What Matters Most

My tattoo is imperfect
just like this poem.

My Bukowski/Buddhist/sugar-skull tattoo is imperfect
just like my brain.
My brain is and has always been imperfect.
It was imperfect the second I was born.
It became increasingly imperfect the older I became.
Now I’m filled with irrational fears
and obsessive-thoughts.
The tiniest details can be terrifying.
A small innocuous act can be interpreted as subconsciously malicious.
A small meaningless imperfection can be the end of the world.
A tattoo, with an imperfection, can make me want to cry and hide away in shame.

But then it dawned on me about the message of the tattoo:

What Matters Most is
how well you
walk through the

Sometimes when I walk through the fire, I stumble.

I carry with me an imperfect brain as I try to cope with existence and make it something worthwhile and meaningful.
One of my greatest struggles is my obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The mind that fixates on my every little deeds
and scrutinizes my every thought.
The monster I always carry with me,
the monster that makes me doubt the most beautiful aspects of my life.
The monster that makes me want to hate myself.
He will always be there,
he will never go away.
Just like this tattoo.

But like my imperfect brain
and like my imperfect tattoo
there are beautiful things to it too
if I look at the bigger picture
if I notice the shadow
and detail
and if I see clearly enough,
I began to realize that this imperfection doesn’t really matter.
It’s part of me,
part of who I am.

I have to accept it
there is no other way.

There is no you without your imperfect mind.

There is no you without this imperfect tattoo.

There is no you without the fire.
And it burns,
it can burn for quite a while.

There are scars
and there are bad memories
and there are tattoos:
self-inflicted wounds and works of art.

They are there to remind us of something,
to bring us closer to ourselves.

And as I’m looking down at it now,
noticing the shadows
that make the lotus flower on its head stand out
think it looks beautiful.

Don’t you think so too?

Image may contain: one or more people


Elegy for an OCD-Patient

There’s salvation inside…
Until I figure out the plot, until I smooth out everything in the past, I can’t relax.
You never know what will be your undoing.
If you fix this now, you’ll be set. You can enjoy the moment. You can enjoy falling in love. There’s no need to worry about whether you even deserve her. You got to keep telling her the truth. But what if you’re lying to yourself? What if you are hiding something inside your mind? Figure it out. Figure it out before it comes to you and destroys everything…

But there’s something wrong in there…. Every time I go in I keep going to the same place. I rearrange, I clean up, but the stain just keeps getting bigger.
I pretend I don’t care but it’s not true. This feeling won’t go away that something is deeply wrong. This feeling taints everything. Whatever you do, you know something is not right. No matter who you are with, you know this person can’t accept you because you must have done something so horrible.

It’s a disease! It’s a parasite! Don’t listen to it!
You need to pay, but you can’t figure out what. Something isn’t right. You need to go and find out what it is. You keep going to the same place. MAKE IT STOP. There’s salvation inside. You just have to delve deep enough. PLEASE. Until I figure out the plot, until I smooth out everything in the past, I can’t relax. You never know what will be your undoing…

Picture taken somewhere in Holland. 


Somewhere Else

I’m not really here. All I want to be is to be present, right here, with you. But I can’t. I tried. I just keep going back. Every time I think I’m on my way back, I realize I haven’t moved an inch. At times It’s worse when I’m with other people. They tried to make me feel like I’m part of them and I pretend I am, but I quickly realize this is impossible. The people are here. They flutter now and then but most of them stay where they need to be. They stay in this world. I’m trapped in my own world, I created it without my blessing. I just wish I could be here. I wish I could feel like I should, like you deserve. I wish I could experience joy without this nagging feeling that things are not alright. This consciousness knowledge that the moment is lost. You can never experience it fully. Things are not alright and they will never be alright. It happens to people sometimes. Along the way something happens to them or they make a mistake and it damages them for life. Sometimes they just happen to be born with it. This alienation was always there, it just needed time to grow….
 I just wish I was more like you. The things I could do if I was more like you. Maybe someday you’ll teach me. Maybe someday you’ll make me dream it’s possible. The people can escape hell when they fool themselves its possible. I like that idea. I like that idea a lot.”

Photograph taken in Katowice, Poland.


A Bad Habit

”I have this habit of looking back, even though I know I shouldn’t. If I don’t go back I have this constant feeling telling me that something is amiss. Something’s wrong, you need to check it out before it’s too late. I keep fearing that pernicious knock on the door, the devil smiling at me, telling me ‘you should have seen it coming.’
So I look back, observe images from the past. Some of them are very painful. Once you see them and look hard enough, they refuse to leave you alone. But I keep looking, hoping to find something, an answer that will make these painful memories hurt less. I keep trying to remember everything as clearly as possible. Maybe if I look hard enough, I think, I will discover something new.
In return I find myself imprisoned back there. I try to escape but the guilt becomes too much. I try to stop caring but I can’t. There is nothing I can do. I just keep staring back, hoping that somehow, if I look hard enough, I will find a way out of there.”

Photograph made in Poland


Our Disease 7

The Bug

The bug is in my brain.
The bug is telling me things. I’m not supposed to listen to it. They say it’s lying but it feels like the truth. The more I listen to it, they say, the stronger it gets.
But sometimes I just can’t help myself. I try to push it away but when I do, he keeps coming back in the places where I’m supposed to be safe.
The bug is an intruder they say, it’s just a bad seed in your brain.
But I have this bug for a reason right?
Maybe the bug is truth trying to stop me from lying to myself. He makes so much sense sometimes.
It’s telling me something bad is going to happen to me. Something is after me. When he catches you, the bug says, it will be too late. It’s not just that you’re going to die, it’s that you realize that the road to your demise is long and painful. It seems to go on forever.
There are things I need to do in order to stop the bad thing from coming. I don’t want to do these things but I have to. They tell me that when I look back enough, the bad thing won’t be coming after me anymore. I don’t want to look back, the bad thing might be there.
The bug is so loud. I just want it to leave me alone. But it doesn’t work that way. Not for people like me. You think there’s an escape but there is none. The escape is the dream. Reality is the prison.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania francis bacon mental illness
Art by Francis Bacon.