A Year's Story

If last year

The dreaded 2016 that everyone treats as a beast, is a story

Then the beginning would be January

This poem, by that extension, is my rendition of this story

A story of ordinary chaos

 

I started out like anyone:

“This year will be my year!”

“I can do better!”

“I will make an honest effort to become a better person!”

Sentiments that fade quickly as you become distracted by the reality of the world

A world that doesn’t care about your resolutions or what you think

It takes and demands and you had better keep up,

Keep up now! Hurry up!

Don’t drag behind!

Don’t you dare stop!

 

Those phrases filled my head for months

In fact, they were of the few phrases and memories I allowed in my head

Panic, anxiety, worry?

They became my normal state of mind.

I gave into them, let them control my entire being.

My body ceased being my body

It was now just a vessel of emotion and nothing more

 

And I payed for it

 

Do you know how it feels to forget?

To feel so many things that you forget dates you should know?

Anniversaries, birthdays, due dates, holidays, weekends, the last time you saw a friend?

The last time you ate, what you just said 5 seconds ago, or was it 6?

Whether or not you actually did something, who your childhood was spent with, the names of places you love?

Oh, you remember them after the fact, but there’s so much panic that you question yourself.

Memories become like theories you can’t prove.

 

It all overtook me as summer struck.

Sure, no more classes.

No more homework.

Well, almost.

One summer class, to get it out of the way early,

A portfolio to work on

A summer camp to attend

Projects you want to finish...eventually, probably possibly, maybe, at some point….definitely

And a wall

The wonderful invisible wall that we call depression

 

I spent half my summer forcing myself past these.

Or, well, rather letting my thoughts run wild as I distracted myself with bright pointless images on a bright screen.

“Be productive”

“It’s not that bad.”

“We’ll get to sleep again soon anyways.”

“So many people have it worse, quit pitying yourself.”

“It’s all in your head just stop.”

I would let these circle my thoughts until I found a way to push myself past these

 

It lasted, for a little while…

Welcome to august

The starting of school

“Where are you going to college?”

“What do you want to do with your life?”

“Have you applied? What about accepted?”

“Have you looked at scholarships yet?

The stress was back and my emotions couldn’t handle it

 

Old habits die hard, I guess.

 

I slipped back into distraction and let emotions run everything

I gave up

If I watched the news, I accepted the fact that I would fear the world based on what was said

If I had a big assignment, I accepted the fact that it would make me sick worrying about it

If I said something wrong, I accepted the fact that it would haunt me

Even if everything went right, I accepted the fact that I would doubt just about everything about it

 

September, October, November, December

My body looked the same and no one saw the difference

They couldn’t see what was piloting my thoughts.

Holidays passed, the trio of emotions dragging depression into the mix

Finally New Years hit.

It was done

the awful year over.

Midnight hit and the thunderous sound of fireworks filled the air, making it seem as if they universe was complaining of the misfortunes of 2016

And standing on the driveway, staring at a sky filled with sound and void of light

Just as the fireworks were out of view, so was how things really worked

 

 

I realized it right then and there

 

 

January 1st, didn’t mean I would suddenly get better

It didn’t mean I didn’t have problems anymore

That began to fully sink in

Remember how I said the memories come back to you, eventually?

I didn’t lie

Sitting here now, I’m recalling it all. Details I didn’t remember earlier things I forgot.

Friends that share the same problems as me.

People who might have the same thought process as me

Things we said in joking but, at that moment, we really meant it

Problems dismissed, emotions sealed off, struggles had by many, pain, hope, love, confusion, anxiety, fear, determination, lies, promises, people, places, feelings, apologies

I remember all that now

 

The End, right?

Nope, not at all and that’s what hit me.

A new year isn’t a new story. It’s just the next chapter and you have to keep going

The world doesn’t stop but neither do we and so I have to keep going

I know it’s chaos but I’ve accepted that it’s normal, but I’m not giving up

I’m going to reach that next chapter.

This poem is about: 
Me
Guide that inspired this poem: 

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