Stuff – A poem


50 milligrams of sumatriptan succinate to unscrew the vice from my head

Then 20 of that other stuff for 12 hours of stability

From dawn to dusk I am medicated

I think I need to take a walk

I am dependent on this stuff and that, my friend, is what really scares me

You know, psychologically, when you say stuff you really want to say the other s-word

And it makes sense

I hate this shift in ability

One day I am composed and the next I am shipwrecked on a cracking dam

Swearing away my very breath for a nap or a cup of coffee or a puppy

My feet would run away from me if they could and

my fingers would pound out a sonata if

I could sit still

long enough to learn how to read bass clef

I shiver all the time, shaking the table, spilling the tea

Slipping up the stairs and Holy shingles! have you ever seen such a good tree?

No really, that is a good tree,

It looks like it has been standing there for ages

With gnarled branches cushioning little birds’ nests

And empty hands stretching out to grasp the sun’s offerings

Touching the sky, embracing the wind

I want to be like that tree

Strong and tall and steady

And beautiful all at the same time

But the drugs make me jumpy and hungry, but not,

And pinpoint-focused and awake, but not,

This terrible stuff that twists my stomach and puts my brain through hell!

I hate it.

But what am I without?

I wrote this poem last year, when I was deciding whether the side effects of my medication or the symptoms of my condition were worse. At the time, I did not know that I could talk to my doctor about changing dosages or types of medications to relieve the side effects. Thankfully, my doctor has helped me switch to a different medication, so the feelings are no longer this intense.

Did you identify with this poem? Do you have any tips for talking about your experience with your doctor?

Addition: SOVA project is excited to share this previously written poem is by a SOVA ambassador!


I am a SOVA ambassador who is a college student, poet, ukulele enthusiast, and a friend to all (especially dogs)

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