Day 31 of 31 Days in July
The TBI Collection of the PTSD Poetry Project
“The Bankruptcy Caused by Exhaustion”
I walk through the gardens
Sweat rolls down my back
The inside of my layered t-shirt is soaked
I sit in the shade people watching
Couples splash in the shallow water
Children of couples slide on bellies on the slick wet pavement
I watch while homeless men, women watch them too
I wonder how long they have been on the street
I wonder if they’ve eaten today
In my attempt to approach I’m rebuffed
Told I’m ‘too high and mighty’
I wonder yet again
If my approach would have been accepted
If I were still in uniform
I turn away instead
Disheartening thoughts in my mind
My body is exhausted from the heat
My head feels it will explode
I check my heart rate again
It stays 72 to 76 as I walk back to my car
My car with air conditioning
Drive home to my cool house
To a refrigerator filled with food to eat
I have other demands on my time
People who push me to do their will
I only want to do my own thing
Walk my own path
There must be a lesson from today’s interaction
Am I pushing away those who want to help
Or are they merely trying to make themselves
Feel better about how ‘good’ they are to me?
No one knows how poor I am
No one knows how I struggle each day to eat or pay my bills
No one knows how I’ve given beyond my abilities
No one knows how bankrupt I have become
The hole is so deep I fear I will not get out
And now I am exhausted beyond belief
My body feels broken down
It is so tired
My mind simply wants to sleep
July 31, 2016
The heat has exhausted me. I feel limp, useless. I’d gone downtown to the huge botanical park for chess only to find it was next weekend not this one. Disheartened as I’d already paid for parking I tried to make the most of it. Wandered through the gardens and took pictures of what sparked my interest. Ducks, water spraying in the air, large gaily colored carp disappearing into the deep water all caught my interest.
I wandered in the heat until I had to get food and drink. I watched couples and couples with children come up to the water play area and splash while taking pictures of each other. I watched as the homeless wandered in the heat and sat together to talk. This area had been so familiar to me, I used to know ever single bit of it. Even as I walked across the covered bridge and saw the sign ‘closed for private event’ I knew it didn’t mean anything. I pushed the door open and walked through to get to the other side so I could get to the area with food and drinks.
It was so dark and cool in this quiet space I kind of wanted to stay there for a long time but didn’t, couldn’t. I had to keep moving. My body was coated with sweat, my jeans stuck to me as I walked. There was a billed cap in my purse and when I’d finally been able to order food I pulled it out to put on. The protection of my nose, my face being key. To many treatments for pre cancerous spots, painful and the most recent biopsy felt tender. I hoped against hope I’d not gotten sunburned.
In my heat exhaustion I attempted to buy food for someone who had all their belongs piled up behind them. But I was ‘too high and mighty, just doing something to feel good about myself.” So I instead I simply turned away and head back towards my car.
Disheartening is the word of the day for me. It’s permeated my spirit in my exhaustion. The heat has spent several days attempting to pull me down into a spiral. I fear it has succeeded. I lay on the bed after walking through a cool store with my daughter buying vegetables and fruit. The fan blows over me and all I feel is limp, as if every bit of strength has been sapped from me.
The thoughts going through my mind are negative, and I realize I had gotten so overheated, so heat exhausted I’d been unable to go to the poetry reading I was going to go to. My plan had been to go only to observe, to listen. Other’s plans had been to push me to do what they wanted instead and I find this to also be a refrain lately. Other’s ideas for what they think my life is when it is not. Other’s push at me trying to get me to do their bidding thinking I am something I am not.
I’m am so exhausted inside and my body has finally thrown down too. There is too much pushing going on and I simply want to stay on point with my plan, my path. This month has been too long, too difficult and to wish it had been different is an understatement. The digging at self, pushing to write every day without fail has taken it’s toll.
I’m burnt out, exhausted and need a break from it all. I pray I can catch a break so I can enjoy my days again. Soon, it needs to be soon.