This is Just a Test

By- Traci Taylor
November 2017

Walking out on that fresh cut, green grass
that instantly takes you back
to childhood
or the childhood
you choose to remember
the rest you’ve blocked out
for sake of sanity

People tell you when you are older
if you’ve still got that glimmer of hope in your eye
to “never lose that spark”
what does that even mean
And when did they lose that spark
to remember how important it is not to

Every day I wake up
I feel the weight of the world
and still I feel nothing
I want to understand everyone
because it is easier than trying to understand myself

Three years to thirty
and I haven’t shaken the angst
I always swore city lights and skylines
would break me from this mold
that a small town shaped me in

One day
that always seems to be the answer
even when I don’t remember the question

So I let my mind drift
back to the time when I let
the smell of fresh baked cookies
outweigh the screams
and the loud crashes
that used to be my lullaby

Because it is not where we came from
or where we are going
that matters
it is where we stand in the moment
how we act and react

remembering everything that built us
or broke us
was just preparing us
for the test of kindness
in the darkness of hate

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Live, Thrive, & Be Vulnerable: Break-Ups

**Note from the author: I am starting a short story series that will be posted weekly. The topics I will  be writing about are relatable life topics and are all about vulnerability. With this series I will not be holding back and the stories may get intense (that is the point to being vulnerable). My one hope, something I always wish for, is that the readers get the most out of how real these stories will be. Enjoy, and always feel free to reach out- there’s nothing more I enjoy than finding a connection through written word.

By- Traci Taylor
December 2014
Live, Thrive, & Be Vulnerable series.

The feeling of a broken heart is perhaps the most intense, short lived, feeling of sadness we endure as human beings. Ultimately there is no way to really describe in one sentence the emotions of a break up, other than saying it is the polar opposite of falling in love.

Everyone will tell you that” in due time you will get through this,” or “they will realize what they lost, it’ll be okay in the end”. Intellectually you are aware of that, but emotionally it seems like a crippling thought. What a lot of people forget when break ups happen is that you are not alone and plenty of people (including yourself) have been in this position before.

This is the time when it is acceptable to be sad and eat your weight in pizza or ice cream. Just keep in mind that it is “OK” to be sad for however long you feel that way. The only thing that needs to stop after a month is the indulgence of massive amounts of food. Try not to lose your health along with the broken heart.

What I will not recommend is drinking your sorrows away. Getting together with friends for a beer or glass of wine is great. Socializing is an important step back to happiness after the end of a relationship.

Alcohol is not the answer to your broken heart, and I say that with experience. For the critics that have a wrinkled brow because of my age, no need to fret, I will explain in the upcoming paragraphs.

Once upon a time, not too long ago, I was a drunk beginning at age 14. The past couple of months I have abstained from alcohol and it was mainly because of a difficult break up I was going through. A person I had been with for almost a year ended the relationship we were in, and I did not take it well at all. She was my best friend, and despite knowing we weren’t working it really hit me hard.

After she left my apartment and we returned keys I walked right to the liquor store. At this point my alcoholism was already progressing rapidly without the majority of people’s knowledge (also the depression I was internally struggling with). I got to the liquor store with a plan to drink myself into oblivion. Jack Daniels and Black Box were my choices. There were no other options I could see that were logical; I just wanted to be numb from the sadness.

I arrived back to my apartment, but had already taken a swig from the Jack on my walk home. It was still early afternoon at this point, but I just kept the drinks flowing all night long. Thoughts of being alone, and being without her kept racing through my head. I truly couldn’t bear what was going on in my own mind, so I chose to bury it with booze. In that moment, I was hoping I wouldn’t wake up to see the next day.

Then the morning came, and I was disgusted with myself. The drinking didn’t end there. My heart still felt wounded, so I started drinking again except I added a bottle of pills to the mix. I had one thing in mind and I didn’t want to look back.

My plan ended up failing, and a friend near to my heart was concerned with how I was talking to her through text message. Truthfully she had ever right to be concerned. I had let the depression and alcoholism eat away at the person I really was. For me I didn’t see any other option because I felt everything was crumbling around me. Break ups can be tough, especially when you battle with an alcohol addiction added with a dash of depression.

Thankfully my mind was much clearer the following day, I self proclaimed sobriety, and decided to seek out therapy. Break ups have all different ranges of intensity. Unfortunately my latest experience was my rock bottom. I was lucky enough to pull through it, and really change my life around. To this day I have nothing but gratitude for my ex. If she didn’t end our relationship, I probably wouldn’t have gotten my life together.

Of course these things are easier said than done. It took me months, and for most people it can be longer. The important thing to remember during your time of heartache is that it will get better; there is just no guarantee of when. Love is both a cruel and beautiful thing. Having someone that makes you a happier person is the goal, but accepting that the love has dwindled into misery is tough. Every dawn brings a new day. Remember in the darkness of heartache that love will happen again.

Shattered

By: Traci Taylor
Short fictional story January 2014

Repressed feelings and hopeful thoughts are the poison of my existence. More so than ever I am beginning to think my life is a cycle of events played out by different characters each time. Then I look internally and realize I am the one who pulls the trigger to my misery. It is like I am drawn to situations where I know I will fall to pieces at one point.
I still haven’t figured out why I am wired this way. If I could trade places with a coldhearted person just for a moment, I would. My defenses are always up and the facade of a tough exterior shields people from the soft core of my soul.
The search to define myself is never ending. A long and winding road is what I travel on metaphorically in my life. Ever since my youth I have been on a journey. The type of journey that has me overcoming what seems like impossible obstacles. My stepping stones in life are an accumulation of the multiple people who have had major, but mostly minor impacts in my life. It leads me to wonder what exactly is permanent. What makes something permanent, or better yet, what can make a person actually bear to be around another human after they have exposed themselves.