Stay Here With Me

There is a spoken word poem by Andrea Gibson that is my love poem to myself. It’s called The Madness Vase/The Nutrionist. I heard it in person last week when she was here for a sold-out show in Colorado Springs. (By the way, talk about an awesome experience – attending a SOLD OUT Spoken Word show. All the feels, errywhere)



It just so happened that the day I saw her live was the 10th anniversary of my Gramps’ death. He died the year I was 15, which was one of the most difficult and painful years of my life. Spoken word has always pulled me back to that year, as evidenced by the poem I shared on here a couple weeks ago. So it seemed so extremely fitting that I, by no fault of my own, ended up at a spoken word show on the 10th anniversary of his death.

In any case, I had watched The Madness Vase about a week before the show, and cried. Spoken word always makes me cry. This one in particular so spoke to me in my current and past selves.

But hearing it in person, on the anniversary of my Gramps’ death, was an incredibly healing experience. I could feel her in me, the 15 year old. The depressed one. The one that didn’t want to live anymore, that strained with the effort of staying in her skin for one more day, that drew bloodlines on her calves trying to let her trapped self out. The Madness Vase grabbed her and didn’t let her go. I grabbed her, hearing these words, and didn’t let her go, and I whispered to her, backwards in time, Live. Live. Live.”

Because I think my current self can still somehow reach back to my past self and speak those words to 15 year old Laurie. I think it kept her alive from then until now.

And well, the poem’s been rattling around in my heart like socks in a clothes dryer ever since. I found Andrea and Kelsey’s Tumblr yesterday and I’ve been using it to speak healing to myself, over, and over, and over. I encourage you to go have a read if even for a moment you don’t want to be here. Not even just necessarily if you want to commit suicide. Maybe you’re just so tired of life and don’t want to be here anymore, and you’d never pull the trigger or swallow the pills, but some days you just wish a Mach truck would plow you and end it all.

This site will give you a few reasons you might want to stay. Stay here. Stay present. Stay aching.

Lately it’s been so hard for me to stay here. To feel that generous ache that takes over the black hole of my heart and to want to stay here in the face of all the wounds that still need healing. There is no bruise like the bruise loneliness kicks into your spine.” It’s hard to stay here with the bruises.

This poem makes me want to never stop crying. And maybe that’s a good thing, because lately I’ve been coming out of my skin and trying to put my own self back in. Doing my addict thing and avoiding the raw fierceness of my inner girl who is crying for healing. So maybe I just need to keep “listening for the moment when the grief becomes a window.” Maybe I just keep repeating to myself fiercely, these words: “you stay here with me, okay? you stay here with me.

Live. Live. Live.”


You too, out there. You stay here with me, okay?



36 Replies to “Stay Here With Me”

  1. Wow, that was so powerful. The part about the trauma saying don’t write this poem brought tears instantly to my eyes. I was not expecting that. I love when things affect me in that way. Thank you for sharing this. And I’m here so you stay too, ok? ❤

    1. Oh my gosh. i know. That’s where the tears start for me and I pretty much cry through the rest of the poem… almost every time. I’ve heard it probably 5-6 times now and still, every time. You’re so welcome! I know, I feel like it’s such a beautiful thing to be affected like this, too. I’m staying, SW. I’m staying. ❤

  2. Everything you write just gives me the feels. I love this idea of reaching backwards and saving yourself. It’s something my therapist keeps recommending to me. But I am actually scared to do it.

    1. Awww!! Well this poem gave me the feels so I wanted to share. You know I’ve done a lot of that “take care of my inner child” shit, and it works pretty well for me, but this was somehow different. It was like my future self was ACTUALLY TELLING my 15 year old self to keep going ‘cuz she would make it, and ACTUALLY giving her the strength she needed (real time for her) to keep going. It was weird but so cool. I think I got there because I’ve been talking to my Higher/Future Self a lot lately and asking her for help, so it made sense. Anyway sorry for the book haha. All that to say, I’ve found it helpful, but do it as you are ready. I’ve learned never to force myself into something.

      1. I agree. I don’t want to force myself into anything either. That’s great that you were able to help yourself that way. I don’t know what got me through those times. I really don’t. I genuinely believe it was just random chance.

        You really are so inspiring. I am so glad I found your blog. Every time I read something by you, I am blown away.

      2. Awww Maurnas. I’m so glad I found you too. It always makes my day to see you stopping by here, or to chat with you over Twitter… WordPress really is great at connecting awesome people, and you’re one I’m so privileged to have met. 🙂
        If you were here I’d send you some Lembas bread for your way today. 😀 Like a true Lothlorien resident.

      3. Hahaha! I’d offer you some Longbottom Leaf but I’m pretty sure it’s illegal in my state. And possibly yours.

      4. BAHAHAH actually… I’m in Colorado!!! 😀 😀 😀 So I don’t think anything HERB is illegal here now haha. Although I am mostly substance free, I think I’d take some longbottom leaf because, technically, it’s tobacco, right? I smoke tobacco sometimes (when stressed or in a bad mood)… so…

  3. This really brought me back to a time in my early 20’s when I didn’t want to live, which I hadn’t thought about in a long time. I was completely lost inside myself back then and seeing/hearing something like this would’ve given me so much hope. I wouldn’t have felt so crazy and alone. I’m amazed at how technology can be used to connect people through our stories and can actually be a lifeline. Thank you for sharing this, Laurie.

    1. I’m glad you connected with it, Karen. I struggle with depression so it feels really salient to me. I go in and out of periods of darkness and I get so lost in myself sometimes still. Sobriety helps but not constantly. I think the loneliness is the hardest for me – hence the line I quoted “there is no bruise like the one loneliness kicks into the spine.” That.
      In any case sorry to share a book, but I’m so glad to hear you connected with this, too. It truly is amazing what technology is capable of these days… just breathtaking, actually. You’re very welcome! I hope you are doing well, it’s always so lovely to see your face here. 🙂

  4. I always love reading when someone writes a letter to their younger selves and tells them that everything will turn out ok. I remember when I was 13 and in such a dark hole and it seemed like that was THE WHOLE WORLD. As a kid you can’t look beyond what is happening RIGHT NOW to see the future. It’s a horrible, visceral feeling that goes on and on. I wish I could get in a time machine and soothe that really sad girl, but I wouldn’t be the person I am today and to me that’s sadder.

    1. I have just noticed that that 15 year old girl is still in me sometimes, so since I can’t go back and soothe her (beyond assuring her that she’ll make it, so keep going) I just try to soothe her now. Because she still gets stuck in that small world.
      I’ve always loved those letters to younger selves, too… maybe because I relate so much.
      And I have to say I think those experiences do make us the person we are today, so maybe it’s for the best we can’t really go back.
      In any case I’m really glad you came by, Angelle. 🙂 Good to see you around here!

  5. Andre Gibson is a pretty incredible human being, I would recommend any and all of her books, especially “Madness Vase”. They’re affordable enough and can be found through “Write Bloody” press. She has a lot of material on YouTube, I would also recommend “Annis Mojgani”, they roll together and he’s pretty amazing as well.

    One more day


    1. She is AWESOME. She was totally incredible live and I felt so privileged to be there in a packed out auditorium. So electrifying. I’ll need to go make some purchases then 😀
      Oooh thank you SO much for the recommendation! Going to go look him up!

  6. I started listening, switched off really, to the bumf and admin of it all
    I wasn’t there for the promotion or the extras, but there for the meanings
    Waiting, waiting to see if they’d fall into my head
    Strident, each word pulsing through my mind
    Washed in on the soundwaves
    Yet as I listen I find that tone, that voice
    I’ve heard before, in every person who seemed
    To ever take the floor
    That tone…
    That tone; so earnest,
    So full of meaning and poignancy and hurt
    And life and love and all things inbetween
    I feel like it must surely burst
    And the speaker’s voice will break
    Like the ocean crashing on the shore
    Because like the waves this tone
    Has been heard before
    Like seagulls, scattered, wheeling, mewling shrill
    Like a helter-skelter ride which can’t sit still
    Like a hundred shopping carts pushed down a hill
    That tone,
    That tone
    I can’t get past it
    Can’t seem to hear the words
    For getting caught on the hooks
    Of her desperate breaths between each proclamation
    Can’t free my ears from the panic
    The desperation
    Of all this very neatly spoken word
    With the meanings lost in a sea of sound
    As it tries
    To make itself

    1. (I kind of feel like I’d like to hear you read it, Laurie…but I looked it up and read it, and enjoyed it much more that way.)

      1. Yeah….I uh, kind of responded to the post in kind (sometimes happens with poetry posts…sorry!) because I wanted to hear the words but couldn’t. Glad you’re not upset – I wasn’t trying to trash the poem.

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