Teen Mom OG star Tyler Baltierra struggles with his mental health, and has to defend himself and explain to fans that his mental illness doesn't make him a bad parent.
He's absolutely right. He has coping mechanisms, and one of those is expressing himself through poetry.
In a powerful and evocative new poem, he explains what it's like to endure the fog of depression and anxiety on a daily basis.
On Instagram, Tyler Baltierra shared a somewhat freeform poem that, at first, might resemble prose.
"Living with this depression & anxiety causes hurt." Tyler's poem begins. "Its brain is like an alien stuck in a foreign body."
A lot of people can feel that way. Particularly those who endure a chronic battle with an illness.
"That body just keeps getting up," Tyler continues. "it keeps putting on these clothes & it goes about the day doing whatever is required."
It sounds like he is describing an empty routine that feels devoid of meaning.
"But It barely eats," Tyler laments. "It’s always weak & it’s always tired."
Many feel betrayed by their flesh prisons, and Tyler is no exception.
"But I’m so confused," Tyler writes. "I just don’t get it, because if it’s so weak & it’s so tired, then why can’t it sleep when it’s time for its mind to retire."
Insomnia is a special kind of torment that adds insult to injury for those enduring the chronic fatigue that can accompany depression.
"It’s like its mind is this tire that keeps spinning in circles & it gets lost every time it takes a spin while driving on that thin of a wire."
By this point, you have no doubt noted that retire and wire rhyme with some earlier words. There's a lot of that going on.
"But even though it lacks the ability to see what is required," Tyler says. "That doesn’t mean It’s not allowed to desire the love & compassion every other human being desires."
"It feels like it’s a conspire to not have known this information prior," Tyler writes.
He means a conspiracy, but he's using poetic license to play with the word.
"Because now all these thoughts in its brain caused by all these demons inside won’t stop talking with such an evil tone that’s dire..."
To be clear, he's not talking about delusions of demons. He's talking about the horror of intrusive thoughts.
(On their own, intrustive thoughts are supposed to be prompts to do things that we don't want to do, so that our horrified internal reactions reinforce our resistance to those impulses. Mental illness can make that much worse)
Tyler writes: "& that tone distracts it from ever being able to see the positivity in this life it could actually acquire."
That's depression for you.
Tyler Baltierra ends his poem with the tag: "#PoetryIsMyBrainsFreedom."
The Teen Mom OG star has opened up about his mental health struggles in the past.
Recently, he shared a heartbreaking poem that he wrote while battling suicidal ideation after getting the news of his father, Butch Baltierra, once again going to jail.
A person's parent's screw-ups, as a parent or as a human being, can haunt their children well into adulthood.
Tyler has explained that he shares all of this, not only because expressing himself through poetry is therapeutic, but because he hopes to help people.
Sometimes, the most powerful thing that you can do for someone is to make them understand that they are truly not alone.
The comments under Tyler's poem were filled with expressions of support and sympathy.
A number of followers mentioned that they very personally understood his experiences.
Others recommended CBD oil, which they say can alleviate anxiety and depression like marijuana without producing the high.
It is always heartwarming to see people come together with solutions that worked for them, but not every solution is universal.