The Hidden Achievement

A year ago, I used to say to myselfβ€”
I survived the seven months in the car,
Survived countless low-points and bottlenecks to survival,
I’m awesome, man,

And take comfort from that when feeling anxious,
When feeling scared to walk around the supermarket,
Caught up in anxious OCD rituals and feeling very self-conscious;

It’s easy to do so when there’s a clear-cut boundary like that,
Between one period and another,
But what do I say to myself now?

I’m often having to remind myself to add one year to the measures of time in-between events,
Since this year is going even faster than the last,
Such has been the slow-burning living and suffering,
Nothing so immediately-dramatic as living in the car;

I’m not referring to the pandemic,
I’ve barely thought about it compared to everything else,
β€”But to the day-to-day survival in the oppressive environment that I’m in,
Whilst caught up in post-trauma anxieties and stuck mental patterns;

And that’s a part of the whole problem of ongoing mental ill health, isn’t it?
It’s hard to gain an outside perspective, when there’s no physical delineation,
When you’re limited in how you can physically space yourself from your situationβ€”
You can’t just go on a holiday when you can’t afford it, or not well enough, have physical limitations, etc.,
And when the environment is stressing you, it’s pointless anyway when you have to return to the same environment;

It’s not always easy to say to yourself (because it is also painful, the thought of ‘losing’ such swathes of time)β€”
I am surviving this, man,
I am still getting up each day in the hopes of improvements,
I’m at the supermarket now, despite the difficulties I often face with just getting here,
And I’ve barely done shit all today, in the past week,
But I’m still fighting for it!

I’m still in the game (so to speak);

It’s difficult to say that to yourself and even more difficult for other people to see it, and respect it fully,
(Unless they are really sensitive and empathetic people in which case they find it easier than yourself, and thank god for them);

But anyways, it’s all true,
It’s a struggle, and a waste, it’s unnecessary, it’s horrible,
Yes there may be things you learned which were helpful,
But you already learned them 100 times over,

Which is a huge part of why it’s such an achievement to keep going through it,
And to remember that in the moment.


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