Posted in desire, dream, fear, heart, hope, introspection, invisibility, journal entry, life, loneliness, love, poetry, story, struggle, writing

Birthday Brunch

Birthday Brunch

Regardless of my social ineptitude and longing for human connection, it was a delicious (and vegan) brunch at one of my favorite places. I woke up a little sad yesterday and that sadness followed me all morning and into the afternoon. Sometimes eating a roasted apple crepe with peanut butter and drinking a sunburnt white Russian on a sunshiny day does not negate whatever emotion nags in your heart. The sadness waned though in the afternoon, thanks to a massage, some quiet time with a book at a coffee shop, and a dinner out with my parents and brother. A bipolar birthday for sure.

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Posted in honesty, journal entry, poetry

Recycled

Recycled

I often tell people that my blog followers know more about me than anyone. I’ve never felt afraid to spill my secrets on here, mostly because I’ve only ever received support, never judgment. I like that I can write about my insecurities and struggles like I would in a journal entry, a freedom I’ve come to rely on, one that has helped me immensely in gaining confidence. I’ve started to appreciate my vulnerability as a strength and have realized that if I don’t have any fear to write about having an eating disorder or obsessions over boys on my blog, then there is no reason to hide that honesty from the people in my daily life.

I used to bottle my emotions. I never wanted to burden anyone around me with what I was feeling and my silence drove me over the edge. Few knew that I was spending my free time sobbing in my car, driving through a veil of water, alone and lost. I kept it all in until I didn’t know how to handle it anymore and I came to the conclusion that the only way to make the pain stop was to kill myself. This was 3 years ago, a time I never want to relive. I use music, writing, and an always jam-packed social life to make sure I never have to.

Since then, I’ve made it my mission to be honest with myself about my emotional health and also honest with the people around me. I don’t hide my struggles. In fact, I embrace them. I’m not afraid anymore to text a good friend and say, “hey, I’m struggling. Are you free?” What I’ve learned is astonishing. The more that I open up, the more the people around me feel comfortable to open up. It turns out that we are all fighting battles and most of us are holding them in. Now that I know the importance of talking through my insecurities, aches, and irrationalities, it’s become my mission to help the people around me open up too.

One of my best friends said recently that he wasn’t sure why, but whenever he hung out with just me, he felt comfortable talking about what was bothering him. I think it’s because we trust each other, a trust that was built upon a mutual understanding that we could be straight with one another. I will always have your back if you have mine, an unspoken agreement that started with honesty about what was below the surface.

My point with all this is that if I didn’t have poetry or this amazing community on here to help me work through all this, I’d still be that girl that hides how I’m feeling, invisible because I was too scared to let anyone see me. I thought, if I just hide my flaws, then I’ll be safe. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’m the safest when I expose my quirks, even the embarrassing ones, like having no self control in how often I text boys I have crushes on or that I like “16 year old girl” music. I want people to see ME, to know ME, to appreciate ME, because there is no other version of ME that should ever exist.

Thank you for sticking with me. You have my back and I promise, I have yours.

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in poetry, writing

Elemental

Elemental  I thought about going to sleep with the eye makeup still on, convinced that choosing to strip off that layer would rob me of self expression, vanquish the artistic beauty screaming  from this morning’s play when no one was around as I spent an hour reworking pigments, trying again and again until obsession and satisfaction married and I fell in love with what I’d created.   There’s no denial of vanity, living in reflection, caring what the eyes see blinking behind masks, disposable self-mutilation inflicted again and again with intention, to impress, to cry out these feelings inside that need to escape, to beg to be seen in the irony of hiding.  It wasn’t just removing eye liner as I forced the cotton ball across my lid. It was wiping away today’s identity, the me I wanted to be, the words I couldn’t say  entrenched in how heavily I caked the black: my lashes coated in heart, a persona crafted by my own hand to detract from the one underneath the smudges, the paint washed away by late night confessions, evidence lost in the sink, another day, another girl forgotten.

It’s almost 2 in the morning and my eyes are burning from keeping them open too long. I didn’t sleep much last night either. I have this frustrating urge to keep fighting, to push a little longer. I don’t think I’ve ever posted a poem this late, or early, depending on how you see it, but I couldn’t help myself. I needed to get these words out. I needed to try. I just need to keep trying.

Good night now,

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in love, poetry

Heart in Her Head

The Heart in Her Head  She covered up her heart with polka dots and sarcasm, playing at make believe under guise of changing the subject, diverting attention with sideways sunshine, casting her confidence with wide eyes, shoulders back, and sass to match his sight line.  She covered up her heart beating louder than whatever  she managed to play off  with elementary flirtation— I make fun of you on the playground because I like you.   He skipped over her heart because he couldn’t see it, couldn’t hear the falter in its electricity. She made sure of that, driving them away with words before their ears hit her chest and heard the magnets beneath her clothes tearing at the muscle beating, the pull stronger than logic, the heart bigger than her brain, the force that explained all the words, even the ones meant to pretend she didn’t feel a thing.   —Leanne Rebecca

I haven’t posted two poems in one day since maybe the first month of She’s in Prison, over 2 years ago. I guess the inspiration is flowing tonight. I couldn’t help myself. I’ve never been one to have self control and though I could have waited to post this until tomorrow, I needed to get it out now.

Good night loves.

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in poetry

Overload

She told him the truth to stop the conversations in her head, expelling the catalyst before it sparked and exploded, leaving bits of brain stuck to her bedroom wall.   She coughed into her hand, choking up the seed that had implanted in her grace, violating her sophistication like a hijacker, a virus.   He accepted the gift, the honesty wrapped up in a ticking package, listening with the guise of patience, imperceptibly backpedaling away to dispose of the bomb dropped in his lap.   Their eyes locked, both pulsating with intensity, sapphires reflecting the depth of the burden she’d bestowed on his conscience, truths too intense for his heart to bear, her fight, not his.   She recognized his reticence, reaching her hand back out as though comforting a child, a gentle expression of assurance. She thought for a second he wouldn’t let her take it back.

Have you ever had someone tell you a secret you wish you didn’t have to carry? When it comes to my friends, I would rather they unload their heaviest burdens on me and let me support them rather than have them hold those secrets alone. On the flip side though, that often means I’m very honest with opening up about my struggles and I wonder if sometimes I share too much. I never want to be a burden.

I’m of the mindset that we should always support those that we care about, no matter what. The best of friends should never give up on one another, no matter how heavy our honesty weighs. I encourage you to tell your friends you love them and make sure they truly know it, not because you told them, but because you were there to carry them on your shoulders when they couldn’t walk.

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in art, poetry, writing

Scars

Scars  It’s been enough years that the emotions have died in time.   I remember the day like I would a news story— facts blocked in a reel, a non-biased documentary framing a girl and her brush with death, her fear and loss of childhood.  I grew up in acceptance of new routine, ignoring diminished dignity moving past the stages of self-pity, and learned not to question misfortune.  No one would know the stories behind these scars, would know about the scars at all, scars hidden under t-shirts, the only evidence I’m slightly broken.

I write about this once a year and once a year only. Fourteen years ago today I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I remember that day in chunks: when my pediatrician told us to drive to the hospital, when the nurse weighed me and commented that I was skin and bones, when I had to pee so badly as they were admitting me that I almost went in my pants, the first shot they gave me, the first shot I gave myself, sobbing in my mom’s arms in my dark hospital room, convinced that I’d never be able to eat pizza again.

Type 1 diabetes isn’t one of those diseases that people know you have. Aside from insulin pumps and hordes of empty juice boxes, we’re undetectable. I don’t hide my condition, but I don’t bring it up either. It’s a part of me now, locked into every moment of every day, burned into my routine, into my history, and into my future.

This is my confessional. Sometimes I’m still embarrassed to bring out my insulin pump at the dinner table, even with my closest friends. It’s been fourteen years and I still struggle with dosing food correctly. I don’t like to admit when I don’t feel well and I cancel doctor’s appointments when I’ve had trouble controlling my blood sugars just so my doctor won’t find out that I’m “failing” at being a good diabetic.

I’m not shy about my disease. I always welcome conversation and questions and will share my stories to anyone that cares to ask. It’s a strange dichotomy: being an open book that’s shoved inside a backpack.

Thanks for listening to my D-Day story. I guarantee next March 26th will reveal another chapter.

-Leanne Rebecca

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Posted in art, poetry, writing

Photograph

Photograph  She nurtured the outside with as much sweat as she could, building her image with layers of lies to the point of almost believing, her ego stacked on new muscle, new clothes, a new haircut.   She flaunted the addiction with calculated precision,  presenting an edited version of self, tight skinny jeans to evoke jealousy, manipulating  the perceptions around to see only what she wanted.   They accepted the picture  she showed them, unaware, uncaring what ticked inside, because a girl like that, so beautiful, so outgoing could never feel invisible beneath her designer t-shirts.

My friend Katie took this picture of me. I didn’t know she was taking it at the time, otherwise I probably would have made a silly face or looked away. There’s something about candid pictures that are the best because they expose a side of us we so frequently hide from the world.

Tonight’s song is “Fly” by Sleeping with Sirens. Loving their new album.

What are you most afraid for people to see? For me, it’s fear.

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in art, poetry, writing

Break Away

Break Away  I don’t feel like crafting poetry, meticulously measuring every word to fit in some designed form, throwing away perfectly good ones because they aren’t rhythmic or specific or innovative enough. Poetry is too complicated, simultaneously too efficient, leaving out half the story, forgetting that the clutter between the words is part of the song too, the stumbles and mistakes, the version before the rewrite, the decisions regretted just as worthy. I have too much to say to limit the emotion to single images. I’m overwhelmed and I don’t know where to start, so I’ll write it all, all the dismay of this one day shared in unabridged confession:

My biggest challenge in my writing is clutter. I use too many words and too many fillers, or at least I used to. I’ve worked on refining my verse quite a bit, but it’s exhausting! Hell, sometimes I want to overuse adverbs and let my rant run free, no matter how inarticulate the finished product.

Lately I’ve been writing in stream of consciousness form. I don’t judge. I don’t edit. I don’t stop. I just write. This piece was the first. I didn’t change a word.

Happy Saturday!

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in art, poetry, writing

Pause

Pause  I expected I’d hear silence, as if the meditation of a moment would quiet  the Muzak of being people.  I listened to the space between breaths and heard the clutter of coffee shop conversation, the footsteps of that boy in the backwards cap when he walked by, the scooting of a chair.  I heard my thoughts, a raucous of angst amassed in pictures and imagined flashbacks, a confused slide show of my participation in this room dotted with strangers. I listened for a second and heard the screams of my closed mouth.  I don’t often distinguish between my poems that are based on real experience or straight up fiction. However, I feel compelled to admit that this one is utterly non-fiction. I treated myself to a tea at this great coffee shop that’s quickly becoming my go-to place for a cup-o-joe, and the next thing I knew I’d written this poem.

Cheers to Picasso’s in good ol’ St. Charles and cheers to Wednesdays.

–Leanne Rebecca