Depression can be an incredibly powerful force. It has the ability to reshape our lives, often with devastating impact. It twist and distorts our view. It limits what it allows us to see, showing us only the bad and the negative possibilities. It contradicts every positive thought and then shames us for even having entertained that thought.
In other words, depression lies. It tells us we aren’t worthy or capable or lovable. It tells us we are alone and that even if someone could help, they won’t because we don’t deserve it.
I have a wonderful client. A smart, charming, beautiful young woman that has been fighting with depression for a long time. Recently she shared a poem she wrote in 8th grade. I was so moved by it that I asked if I could share it with others and she generously agreed to allow the world to glimpse inside of her, to witness her struggles.
The poem is very moving and for some it will be very difficult to read. My purpose in sharing it isn’t to make others feel bad. I hope that for those of you that haven’t felt the oppressive weight of depression it might give you some insight. More importantly, I hope those of you that do battle, or have battled, depression will see that you are not alone. The feelings you experience aren’t really about you. They are the feelings that depression pushes on to you. The ones they lie about and tell you are of your own making. Except they aren’t.
As you read this poem I hope you’ll see that the emotions and judgments it contains aren’t, in fact can’t really be true about this young woman. It is the depression lying to her. And then maybe you’ll consider that the way you feel isn’t an accurate reflection of the real you. It is the depression lying to you.
I want to thank my brave, talented client for sharing this with all of us.
Depression is the feeling
When the world is crashing down
You can do nothing to stop it
And you know it is your fault.
Depression is the feeling
When you’d rather give up
Then to make the same mistakes
When you look inside yourself
And you see nothing to love,
You see only things to hate,
The feeling when you know
What you can do to fix it
What you can do to be happy again.
But you don’t, you can’t
You just make the same mistakes again and again
The mistakes that cost you happiness.
When you know that you were happy
But you can’t remember when and
You can’t remember what it feels like.
When you don’t trust yourself
When you shoot yourself down
With your own good intentions
When you know what to fix
You won’t and you don’t.
What to fix, when to fix it, how to fix it and where to fix it
But you stop yourself
You don’t know why.
You put things off
Again and again
You get swept up
You come crashing down
All you want to do
Is go somewhere
Where everyone is happy
Where everyone can do
Whatever they want
You want peace.
You want to sleep
You want to not have to worry ever again.
You won’t do this again
But you do it again, and again, and again
Until you crash
And you could have saved yourself
From the fate ahead of you but you didn’t
The feeling when you brought this all upon yourself
And you can’t change it now.