Thoughts on my Depression: To Mom

"My depression comes in waves" I told my mother, hoping she would understand. "It's like being carried out sea and I can't fight the freezing water that paralyzes my limbs and and burns my eyes and fills my mouth and I drown. Over, and over. And sometimes I surface, and I try to reach the shore. But before long, the waves sweep me away again."

Fast forward a couple of months. I tell the people who are supposed to care that I've been feeling this way since I was 12. They look at me crazy and apologize, and I never talk to them about it again. I've been taking acting lessons from the voices of the people who tell me I don't have a reason to be depressed. As if they're actually giving me a valid reason not too. So I move through the motions of a "normal person" day by day to avoid the gift wrapped criticism and judgement: as if I don't already give that gift to myself, everyday. And I'm bombarded with the "why?" and the "you shouldn't be depressed" and my personal favorite, "You're just ungrateful!" 

Yes! I'm ungrateful for this bottomless feeling of emptiness and sadness that pulls my knees to the ground and ties my hands behind my back and won't let me go. And I'm ungrateful, that I ask everyone for help, and instead they tie my hands tighter, and help throw me out to sea. 

When you asked me, when you finally asked me, what you could do to help, the ocean I was drowning in stopped churning and my lims could move, and I saw you standing on that shoreline holding out your hand and I swam and swam away from those waves and to the shoreline and you grabbed my hand and smiled. And my eyes didn't burn, and limbs weren't stiff and my lungs were breathing in the air for the first time in what felt like forever, and for the first time in a very long time, I was grateful. 

This poem is about: 


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