What I’ve Been Doing for my Mental Health

January was a decent month for me, and I figured I’d give an update on things in an effort to advocate mental health. I’ve written about mental health a bit on this blog, but it usually falls by the wayside compared to the fiction and poetry stuff I share.

Over the past few years, I’ve developed some mental health routines. One of them is to track my mood every day on a phone app called Daylio. The app is free (I think) and it’s a great way to keep me present. It does feel weird to gather so much “data” on my mood – I can see charts, etc., broken down by day of the week, month, all sorts of things. But it’s still great.

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On Grief and Ramblings about Faith

As Christmas approaches, so does my father’s birthday (December 23rd). The holidays have been more melancholy since he passed in 2018. The first holiday season without him was the worst of the bunch, and 2019 was lighter. This time around, the grief still lingers.

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Unbreakable (a poem)

to say we were lost boys would be cliché

but clichés have ways

of cementing truths into language

like hard red suns that scorched West Philly & warm beers we guzzled ‘till we couldn’t walk straight & time went missing like a thief

who stole my innocence

& we packed into an old sedan on a road to nowhere &

perhaps, if time is not linear, this had to happen &

if free will is a myth, we had no choice in the matter,

merely swigging, smoking, fighting in adolescent wastelands

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Cheap Carnival (a poem)

in psych wards, they take your belt, shoelaces

anything you could use to hurt yourself

when I’m there, I fear the world will kill me

so, I give them my belt, tell ’em to take good care of it

& I talk to others there

& I feel damaged & I identify with compatriots –

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God’s Polaroid Camera (a poem)

For my father

in the dining room, action figures were imprisoned in a green vase, and you returned from prison with my uncle, looking slimmer

from pushups in sunbaked yards

mustache and dazed look gone, down on one knee, arms open wide & smiling with teeth I learned were fakes

I thought you were fake, too

unrecognizable, a stranger from a blurred past we no longer spoke of, only at grandma’s house, when we opened letters decorated by your brother with cut-outs from Marvel comics

& were told you were away on business –

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