Poetry,  Relationships


we recognize the script,
we’ve seen it before

over and over she heads to the door
losing sight of what she was there for

execute orders,
instructions for following the control thief

deeply ingrained,
in the heart and the brain,
mother, father, DNA all the same

habits, like maggots, feed on the dead
autopilot the routines that you dread

will i ever break free?
will i ever be me?

child, says the universe,
you are already free
you are already me



I wrote this poem in April 2021, on the beach in Tulum after taking MDMA and dancing to one of my favorite dreamy DJs.

I had been going through a rough time, feeling trapped in cycles of patterned thoughts, feelings and behavior.

The words came as fast as I could type on my phone. It was beautiful.

The patterns were not new to me — in fact, I had been cycling through them for years: not feeling loved, and running through anxious, obsessed thoughts over and over again to drill the story into my brain and my heart.

Somehow, on the beach that night, it became apparent to me what was going on. I felt a sense of clarity through an otherwise obscure monotony.

I learned, through some combination of responsibly self-prescribed medicine, reflection, educational content and talk therapy with trusted loved ones, to call a pattern a pattern.

Furthermore, I saw the pattern’s repetition, one generation to the next. I knew that we are not only slaves to the stories we tell ourselves, but that we pass these stories along to our children.

The answer was simple: Recognize the story that you have been telling yourself. Consider alternatives. In this way, you are free.

What if I am loved?
What if I am already free?

— nirel

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