On Depression

In support of Ari Eastman’s project for Mental Health Awareness Month – #ImNotCrazy

If you ask me on a good day what depression feels like, my answer will be the same as it would be if it were posed on a bad one. The sensation is constant, but the timing is not. It is not steady predictability or flat surface. It is not beautiful sadness tied together with a whisky filled mind and a mouth hollow from too many cigarettes. It is not a desirable ache that inhabits pretty girls with soft hands and a love for literature. It is not delicate and pale. It is not freckles and bitten lips. It is not romantic.

Depression is my Saturday mornings turning into Mondays and Mondays evolving into impossible. It is the ringing of an alarm every hour of the day. It is the sun rising while darkness sets in the stomach. It is my body is awake but my mind is tired with heaviness. It is having too much to carry, even when my arms appear empty.

Depression is he loves me today, but what if he doesn’t tomorrow? Depression is worry. Depression is best friend to anxiety. Together the two inhabit my body until I have no strength left in me to kick them out. I let them stay, making a home out of the emptiness they have created. It is dwelling on the weak. It is lurking on its prey. Depression is an animal I keep feeding, it always comes back.

Depression is learning to cope quiet. It is turning skin to battlefield in a war too cold to comprehend. It is the bleeding out from keeping everything in. It is the wet rag on the heaving wrists and my mother’s inability to understand. It is the passing down from generations like physical traits. It is a widow’s peak and a curled tongue. It is my father’s fear for the reflection I am of my uncle. It is the day he finds him laying on his bathroom floor, pulseless. It is the fear that I could so easily become just that. It is I don’t want to.

Depression is right now being a milestone. It is getting out of bed to face a world that doesn’t give out enough credit for trying. It is breaking through the walls of numbness in order to feel any semblance of feeling again. It is showering, and eating, and taking care of yourself like it is more than just routine. It is some moments are harder than others but you power through them because you want to be here. Depression is not synonymous with suicide. It is wanting to survive the blackness to be able to make it to light. It is I don’t want to die today. It is I am alive for tomorrow. It is I will find hope even in drought. It is not all of us have made it. It is but I want to make it. It is I will not fall victim. It is I am fighting a battle nobody should have to with themselves. It is I am surviving. It is this war is not over yet. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Since her start in slam poetry at the age of 17, Danielle has continued to grow in her written endeavors.

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