I’ve never found any answers at the bottom of a can
But it often feels better than the pain,
The turmoil and the rough touch of times passing hand.

I’ve never seen clearer through the powder of those extra pills.
It’s the wave of numbness
— disconnect.
And the promise of passing out in which I find the will.

I’ve never discovered the light in the darkness of rage.
Merely a release only violence can bring;
Pitting wits, unknown outcomes;
Through the blood, the spit and the haze.

I’ve never found reason in the condition I find myself in,
and I guess no amount of self-abuse will bring me any closer therein.

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You can lower the blinds,
And tell the world ‘sorry, I’m closed’.
Light candles, if you prefer.

Are you the burn?
Or dream of dancing like the flame?
I am the wax; are you the wane?

You can take all the drugs,
Numb yourself until a kinder time.
Compost in bed with the misery.

Or fire up that angry song,
The one that fueled your youth.
Run headfirst into the pain.

Time is fixed,
But not all time is spent the same.

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A poem about living with disability and long-term health conditions.

We are limited.
We are disappointed.
We are set back.

We are frustrated
And disadvantaged;
We are stifled, often flat.

We can be disabled,
Cut down,
Dealt an unfair hand…

But we continue to grow where others could not stand.

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The sun is out,
Spring has sprung,
And I'm trapped between the wanting,
And the what can't be done.

The will is there,
But my body, it rots.
Yesterday a reminder of what I had,
But have no longer got.

And so I wait,
Weight of burden.
Explanations taste bitter,
From all the times I have spoken them.

The day is gone.
The pain has won.
And I'm trapped between the wanting,
And the what can't be done.

Please consider hitting the ‘follow’ button if you’ve enjoyed Joel’s words or support what he’s trying to achieve. It costs nothing but makes a big difference in helping people find his work.

You can also find Joel on:

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Or for a full list: https://linktr.ee/Joelvsarthritis

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When the fatigue makes me close my eyes and lose precious moments watching you play.

Watching you grow.

Watching you become something far better than I.

I’m tired of carrying myself like a desiccated willow, when I should be your oak.

Your inspiration.

Your immovable rather than immobile object.

Pride.

Please consider hitting the ‘follow’ button if you’ve enjoyed Joel’s words or support what he’s trying to achieve. It costs nothing but makes a big difference in helping people find his work.

You can also find Joel on:

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Or for a full list: https://linktr.ee/Joelvsarthritis

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Joel Nelson

Joel Nelson

Joel (Joel vs Arthritis) is an Award-Winning Arthritis & Psoriasis Patient Advocate, Freelance Writer and Poet. Writing candidly about life to raise awareness.