It’s easy to never leave. Anything I need can be delivered.
Nexflix to watch, Amazon to read, groceries dropped off for a small fee.

You say I must go out, be part of the world.

You say I have friends, should have friends, or will have friends depending on your argument for the day.

You tell me people interact, they build bonds, tribes, families. Come out you say, to a movie or a play. Let’s go visit this person or that and pretend they’re happy to see you.

Put on a nice dress and a smile. Nothing is prettier than a smile.

You list out my virtues, telling me all the reasons people like me: brains, humor, talent, imagination, compassion.

But your logic is weak. It’s based on people being reasonable and stable. It relies on them choosing simple over complex, and easy over exciting. You think other people are rational like you. You think they value substance over form.

I was thin and pretty when you met me. I was full of excitement and energy. I wasn’t afraid all the time, every moment of every day. I had big plans. Today I was supposed to be a CPA, a senior accountant on my way to CFO. I was going to wear nice suits and go to power lunches. I wanted to be a mother.

Instead I’m an unemployed cat lady in her pajamas peering out the window, checking all the locks.

You fell in love with my heart, which aside from the lack of courage has not changed. You fell in love with how much I love you, and love me for how much I love you still.

This me happened in slow motion and backwards.

Frame by frame, a butterfly goes back into the cocoon.
A beautiful garden becomes an empty lot.
A confident woman becomes a frightened child.

How is it that when you look at me you still see a butterfly?



This was written for the trifecta prompt Weak -3: not factually grounded or logically presented

I am 5 days into taking SSRIs for the first time. It is not supposed to do anything yet, but I feel horrible. My anxiety is way higher than normal, I feel alienated and depressed. This poem or prose, or whatever it is, is not very good but it is what I felt like doing today.

29 thoughts on “Butterfly?

  1. I liked this sad glimpse into this person’s life, and comparing it to a butterfly going back into a cocoon. I liked the honest look at how far her reality is from her dreams. I think many of us can relate to that on some level.


    1. Yes. I would bet most people are in this place sometimes. I wonder how many people actually grow up to be the person they thought they would.


  2. Your writing spirit can’t be quelled if you are feeling so overwhelmed and yet can still write so very well.

    I’m glad you shared this piece. It’s lovely and difficult and really good.


  3. This is so beautifully written- especially the haiku in the end. Sometimes, love always sees what it loves most instead of what is. You have captured it so well!


    1. I used to write a lot of poetry and free form when I was a teenager to get out my emotions, but mostly stopped until a few months ago. I had forgotten how cathartic it can be.


    1. I used to be the type of person who kept all my emotions to myself. I still am mostly with my friends. I seldom actually talk about my feeling and issues. It is nice to have a place to get it out sometimes and to know that other people can relate. It makes me feel less isolated.


  4. If this is what you can produce in challenging circumstances, then you should be proud. Being in this kind of situation is horrible – but it’s not permanent. Keep writing – it may well be just what you need to at least help a little.


  5. Extremely good – I’m blown away. The subtle, cinematic cues you give to lend atmosphere to your writing, especially there at the end, are so well done. Great job!


  6. Wow. This is very powerful. Gut-wrenching, heartbreaking… I feel for this woman. This shell of previously vibrant and free woman. Great job in crafting this introspective character study.


  7. If this is what you produce when you’re feeling anxious and depressed, then heaven help the rest of us. This is kick-in-the-goolies powerful, raw and honest. Plus, you totally OWN the second person POV, which is pretty darned rare in my experience.

    Hope the SSRIs start doing what they’re supposed to really soon.


  8. A different editor this time. I hope you get to feeling better soon. I’m sure you know the drill, but the side effects from SSRIs usually do go away in a few weeks. If you feel like you can’t hang in until then, there’s probably a better drug out there for you. Until then, keep writing. And linking. This is good. Hang tight and feel better soon. xx


  9. oh my. First I am so sorry. I take SSRI’s and have been wanting to get on a different one for about six months. I’ve been feeling “underwater” for a while now and I just can’t shake it. While I am going out and smiling, I don’t really feel like it.

    Reading this all I could think was, you are still that woman, you are still that butterfly. You just need time to emerge again. I’m wishing that for you if it’s what you desire.

    thank you for sharing this with it, it was stunning..the writing and the writer.


  10. While you state this is not true for you, the feelings you struggle with right now are difficult. This has been me for many years…the fear. Most of the fear is gone now and am working on getting back to some semblance of normalcy but I don’t know what that is. I’m working my way off SSRI’s after being on a high dose since 2009. You wrote this very well. My husband only sees the me he loves too regardless of where I am emotionally. Congratulations on winning for your raw writing.


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