You Are Someone’s Light

This is sort of an extension or offshoot of my previous post (actually, the last line of this was the inspiration for my previous post, but I’d saved it as a note on my phone a few days prior to writing the real thing and completely forgot to put it back in).

So yeah, maybe read that post, and then pretend it flows nicely into this one? Or don’t, I mean, whichever, it’s your choice…

ANYWAY, as a writer, and as someone who ha(d/s) depression, it was extremely difficult to go through a period of time where I felt like I could write about nothing but depression. What kind of writer was I if I could only write about one thing? If I had no ideas anymore, and could only write descriptions of whatever I was feeling at the time?

Not the kind I used to be, not the kind I wanted to be, and not the kind I would be in the future. But that didn’t mean that what I was writing then wasn’t just as important as any of the writing I would do before or after.

When you feel really really bad, your writing reflects that, so you think, “What’s the point of putting this out anywhere?” You don’t want to be the one spreading negativity and making other people feel just as bad as you do.

But I’ve learned that, most of the time, that’s not actually what happens. When I first wrote and published something related to depression, I was surprised to find that people were actually thanking me for writing it. I had been able to capture in words something they couldn’t. I have, many times, been in the opposite position of searching and searching for something to describe what I was feeling in a way that I couldn’t, but I hadn’t considered that I could also be the source of one of those things.

But anyone can be. You can be. Out of all the people in the world, there is always someone else going through what you are, who will breathe a sigh of relief and say “thank you” upon finding your words. And for every person who is going through what you are, there is someone who isn’t, who will be grateful to finally understand what a friend or family member is going through because of you.

You cannot write for everyone. Some people will scroll past your work unfazed. But for some, it will be what finally takes just a bit of the crushing weight off their shoulders. And I have found that writing for those people — even if it it’s just a few, or even just one — is enough.

I have learned that even in your darkest moments, you can be someone else’s light.

Breathe — Acrostic Poem

Breathe in the day,

Rich and raw, waiting for you to see

Everything it holds; how it

Awaits your gentle molding — your

Touch alone. Every line of your fingerprint.

Hands such as yours were meant to sculpt

Every moment sits… and waits.

 


 

Photo by Surachet Khaoropwongchai on Unsplash

Quiet Girl — Poem

Quiet girl,
I know it’s taken you a while to uncurl
lips that twist and turn between teeth
that test and taste each word before creating
a carefully considered sentence you hope will meet acceptance

Quiet girl,
I know how out of character it is for you to share
just a couple spare words that you didn’t prepare to share
hours before you got to where you had to pretend to care
about the kind of hors-d’oeuvres each partygoer preferred

Quiet girl,
Do not hide how your cheeks flush as people rush
to tell you how quiet you are.
Your silence is not a license for people to assume
this is a crisis.
When they tell you who you are, you are not obliged to hide behind
“Oh, I’m just tired.”

No, you are quiet.

Quiet girl,
Whose eyes hold the vastness of the stars in the sky but is asked why she is so shy
by a man whose only try at getting her to talk more is to say
she’s quiet.

Quiet girl,
No, you do not have “resting bitch face” unless
the boy standing two paces away who has said even less today
and could go hundreds of miles without a single smile
has it, too.

True, you are not the life of the party.

You are the ears,
the eyes;
you are the scribe.

You are not hiding, you are writing
lines and lines of humanity behind your eyes.
Let your lashes rest against your cheeks and read
the seeds of life that have blossomed into a book
only you can see.

Quiet girl,
While you can define anyone with lines and lines from the encyclopedia behind your eyes, they
can only find one word in their minds to describe you:

Quiet
girl,

Close your eyes
and read.

 


 

Photo by Xan Griffin on Unsplash

The Glass Case — Prosetry

When I have a really good day, I understand how hard it must be to empathize with someone with depression, because even I forget what depression is.

“And what is depression?”

Depression is a glass case. Sometimes the walls build up around you slowly, and sometimes the whole thing just comes crashing down on you, already built. At first, you think it’s okay — you think you can just keep going. So you set your hands on the walls of the case and push it around with you. You tell yourself you’re strong enough and you smile through it, and for a while, you do okay.

But one day, the case is heavier. A lot heavier. You wake up and you feel like it’s crushing you. But there’s no reason for it, right? Nothing’s wrong, so why do you feel so bad? You don’t have an answer, so you get up and push the case through your day again. You tell yourself you feel fine, and you almost believe it. You smile in the mirror and feel the case let up a little as you stand still inside it. You can control it, you know you can. So you go downstairs and find your family eating breakfast. You pick a seat at the table and sit down, but something feels wrong. There’s not enough space. The case has doubled in size overnight, and nobody’s moving to accommodate it. They’re loud, and their words echo around the case. You feel claustrophobic, you feel horrible. The walls are starting to fog up, and you’re beginning to perceive the people around you as blurry, distant, yet still too close. Your mom says something to you, and you snap back at her. You didn’t mean to, but you feel so tense inside that your words come out that way, too. She’s offended, maybe hurt, maybe mad. You feel sick. You want to say sorry; you want to explain, but you have no explanation. So you get up and leave.

You’re in the bathroom again now. Just standing there with the fan on to block out the sound of your panicked breathing. You’re panicking because you can’t control it anymore. You’re starting to break under the weight of the case. It feels absolutely impossible to go back outside and interact normally with the case still with you. You want someone to help haul it around with you, but that’s wrong, isn’t it? To want to burden someone else with this? You know it’s wrong. So you feel even worse now, because you don’t just feel horrible for no reason. You feel horrible because the case is still breaking you down, and now you also feel so immensely weak and selfish and guilty because you’re starting to doubt your ability to get through this on your own. You know you can’t keep giving in to yourself, so you go back outside even though you still feel like you’re on the verge of tears.

And that’s how you spend your days — for days, weeks, maybe months at a time. Every now and then you’ll get a day where the case is lighter, and feel like you might even be able to break through the paper thin walls. And then other days, it’s twenty times thicker and even a tiny tap on the glass throws you, shaking and sobbing, against the corner because just having to carry around the weight of the case has put you so on edge that you can’t deal with anything normally anymore.

Sometimes people just get mad at you because there’s no broken arm, no scar across your face, nothing physical that they can see. Sometimes they try to empathize, try to ask you what’s wrong and how they can help, but they always just end up frustrated because you can’t find the words to answer. And meanwhile you feel like your entire head is screaming, and also like it’s completely shut down. You don’t know if you want to talk to someone or not, and you definitely know you don’t know how. You’re embarrassed when you break down in public and spend days trying to apologize, but just feel even guiltier and more embarrassed when all you can say is “I don’t know what’s wrong.”

You see other people living so effortlessly, reacting to things so rationally, being so . . . happy. You wish you could be like them, but all they’ll tell you is “choose to be happy,” “life’s too short,” “life’s what you make it,” and countless other things that just make you feel worse because they don’t have any effect on you.

And the worst thing about the case? It’s glass. It’s the finest, clearest glass in the world, and no one can see it. Not even you.


Note: this isn’t meant to describe everyone’s experience with depression/anxiety. People experience depression and anxiety in vastly different ways, and this is my way. Really, I was just trying to make sense of what I felt.

[Also, I don’t know why this is written like an interview. That’s just how it formed in my mind and I went with it.]

 


 

Photo by Nicole Mason on Unsplash