by Alec Balasko
My therapist thinks my name is Alex
and I’m too embarrassed to correct him at this point.
Like I’ve already been going there for over a month, and he still has no clue that my name is actually Alec.
At this point it feels like I would be inconveniencing him to tell him he is mistaken
Despite the fact that it’s actually his job to be inconvenienced by my problems
Yet I still hold my tongue.
It’s a trait I learned over years of being fine
of ignoring the screaming anger in my brain
of pushing away the thoughts of wanting to kill myself
of avoiding making anyone uncomfortable.
And I think that’s what it is.
I don’t want my pain to make anyone else uncomfortable
because hasn’t it already hurt me enough?
Why would I want to darken somebody else’s day with my shadows?
And so instead I try to take whatever light I have left inside of me
and put it on display
attempting to hide myself behind it like hiding a tsunami behind a sputtering match
And as the thoughts in my head weigh me down
like bricks in my backpack,
I try my hardest to keep standing up straight
Painting a smile on my face because if anyone else knows about these weights
They will try to take them upon themselves
So I hold out my light and say smiling:
“LOOK! I’M FINE! Look how bright and shining I am!
So I’ll just be here,
Painted-on smile filling with cracks
Bricks pulling me down until
I am under the tsunami of myself
Waiting for someone to pull me up and tell me
You don’t have to keep shining.