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If I Weren’t This Way
by Jacque Stukowski

If I could leave this current body of mine,
I’d go back in time to the one I had when I was once a child.

Oh how much life was simpler way back when!
No cares, no worries, just innocent fun and wide-eyed optimism.

My “If’s” of the day consisted of what should I wear, eat, see or do.
How well can I run, climb, draw or play the kazoo?

Today my “If’s” swirl around thoughts unseen or unsaid,
such as what if I don’t take my meds, just don’t get out of bed,
should I or shouldn’t I listen to the voices in my head?

Then again, If I weren’t this way, who would I actually be?
If I didn’t feel these emotions to the depths that I do,
who’s to say that I’d even be me at all?

If I didn’t have some manic, goofy, “crazy” days,
I’d never feel the rush of creativity burning like a white-hot flame inside of me,
and honestly it’s what makes me… well yes ME!

If I didn’t have grey cloudy days when I’m so dark and serious,
I’d probably never sit down to pen these thoughts.
Oh so many expressive words that I struggle to get past my lips.

If only I can learn to live comfortably between these poles!

Feeling alive but not on the edge, staying balanced and happy
between the what if I’s from the adult me and my childlike inner self.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: The younger me (1974).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: For me, writing is a way for me to express things I’m often incapable of doing due to anxiety or issues I deal with Bipolar and ADHD. Being able to sit down and write to get the thoughts out of my head is very therapeutic as well as stimulating to my brain. I see writing as an extension of my God given gift of creativity and I enjoy using words to paint visual metaphors of nature, art, music and my emotions.

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 ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jacque Stukowski is a devoted wife to her husband of 20+ years, mother of two amazing boys, and graphic designer | poet | writer | photographer | music lover. She loves sharing her stories and photos on how art therapy and God are helping her to navigate through the daily struggles of living with BP and ADHD. Her poetry has been published in the Silver Birch Press Self-Portrait Poetry Collection (July 2014), May Poetry Anthology (June 2014), and  Half New Year Poetry Collection (July 2014). Find more on Jacque’s blog godisms.wordpress.com. or visit brokenlightcollective.com to see her photographs for mental health.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: The older me (2016).