Counting Palm Trees

There are days that the darkness feels unbeatable.

Strings of days where I hide behind blankets and books

until I forget that I am even hiding;

until I convince myself that I am resting

and that the tiredness I feel isn’t actually sadness.

I’ve become so good at being sad,

 at pretending that it is something else,

at not wanting to admit that it exists.

Listening to other people’s problems so

I don’t have to hear my own.

But I am done hiding!

I’m done inviting sadness into my bed

and wrapping it with blankets so it feels comfortable.

Sadness grows stronger with the shades drawn,

so I’ll open my windows wide

and let the sunshine in.

I will go outside and count the palm trees

or drink a cup of coffee.

I will reach out with shaking hands and ask for help,

even if my request is drowned in tears;

or is scribbled on a post it note

because I’m too afraid to say it out loud;

or if it comes out with no feelings at all.

I will not let the numbness inside of me

swallow up the steps I am trying to take.

Because, someday, those steps will lead me

out of this darkness.

They will lead me to a place where I don’t have to

count palm trees just to keep the darkness at bay.

But for now, I will find my spot of sunshine,

I will make my bed so I don’t have an excuse

to crawl right back in.

I will not hide my sadness,

Because I cannot escape it alone.

And if I hide it,

The ones who can help me will never know.

Counting Palm Trees

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