Mind Split

MIND SPLIT Candid Orange

By Carmina Budworth

I write poetry about my experiences with bipolar and love. This is a piece on body dysmorphia.

My mind has always been split,
At times, my gifts bore down, guilty burdens
I did not deserve yet seemed to be blessed with,
The more grateful I felt, the more the gifts seemed out of my reach,
like a kind of pass the parcel wherein,
no compliment rang true, no appreciation came without a motive or backhanded undertones no one else could hear,
my gifts gathered dust as my gratitude led them to rust and decay as did reasons to stay and i forgot to take deep breaths
imagine a red balloon…
imagine a red balloon and everything will be okay and yet
a year of therapy later and never once did i say what daunted me chained and haunted me,
out of sorts for me
a girl who, in any other context would love to dazzle you with the right answers,
maybe therein it lies, without peel plans and exam specifications and memorising pages of notes,
no note could EVER shaped the apology that I’d have deserved,
i wish, in some bizaare etwist i do get to meet my younger self,
and tell her she isnt a monster,
she doesnt darken rooms
make athletes lose their appetites
and tell her
she is beautiful and always will be

The moment of clarity, the one slow drag plunging me into smoke–screened years of dysmorphia
and a library of fictitious disparages between the mirror and what she saw
who she saw
Who she didnt see
I wish i could tell her that you do not have to define your worth with your body or your tinder dates or your face,
YOU can define your worth,
Sweet one ,
and choose to be worth every compliment you ever dismissed,
Every good day lost to self sabotage and every missed opportunity lost to making a routine of your misery,
farowing dark,
Ten years of self-loathing knitted a woman so frayed, so dishevelled, knotty and dense that to pick at the seams caused bloodied hands and frenzied rope burns
and a mind that ate itself,
never full
never satiated
times have changed.
Now it is my heart that feasts,
Endless courses on long stretching tables
and it is my smile that carves friction burns into my face
I have forgiven myself
un-bed–ridden myself
my love, my muse, my home

Artwork courtesy of Nahal Sheikh