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Below is the poem entitled WAITING TO EXHALE which was written by poet Kim van Breda. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Now that I have successfully alienated everyone else,
the time has come to liberate myself, having played  
this out in my mind…so many times I guess I have
finally acted on it—as you try to comprehend.
This “fault”—this “defect” in my head--an
incessant obsession and desire to want to
trip all the switches which keep going -- either
overloading or slowing down into a very faint buzz,
reminding me and making me barely aware that 
I am still physically present even though
it feels like I have died a slow death inside.
The exhaustion of knowing that the extreme highs and lows will 
without fail, continue to repeat themselves, each one, each time,
leaving me more out of control and hopeless than the last.
It’s acknowledging my personal weaknesses, not being
able to maintain any inkling of mature responsibility and
the continued failure—feelings of guilt, incompetence and
letting people—family, friends, medical professionals
and even myself down, time and time again.
Coping mechanisms are deteriorating and becoming 
dysfunctional until they reach the stage of being a self
destructive procedural descent in the same direction.
Alcohol and drug abuse will only numb the pain for
so long before they consume a person in the mere
volumes required to obtain the equivalent effect.
I have reached the stage where I feel I have made
a progressive step to the next level—to show myself
this time I have the courage to carry it through... 
Finality will prove the unknown entity but…. it does not scare me any longer--
waiting to exhale…..

(This was a suicide note I wrote five years ago. Fortunately there was intervention and I was correctly diagnosed and received the appropriate medication. To anyone out there feeling this way-- there IS hope--- just pick up a phone or text/sms someone)

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  1. Date: 2/17/2014 12:21:00 PM
    PHEW John... out of all my numerous poems on this site , you hone in on this one-- my most personal and difficult to post. Thanks for the kind words and your intuitive perceptiveness. Its an ongoing battle with Bi-polar n but I am winning :) :)

  1. Date: 2/17/2014 11:03:00 AM
    20K poets on the soup and you visit the one with no poems! Well, thanks for the howdy. I've not been to your side of the world, so, I am reading your poems this morning. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I often choose just one poet and try to read many of their poems instead of jumping around reading many poets. I have to say "obsessive-compulsive poet" is my fav title. This one, however, is my story - many folks' story. I commend you for sharing and I'm glad you choose LIFE!

  1. Date: 8/6/2013 6:05:00 PM
    Hi Kim....this gave me cold chills....I know how hard it was for you to post it....because it was hard for me to post thank you....well deserved recognition here....congratulations

  1. Date: 8/5/2013 8:22:00 PM
    Kim, thank you for sharing... congrats...LINDA

    van Breda Avatar Kim van Breda
    Date: 8/6/2013 12:37:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thanks Linda...and to all the people who put their feelings out there for this competition on a sensitive topic-- well done.
  1. Date: 8/5/2013 8:05:00 PM
    Congrats on your win in my contest! :)

    van Breda Avatar Kim van Breda
    Date: 8/6/2013 12:35:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thanks Anne for your appreciation and winning spot. This was a difficult one to share, so I feel it was now worth the effort.
  1. Date: 7/18/2013 10:33:00 PM
    You tell an all too common tale here. I am glad yougot over your difficulties. Life an be so hard sometimes. Good luck and keep up your creaative work. Peace & Love Matthew Anish

  1. Date: 7/18/2013 6:45:00 AM
    Hi Kim,I so can relate to this one.Loved this one from you.

  1. Date: 7/17/2013 8:34:00 AM
    I'm relieved that this is in your past, and that you found relief. I'm certain I understand what you went through; I've been there too. Please read my poem, "I Am As I Am." Jack

  1. Date: 7/15/2013 3:17:00 PM
    Thank God, you found the help you needed. I know there are a lot of people out there with the same thoughts that feel so all alone. It is possible to rise above those problems though. A great write that gets to the heart. <3 Stay strong Kim :o)

  1. Date: 7/15/2013 1:10:00 PM
    This one is very intense.

  1. Date: 7/15/2013 11:32:00 AM
    Kim, I had to read this twice to get the full extent of it, I am glad that you are sharing this, there are many on the soup who need to hear this, I too struggle, and have contemplated suicide when I w s in my thirties, the only thing that got me through were my children we so young, and I knew they needed me, today I have kept to my promise made so long ago, I shall no self-destruct, I hope this vow continues to hold, love to you brave one, xxx

    van Breda Avatar Kim van Breda
    Date: 7/15/2013 12:03:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I know.. thank-you. It seems this has hit a spot with a lot of Soup members. I was hesitant to share, but as you say.. some poetry has to come from the heart -- often the pain is real. I think God blesses us with children to stop us from making tragic choices in this hurtful world xx
  1. Date: 7/15/2013 11:19:00 AM
    ..... so sad .... "sad" is a poor word in this poem my friend Kim! - I am happy that you are here!! - <3 <3 <3 - oxox / / Anne-Lise :)

    van Breda Avatar Kim van Breda
    Date: 7/15/2013 12:04:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thanks for your ongoing support in all my posts... love your caring comments xx
  1. Date: 7/15/2013 9:07:00 AM
    Kim....Kim...been there! I also wrote a note. I've posted it here. It is in my earlier work...It's entitled, I'm Tired. Thank God you got help. SOMEONE was watching over us...Oh dear....I'm so glad that you were rescued in time. Sometimes...the only thing that keeps me going is knowing the devastation it would leave my beautiful 18 year old...I am on medication to even me out. I have my good days and my bad close! HUGS TO YOU. Thank for your recent visit...You are beautiful! :)

    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 7/15/2013 2:26:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Having grown up as a Pastor's kid, I had to live up to certain expectations! Unfortunately, in religious communities, mental illness of any kind is thought of as taboo because..the LORD will heal. The LORD works through physicians, psychiatrists and modern medicine to heal His children. I'm very vocal about this because the mind is an organ just like any other, and when NEED help. Nothing to be ashamed of. I am SO glad you have the courage to speak out. BLESS YOU!!!
    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 7/15/2013 2:21:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Hey....Yes. It seems we do....I read the post...thanks! If you have some my poem, Bipolar Musings....I've read up about it and sometimes wonder if I fit in that category, but I'm on meds for depression...Been four years now! I'm too scared to quit....God bless you for sharing. HUGS! :)
    van Breda Avatar Kim van Breda
    Date: 7/15/2013 12:09:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Eileen.. thank you. I have posted a reply on your poem-- "I'm Tired". Seems we have a lot in common-- lovely lady.xx
  1. Date: 7/15/2013 9:04:00 AM
    I do mot know you but i feel to give you a big hug dear lady.Im glad you managed to survive it all.God gave you another chance on life an you re definitely making the best of it..Well done

    van Breda Avatar Kim van Breda
    Date: 7/15/2013 12:11:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thank you Charmain. God is Gracious--- we all have struggles and our own crosses to bear. P/Soup is a wonderful support- along with the act that we share our poems.
  1. Date: 7/15/2013 8:40:00 AM
    Oh my goodness. How liberating it feels to read this today and you're still with us in this world. I'm sorry you went through that. But, you're here. That's what matters. Knowing where you were to value where you are.

    van Breda Avatar Kim van Breda
    Date: 7/15/2013 9:27:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thanks Drake. I guess we have all been there in some way or another. Indeed we should value where we are and count our many Blessings-- God is Good !!