I’ve been thinking about those that suffer from chemical imbalance, anxiety disorders and mental illness in relationship to addiction and substance abuse. Many of these addictions are a result of people seeking to self-medicate. It can feel like an inescapable prison. I wrote a poem from that perspective. This is not always an easily understood situation for those on the outside. Let’s continue to remember those that struggle through it.


When the chemistry isn’t right


A crawling skin, irregular beats and no feels.
Tiny sips of air taken too quickly but lungs never full.
Clouds of confusion roll over a cold blanket of fog.
Gasping, grasping, fearful for no apparent reason.

I can’t win when the chemistry is bad so I take another.
I can’t see unless the chemistry is good so I prescribe.
When the chemistry isn’t right there’s nothing I can do.
But when it hits, the balance comes and I can elevate.

Revelate, Stipulate, Calculate, Measure and take it in.
When the chemistry isn’t right my love fails.

A perpetual itch no scratch can calm.
A haunting whisper of weight in my guts.
A lingering sense of what could be.
Wandering, wondering, crying for no apparent reason.

I can’t win when the chemistry is bad so I take another.
I can’t see unless the chemistry is good so I prescribe.
When the chemistry isn’t right there’s nothing I can do.
But when it hits, the balance comes and I can elevate.

Revelate, Stipulate, Calculate, Measure and take it in.
When the chemistry is right nothing is impossible.

Cold versus warm. On edge versus comfort.
Why shouldn’t I succeed and feel it?
Why should I sit in a place of despair without any?
When I can lift my head, why shouldn’t I?

I can’t win when the chemistry is bad so I take another.
I can’t see unless the chemistry is good so I prescribe.
When the chemistry isn’t right there’s nothing I can do.
But when it hits, the balance comes and I can elevate.

Revelate, Stipulate, Calculate, Measure and take it in.
When the chemistry isn’t right I can’t get up.

When the chemistry is right I can see over the fence.
When the chemistry isn’t good I don’t want to move.
When the chemistry is right I can run!
The chemistry is all I have and you want to tell me.
So tell me and take my peace.

When the chemistry isn’t right I’m gone.
Can’t escape this chemistry.

Photo by LexScope on Unsplash