Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

While I Was Out

While I was out, the other part of me rarely got out of bed, brushed my hair, or even saw the sun.

But while I was out, I didn’t care about her, because I was dancing blindly with the madness, spinning my wheels in the night, holding hands with dangerous things like they came straight from the mouth of god. I bowed to all as if they were holy, as if I was the one people knelt to and believed in with all their hearts. I was unbreakable, but in pieces I carried around, gifting beauty to strangers.

While I was out, the me that laid in a daze of gray, lost somewhere between sobs that grow numb, didn’t give a second thought to the other half of me sinning like a hobby that became a religion.

And that other half, in her grandiosity, did unholy things in my name without grace or remorse. She doesn’t know she’s evil when she spins in the mania, she only knows that nothing can touch her other than hands that shouldn’t. And she comes back to boast about it, throws it in my face, tells me I’m a failure. I believe her. How could I not? She’s dirty, reckless, and everything I never wanted to be.. but she’s me and I am her.

She leaves me, but never really. I wish she would. She wishes I would. I make her lazy, she makes me a whore. And together, we spin in a cycle that flashes between light and dark, madness and sanity, wrong and right. We are locked together in a cage and it’s always her who takes the key.

Sometimes she is gone for so long.

Sometimes I am gone for so long.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


5 thoughts on “While I Was Out”

  1. Seldom, have I seen the bipolar cycle so well described. I’m reminded of my greatest lesson in what it means. It didn’t come in school or out of the DSM, but in an ER when I worked Crisis. I saw a client of the clinic there twice about a year apart. The first time this woman, who was actually in her late 40s, was in bed, too weak to get up to use the bathroom and asking for a bed pan. She looked ancient, at least 20 years older than her real age, as if all muscle tone had gone, She could hardly speak. Her depression was not only emotional, but physical. The second time, she was manic, almost uncontainable, trying to visit all the other patients, chattering, and she looked much younger than her age, and dressed like a teenager on her way to a punk rock show. If I had not known who she was, i would not have recognized the second self as the same person as the first, and indeed, in a way, she wasn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

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