Depression and anxiety are illnesses that are crippling and oppressing, that follow you anywhere you go, and that will, even if you think they might have left you, lurk around the next corner just to jump out at you when you least expect and need it. In many cases neither are conditions that can be fully healed, but you can learn to deal with them, how to live your life without letting them drive you to a point of no return. A huge part of getting there is having an environment that accepts you and your issues, and that offers the right support. However, not all support that is well-meant will actually come off as such. Often people will say things because they want to help, but what they say, and sometimes how they say it, will achieve the opposite. If you want to understand what you should and should not say
The doctor holds tight to my handlebars and lowers my dosage. The training wheels are off, and oh hey, look at me go! It's like flying but not, and I'm doing so well but then there's a horrible accident and I'm somehow upside down at the bottom of the sea with both wheels still spinning.
"Help," I say, and my doctor pats my head, puts a band-aid on my knee, and writes a note on my chart.
I've balanced by myself for months at a time, but I always end up hitting a fucking tree or falling off a cliff or something equally catastrophic because I am a catastrophic person. Except that is an exaggeration. I am an exaggeration.
I like to compare mental illnesses to mundane physical activities. Also you should know that I am sick but trying to get better.
Sometimes I relapse and then write poems about it.
It's not even the kind of sick where people bring you soup in bed and soothe your fevered brow. It's the kind of sick where I'm late to work because
Shame comes in waves. Its not like a scalpel or the cold touch of a surgeons hand. They never tell you that it can eat away at your insides like a virus. (That it eats you alive). Shame is not a symptom of the mentally ill. Its just a side effect.
In my creased hospital dress, I wish for death. The sweetest sleep away from detached, gloved hands and dissociative expressions. The never-ending hostile questions and the silent blame and accusations lying unspoken on dry lips.
You did this. Youre not sick. Youre just a twisted, manipulative lunatic.
Under medication and the slow Novocain drip of sedation, I wish for another disease. I want a tumor in my head something t
my mother told me,
if she had known,
she would have never had children.
it scares me to think that,
one day i could hear a small voice saying,
“mommy, i don’t feel right.”
“you don’t look sick,”
they say, noticing that i’m not dragging around
an i.v. stand.
noticing that my sweatshirt is black
and not a white hospital gown
swinging around marbled, knocking knees.
“but i’m still unwell,” i say
in a voice that doesn’t shake
and they just look disappointed,
like i don’t fit.
like i’m the skewed painting
on the fucked-up-person wall.
“but,” they say, “don’t bipolar people
usually kill themselves?”
“but i tried,” i say
with my wrists unmarked
and they just shake their heads
almost as if to say
not hard enough.
“poor girl,” they say, looking right at me,
sitting next to my dad as he laughs too loud.
And happiness the same
You choose this illness, don’t you?
What a tragic little game.
Depression is an option, love
Just get up out of bed
Take your tears and worries
And just smile now instead.
Depression is a choice, you see,
And so is suicide.
Just sit back, kick your feet up, dear
Enjoy this perfect ride.
Get over your own standards
Of what everyone should be.
Just smile for once, and maybe
You’ll be living perfectly.
Depression is an illness
That we feel so deep within.
Why would anybody choose
To write poetry on their skin?
Unless there lies a reason, dear,
I would not choose to die.
If depression was an option...
I’d choose to say goodbye.
In your own mind
Holding you hands up to your
Looking glass eyes
But not able to escape
It feels like being close to yourself
All the time
But not knowing who you are
Wanting to get close to others
But terrified of letting them in
It feels like wanting to kill all your emotions
So you don't hurt anymore
It feels like the physical pain you cause yourself
Just to kill all the pain
You hold buried inside
It feels like starving your body
Because you feel like a bad person
And like you need to be punished
For all the things you've done - past and present
That those around you say weren't your fault anyway
It feels like memories
Haunting and teasing you
Always there, and never going away
All the things they did to you
And the way they made you feel
It feels like fear
Fear that this is all you'll ever know
That all hope is lost for you
And people will give up
And label you something you're not
It feels like being free
Finally finding someone else
I don't know what art is, or what okay is. I like to believe I know it when I feel it, but I'm not so sure I would. I think people expect me to be a lot more insightful than I am right now. I don't think they take into account that boredom is stressful, and stress can shatter you like roots in concrete. Maybe I'm growing. But I don't even know if I'm bored. I feel like a lot of different people, or a lot of aspects of different people, all trying to learn how to stand one another.
It's been days since I wanted to break out of my body. I'm watching the sunrise from the wrong side, but I did sleep. I'm not curlin
they told me it didn't count if you felt like dying
unless you had it down on paper
like a vetoed birth certificate.
i've rewritten it enough times since
to realize i could never leave with a proper goodbye.
goodbye is too heavy a word for paper to hold
and i was never brave enough for the kind of courage it takes to tell them
why they weren't enough to keep me here.
but i'm finally learning a different kind of bravery-
the kind it takes to
i learned to wear death
like rope burn my junior year
my senior year we became friends
but i finally stopped cutting the insides of wrists
when i finally realized death never arrives on time,
i started smoking when i turned 18
to speed his arrival
because somedays, 15 less earth rotations around the sun sounds like a blessing.
2 years later I'm still learning to let the self destructive habits go
I stopped smoking again
threw the knife away and closed the toilet lid.