Blood Into Gold

When I was a young teenager,
I was suicidal.
I work on a crisis hotline
helping others who are suicidal.
I wish I could go back in time
and show my younger self
what she would become.
“Look,” I’d say.
“I know how hard it is for you right now.
I know you feel lost, broken, and alone,
and that everything seems hopeless.
But you will make something
of this pain.
It won’t be for nothing.
Look how you’ll spin
the blood
into gold.”

Hillside Dancer

This poem is the sister poem to my last post, Minefield.

I want to view socializing
not as standing in a minefield,
but as dancing on a hillside.
Still not risk-free nor pain-free;
inherently unsteady.
Falls (rejections, awkward moments, etc.)
are inevitable.
But unlike missteps in a minefield,
they will never be fatal.
They will cause bruises
that hurt in the moment,
but heal with time.

The hillside dancer can move joyously
not because she faces no risks,
but because she views the risks realistically.


Having social anxiety
is like being in a minefield.

You fear that one misstep
(i.e. one awkward moment,
one poorly constructed sentence,
one accidental overshare,
one missed cultural reference,
etc. etc. etc….)
would mean complete
social and emotional

So, naturally, you don’t move.
You just stand there,