Depression hides beneath my surface at all times, but most have no idea.
I stare at the walls. They stare back. The clock ticks, reminding me it’s 4 a.m. A chaotic thunderstorm of passion in my chest riles me awake. I have a meeting in six hours, but I don’t worry, as I have learned how to pull it together at the last minute. Those who do not care to look inside are often fooled by my character. The light I shed onto others is a mask to hide the darkness within myself.
Depression is a disease that tricks others into believing I am content.
My eyes flood a poetic stream of tears that navigate the freckles on my face. The broken pieces of my heart pin me to my mattress with their sharp edges. The lightning within will not allow me to ignore the rhythm of my anxiety. The cause of this dire pain is unknown. I cry and exhaust myself to a point of unconsciousness.
Depression entraps me in my dreams; vivid memories come in flashes.
One moment, I am eight years old twirling around in a sundress at the foot of my mother’s driveway. A strawberry blonde bob frames my sunlit, dimpled face. My innocent, childlike excitement quickly turns into defeat. I am waiting for my father, but he never shows up. The next moment, I am wrapped up in a lover’s legs laughing, telling him how beautiful I think he is. He denies my authenticity as I kiss him goodbye for good. Next, I am screaming, trying to get out of hands that won’t take no for an answer.
Depression is delusional, I wish for the comfort of an alternate reality I believe exists.
I reach for my phone and find I have only slept for three hours. Common sense tells me to go back to sleep, but depression tells me daydreams are more suitable than these nightmares—memories of doom. I have always had a wild imagination. My mind is in a constant frenzy as I try to understand, accept, forgive, and forget.
Depression is the ghost that follows me around in a cloud-like haze.
I try to shake myself out of my head, but it’s nearly impossible. I cannot believe I am here again. Why does love end? Am I too much? If I wasn’t so intense, perhaps I’d ease myself out of this pain. I walk through life as if I am living on a haunted ship wrecked at sea. My inner monologue brings me to my knees. What’s the point of explaining? I don’t fear death. I am already dead to those I have loved the most.
Depression’s cycle has become as familiar as the change of seasons.
Abandonment, heartbreak, sorrow, self-hate, chronic isolation, addiction, obsessive thinking, substance abuse, insecurity, loss of control. Rock bottom. Growth. Repeat.
Depression encourages me to pick up my journal and pen on the nightstand.
Writing has always been a temporary relief. The following verse flows from my fingertips,
Who do you turn to
When the one you used to turn to
Turned on you too?
I title the poem, “Betrayal.”
Depression neglects my personal health.
I look in the mirror. I am 99 pounds. Skin and bones. My chestnut eyes and long lashes sink back into my skull. An innate sadness that refuses to leave me alone accompanies my heartbreak and denial. I collapse, but not because I feel sorry for myself. After all, I no longer wish to exist. I imagine how much pain I would cause those who care about me if I sink further into the pit of my own destruction.
Depression reminds me I have been here before.
After hours of sitting in a crunched position, my inner voice nudges me to stand up as the pit of this well is oddly familiar. I’m in dire need of a hero. This time, I decide to be one for myself. Suddenly, a rope drops into my mind’s starless trench. I pull myself out of the borehole and back into the light. The devilish masochist in my head is conquered by the guardian angel on my shoulder.
Depression understands growth comes from destruction.
I begin to learn my strength is a result of my ability to raise my white flag and self-destruct. A sunlit meadow of enlightenment always follows the crushing darkness of my own doom.