Every night feels like opening night and I am the leading role,

‘Tonight, I’ll be doing a convincing portrayal of an extrovert (again)’.

I became a method actor, wearing the title like a badge of honour,

attempting to coax a new personality into my life to use as my own.


I can’t stay in character anymore.


I’ve worn the costume every day hoping it would become my second skin;

twenty-three years in and it isn’t working.

I am slowly realising that maybe it isn’t my colour,

tones of people could sell the performance but I am out of stock.

I can’t do it justice anymore – every night I dread putting it on,

tired of convincing other people that I love it,

spinning them lie after lie, stitches that keep these pieces together.


I’m starting to hope my costume falls apart, actively looking for frays,

stitches I can pull apart, shredding the illusion I created for the public.

As it falls away I have visions of my new costume,

one lighter on my frame, more fitted to the figure I’ve grown to be:

the introvert, a new supporting character!

I won’t always steal the show but I don’t want that anymore,

people might not think I’m the leading role but I’ll still be mine.


-A.Webb (second draft)



I have been waking in the dead of night,

calling out names I can’t make out.

Do I know them?

…Do they know me?


I have been coughing out honesty,

quick, harsh bursts of anxious ramblings;

hard to process.

Harder to swallow.


They’ve been growing for a while now,

pushing on my throat,

I gasp and I gasp and I gasp but tonight

they will not let me breathe.


Maybe I’ve spent too long thinking,

they say at nighttime things seem worse,

that the moon, bright beacon,

casts light on heavy truths.



I have been fighting with my conscience –

intent on showing me who’s the bigger man.

In sunlight it will all seem so weightless,

I’m growing impatient for dawn.


-A.Webb (first draft)


I’ve been working my way out of this maze,

there’s been times when I’ve just been walking;

pretending to want to find a way out.

Trying to try without much effort,

halfhearted steps to escaping something I call home.


Now I’m making moves,

using my lens to better understand,

I’m learning there are ways to make this work,

it isn’t that I need to leave the maze,

it’s that I can learn to cope when being lost gets too much.


Here’s to making distances,

walking down beautiful pathways

just to find dead ends I need to turn back on.

I don’t know when I’ll get out,

for now I’ll try to love the journey.

-Alex W. (first draft)



Four Thoughts for Surviving


You are good at building bridges,

so what if a few burnt down?

Pick up the slats from the ashes,

use the remains to strengthen others,

build on them, make something beautiful.


Build a monument to eclipse the bridge,

let the world sit amazed

by what you’ve loosed upon them all.

You could sculpt magnificence

in the cliffside of your lifetime.



A man once told you

‘don’t settle for anything less than what you deserve’,

I know you’ve always hated

when people try and control you,

this was a demand worth listening to.


Do you remember how it felt with him?

Do you remember the magic that pulsed through you?

There are others with incantations

that are waiting to be learnt,

find them, love them as your own.



There will be nights like tonight,

there will be nights where you feel

as if your old self has crept back inside.

This is a reminder to yourself that

there is no ghost you cannot exorcise.


Sometimes you might remember

the shadows you used to call friends.

There are moments you might reach out to them,

don’t do it, fumble through your drawers,

grab your flashlight instead.



One day you will wake up and regret this poem,

think it is pointless, you were just lying,

you were deluding yourself.

This piece is proof you believed otherwise,

you can believe again.



These words are a message to yourself,

use them to remind yourself you can do this.

Remember that sometime ago

you loved yourself enough,

to save your life today.


-Alex W, (first draft).

When you fell, I fell harder

I never thought I’d let you slip,

watching you fall, nonchalant,

not caring enough to reach out.

I sat and watched you break,

not sure if I felt relief or pain.


You were crying out on the floor,

desperate for a helping hand.

A younger me would have given one,

not waiting for the call,

considering it a duty, not an offer.


I think this is the moment I realised

my cynicism had taken root;

it walked in uninvited

a guest I didn’t open the door for,

a bed I didn’t want to make,

my manners took over me,

it needed a place to stay.

-Alex W. (rough first draft)