Stay Here With Me

I know you.

I know what you are going through. I know your demons, your worries, your insecurities. I know the things you do when no one is around.

I know the doubt. The fear of never being good enough, for the job, for another person to love, for your dream. The terror of being called out a fraud. The constant nagging thought,

what am I doing here?

what am I doing?

what am I?

I know the heaviness. The weight of your thoughts running over and over your cloudy mind. I know the fog. I know your desire to get out of your rut, but the unwillingness of your body to move, to leave, to change your circumstances.

I know your desperation. I know your pain. Sometimes you inflict it yourself. I know your guilt. I know your shame. I know the deep pit of sorrow in your stomach. The hopelessness. The despair. The rain, the winter, the dark night of the soul that never ends.

I know you because I am you.

I am you when life gives you lemons and for miles there is no water to quench the acid burning your tongue. I am you when your story has plot twists for which you don’t have the remote control to pause, slow down, and rewind. I am you when life comes at you so fast you don’t have the language to express what you’re going through, what you need.

I am you, and I have been you.

To whom this may concern,

This is not the first time you have felt sad. This is not the first time life deals you a bad hand. This is not the first time, or the last time.

Whatever you are going through — separation, loss, betrayal, fatigue, pain — stay here with me.

I’ve been you, standing on the edge looking down at the ground. I’ve been you looking inside the rim of a bottle of pills, one for pain, all for eternal sleep. I’ve been you staring at the sharp edge of a blade, wondering how much it’s going to hurt.

I’ve been you, and I am still here.

Every day, I fight. I fight the demon I made up in my head to survive. I fight the shame of what happened to me keep me from giving my full and honest love to my soon-to-be husband, to my son, to the people around me.

I fight the fear of being seen. I fight the fear of loving and being told I’m unlovable. I fight the fear of not creating, of creating something not good enough, of dying before I could create anything worthy to leave behind.

Every day, I fight, and I’m still here.

So stay with me.

Stay here with me

when the dead of night punches you in the gut

electricity flowing through your arms

leaving you gasping for grace

Stay here with me

when you have lost your faith in God

but know that he still believes in you

stay here with me

inside this poem that rocks you back and forth

back to mother’s fingers coursing through your veins

back to blanket forts and lava floors

there were so many good things before you wished you could go

(I dare you to stay, “Manic Pixie Depressive Gremlin”)

You have been here before. You have seen better days. You can be better. You will be better.

Stay here with me.

Author: Pia Besmonte

Pia Besmonte is a poet, literature teacher, and author based in the Philippines. She wrote “Manic Pixie Depressive Gremlin”, a collection of poems on mental health awareness and empowerment for millennial Filipinas. She loves to paint, sing, watch films, and take care of her family, Team BLG.