Poems and Poetry

What They Didn’t Tell You | A Poem by Megan Jamie

They didn’t tell you it would be like this
They promised you
It’s safe out there –
Just give it a shot

So you left the warmth and protection of your birthplace

They didn’t tell you it would hurt like hell
That you can slap a smile on all you like
Go about your day
Chopping carrots, reading textbooks, coffee dates with friends
But there will still be that tugging deep inside you

They said
You are strong
You can defeat it
You can manage it
They said
It doesn’t make you weaker

Maybe, but you will be tested every day,
Torn down just a little every time something goes wrong

“Think happy thoughts”
“Happiness is a choice”
“Be grateful, you have a roof over your head”
“What is your problem?”

You cower in your own shame
You know the blackness surrounding you is a product of none other than


You reach for contentment
Grasp at serenity
Hands peeling open
Fingers ache from
Reaching so far

They didn’t tell you that one kind word could turn your day around,
While a mean look could ruin you for months.
They didn’t tell you that others would claim to understand you,
To relate to you,
And then give neither warmth nor kindness when you inevitably slip

You didn’t realize how accurate the clichés could be:
Standing in a room full of people, but never having felt so alone.

And you fear being alone for
You think the loneliness could engulf you,
Entrench you.
Pin you to the floor and sit on your chest.

But you’re aware now.
You know the feeling
And can feel it coming.
Over the years you’ve built up your defenses,
Prepared to attack when needed.

You’re hurt?
Not anymore – you feel nothing.
You’re sad?
Not anymore – you are numb.
You’re lonely?
Not anymore – you’ve drowned out the silence.

They didn’t tell you how cruel life is to those who
Are cruel to themselves.

There is no outside force.

You are your own killer
You are strangling yourself
You are spiraling down
You are defenseless

Most importantly,
You are not to blame.

But nobody tells you this.
“What the hell is your problem?”

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