Letters to Stories: Behind “Tragedy”

By Simon Heywood

This poem has to be one of my deepest and darkest ones yet, next to Mirror I feel like. I always throw around how I feel like my life’s a tragedy. I always try to say it as a joke, but even I know deep down that I do really feel that way about my life. While this poem was posted in the beginning of October, I wrote this back in July, and I was actually at work when I wrote this on a whim.

I was quite “in my feelings” that day, and I had to step out of my office a couple times to try and ground myself. One of my top problems is though, when I ground myself, I allow myself to become a magnet for all the emotions I try to distract myself from every day. My life is a tragedy because it is one big irony, contradiction after contradiction. Every moment that I want to do something or even need to do something, I am unable to. And in moments where I should rest, I can’t because I’m overwhelmed with the anxiety of all of my unfinished business.

There’s not much to dissect with this poem. It talks about how over and over, in different situations, what I want to do ends up being different from what I actually do. My expectations almost never happen because what really happens is that I overwhelm myself with everything about my life and shut down. I can’t enjoy a warm and clear day because then the million things that I am able to barely regulate flow full force through my mind and I get overwhelmed. I breathe, and I remember what I haven’t been able to do. I do deep breathing exercises, and I feel guilty for being so unstable.

Everything I want to do, I always counter myself. I always joke that my life is a tragedy to avoid the reality of it. I’m always trying to escape my emotions but in doing so I get more overwhelmed and therefore add to the emotions I try to escape from. A tragedy, an irony, and a contradiction. Constantly overwhelmed even in sleep. It’s like even when I’m awake I’m experiencing sleep paralysis, unable to actually do anything.

Tragedy is out now on my Instagram. Poems are released weekly on my feed on Sundays or Mondays.

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