to stop my body.
Fuzzy little pricks they are.
But the monsters want me.

They scream at me but they’re here.
They’ve become my family.
I am full of holes that folks will see when they are gone.
I am torn & damaged.
The monsters are eating me.

What will I have without them,
if I ever let go?
Who is me that the monsters are eating?

© Michelle Routhieaux 2014

My Brain is a Beach Ball

(writing from the hospital)
2-3-13     9:20am

I was just sitting in morning meeting thinking. A 2″x 2″ metal square is depressing the front of my brain. It has a nice matte dark finish. It’s pressing on my brain. Impairing, altering my ability to think. Throwing off track the course of my eyes. Making me want to die.

I began to desire the removal of this pressing weight, but my brain might float away as it’s done in the past. Filled with the glory of the Spirit and the creativity of a child. To twirl and leap in the sunshine, to build empires in the night. To despair and fall into self-destruction from harnessing such energy.

(distraction)

I certainly don’t want that, though it’s fun for a night. Like a beach ball flying up in the air when you fall off to the side.

I started thinking of the beach ball, of its resting state. It doesn’t require compression, being held under water, and it doesn’t float away – if cared for properly. I suppose proper genetics and nurturing allow a beach ball to progress without incident. But if it’s stabbed or over or under-inflated or dried out or forgotten, you never know. Under tremendous pressure it will pop. It may also take on water very slowly, become ever so much heavier until one day it is deemed unusable and its human walks away.
My brain is a beach ball.

My brain is beautiful. Beautiful in its complexities and creativities and jerks. In its random fuck yous and kindnesses and deep appreciations. In its expression of itself and God to others. I sometimes want to hide it. I feel ashamed. I hold it under water and I pray for it to die. I hide it in the shed. I drag it through the rocks. I leave it in the sun. The damn thing is indestructible. I don’t know why it loves me. I don’t know why it sticks around.

For some reason my brain has yet to kill me or allow myself to do it. It hasn’t banned me from knowing how or walking through it many times. It just says, “Not now.” God says, “Not now.” I trust Him. He sent Dr. Harvey to sit with me last night. My brain has never left me. I have altered it, drugged it into submission, injured it, begged & pleaded. It has a passion for life. For learning and love. It holds tight all the things I’ve let go of for me, all the things I’ve forgotten. It tucks away what I can’t tolerate. My brain is amazing. I love my brain.

I really hope they can help me here to make a safe zoo for my beach ball brain so the world will be fun and I can think but I’ll be okay. I so want to be okay. Please help me be okay. Someone is standing on my brain.

My brain is a beach ball.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013

I am free

7/18/12     9:30pm

Thought of the Day

I am not an asset.
I do not belong to anyone.
I belong to God.

I choose whom I work for, when and what I do.
I set clear boundaries.
I enforce me.

I am on a journey in a set direction and nothing will deter me.

I am free.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

Pain is the price of admission

(a conversation between me & a voice in my head after hours and hours of writing)
4-11-12     1:43am

(big breath)
I am alive.
I am alive.

If I have no control over what happens to or around me and what I do doesn’t matter…
If there is no such thing as should or real…
If I’m the only one my importance matters to, why am I here?

‘Cuz I like it.

(??) What?

I said because I like it. And I always get what I want. You can’t have hugs and the ocean without pain. Face it. You fear life.

No shit. I know that.

Yeah. But you don’t know that you love it too. You can’t see that in order to feel joy, you must know pain. The music comes with heartache. The ocean comes with pain. The dancing comes with a loneliness that pushes you to death. There are no substitutions. You can’t get away. You can’t strain off the bad. It is one.

(stare)

Michelle, you don’t want to die. You want not to feel the pain. The fire inside and the physical stress of your body melting away. But it’s not going away. It’s here to stay. What you do with it is your choice. But, like you said, you have no control.

There is no anti-life pill. You can’t strain out the seeds. Can’t sugarcoat it. You have pain.

You also have music. And hugs, and flowers, and writing and what you see in your head. You have God and the pirates.

(crying)

You have me.

But it hurts so much.

I know.

I’m so scared.

Like Jim said, you don’t have to understand right now.

I just have to be.

Just be.

I love you, Mom.

I love you too.

Acceptance is realizing the pain is an entry fee, a price of admission, to the theme park of life. Non-refundable. It’s your choice if you have fun or not.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

Jesus & Happy

4/2/12

Jesus,

Did anyone tell you what happiness is? That you had a right to feel it? I’m pretty sure the knowledge/awareness of “happy” and the expectation that I should or should be able to feel it are fucking me up.

Have people always expected to feel happy? What if feeling awful is the default? If I was okay with feeling awful my life would be much better. Is this an American thing? I do NOT feel happy.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

Now I am…

(continued from “I am from…”)

3-21-12     4:07pm

Now I am what?

Now I am stronger.

Now I am less afraid.

Now I am starting to own myself, to upgrade from the standard model.

Now I am more honest, less moody, more willing to be vulnerable.

I am learning to trust.
I am learning to be me.

Now I am sharing my writing.
I am putting it out there, even through fear.

Now I understand there doesn’t have to be a what.
And that’s scary. But I’m here. I’m not leaving.

I come back to that.
Now I am.

The cadence makes me nervous.
The content makes me cringe.

(breathe…) Just be.

Face burns, stomach turns. I feel tingly.

I need to paint the sky.
About to pass out.

I feel scared of being.
No identity.
I feel scared of me.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

I am from…

7 minute writing from the prompt “I am from…”

3-21-12     2:52pm

I am from brown carpet and air, a place the sun sometimes shines.

I am from stripped cars and “don’t make any noise” and “get down.”

I am from “hide.”

I am from hospitals and nursing homes.
I am from watching the almost dead.

I am from the place in my soul that screams DANCE!

I am from me.

I am from the places I try not to remember – of pain and drugs and heartache.

Sometimes I forget where I’m from.
Sometimes I try not to remember.

I am from “do it perfect or I’ll leave you.”

I am from “you’re a horrible person.”

I am from the place that pushed me to move on, to run away, to save my life.

I am tired of being from. So now I just am.

I was from.

Now I am.

(thought continued in “Now I am…”)

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

I had a birthday recently

3/21/12     1:45pm

I had a birthday recently. I just remembered this. I never responded to the 150 or so posts on FB – not because I’m rude. I just couldn’t deal with it.

It seems I have a birthday every other year. One year of party, one year of hiding. This was supposed to be an on year. My prediction was wrong.

This year I wanted to celebrate being alive, to treasure the gift. It didn’t quite work that way.

(too painful)

Breathe…

Need to sing it or throw it up out of me. My head hurts. The words are backed up in me. About to explode – no sound. I think I should take less Seroquel. Three pounds of water weight in 3 days.

I’m sitting in my yard pulling cattails (the weed). Jenny’s excited to go to Possum Trot with us. I’m second guessing my offer. I am SO tired. SO hurting. I cannot make it rain.

I had a birthday recently, a great lunch with a friend and an entire day’s meltdown. Loud weepy crying spells. I locked myself in the garage, bathroom & car. I smartly went to hear music and unsmartly tried to drink. I had a birthday.

I am now 26. I never celebrated 25. Like it never happened. I don’t want to be 26. I want to be 25. Divisible by five, a nice round number. I don’t like even age numbers. 26 starts the Sex & the City part of life. I don’t own enough pairs of heels. Yet somehow I’m here, sitting barefoot on a towel on my lawn in the shade of shirts on the clothesline pondering my age. I don’t even feel 18.

I don’t want to remember but I hate that I can’t. I see snapshots. Re-experience. The rest is blank. Sometimes I ask people what they remember about me because I can’t. They’re confused. Well, honey, so am I.

Angela (my birthday lunch friend) said she’s been honored to watch me grow through the years into who I am now. Who am I now? I don’t remember. I tried to think of what changed me, something. The only thing in my mind was when I thought I was dying. It really shaped who I am, gave me a platform. I don’t take as much shit anymore. I appreciate. I hold dear. I am more grounded in my work. I feel steady knowing I know my shit and that no one can take that from me.

(pause to freak out about new freckles)

11 years ago yesterday I entered the hospital for the first time. 11 years ago tomorrow there was a shooting at my school. It’s been a long 11 years.

(call from S- to say M- is married. tears.)

I’m tempted to say I’m happy for him, but I’m not. Good people have good people. I’m not one of those people. Why didn’t J- just tell me instead of saying it was crazy, I was crazy? Why not just wear a ring or post it on your FB profile? Much easier. Nothing is easier.

(hear “Do You Love Me?” from Fiddler)

Watching a dizzy ant.
Sometimes crazy doesn’t deserve to be loved.

I would like to throw up my gut. Then maybe I wouldn’t hurt so much.

There is a place in everland.
Fall behind the glass.
Where people fall out of touch.
They lie right on the grass.
Behind the glass
For all to see.

Happily ever after land,
A place that taunts me,
Haunts me.
I watch them go there.
(quiet)

It all falls away.

I had a birthday recently. I’d rather not remember.

(rocking)

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

My bitter love isn’t

3/20/12     10:25pm

Something magical between S- and M- tonight. I am left with a feeling of peace, calm. The most beautiful set – emotional, powerful, soft. He had a realization. He shared some music with her. I watched. I treasure the privilege. It was a moment, her listening, him watching intently. A love. A piece of magic.

I wish I had something like that. Not a romantic love, but a trust. A history. A hug.

I am so grateful to share in the energy, to talk with S-. To pretend. Maybe if I imagine it I can live it in my head. I’ll be loved and no one can get to me. Love will protect me. Bitter love.

– doesn’t know I like him. And he doesn’t like me back. And that’s okay. Bitter love. The silence doesn’t go away.

Dear God,

I watch the dots pass by me.
I am not in control.
You drive my car down many paths.
I am not in control.
The dots pass by. I fill with light.
I am fire. And then I am ash.
But I am not in control.

Be, they say, not do. But how?
Please, God. How?

The dots pass by.
I listen and breathe.

-M

My sadness fills rivers.
My heart, it shrivels.
My body is in pain.
I am alone.
I am alone.

Jesus, I can’t feel you. Are you there? I’m scared. I choose love but feel fear. I feel alone. Am I alone? Why can’t I feel love? Is it a brain thing? It just is. Everything just is. Could you make everything isn’t? I’d appreciate that.

My toes are cold. The tv is on. I’d like it if is were isn’t. Would life be better in isn’t? I don’t know. Please, bitter love, love me or go away. My bitter love isn’t.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

When I lost…

4 minute writing exercise at a workshop

3-17-12     11:30am

When I lost my faith I stopped dancing. When I lost my dancing I lost me. Somewhere in a corner she is locked up, crying quietly. I lost me. I don’t understand. She understands less. When I lost my faith, I lost me.

I used to believe I could do anything, that somehow God had blessed me and I would do good. But now I do this. They say this is me. But in the mirror she’s not what I see. When I lost my faith, I lost me. I miss being me.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012