27

I used to think my fate

Was to be just like you two

But something sets us far apart

And differs me from you

 

That difference simply being

That I refuse to hide

From myself or from my faults

(The me that lives inside)

 

In the mirror I commit to look

And face just what I see

I accept responsibility

To build a better me

 

No longer shall I run or dodge

This duty at my door

Denial is no friend of mine

It doesn’t stay here anymore

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Normal

Let me relate to you

A story if I may

Imagine waking every morn

Feeling the same way

 

Your heart is pounding, screaming

Get up! Get up! Get up!

Your brain is hurting, whispering

Give up. Give up. Give up.

 

The war goes on, relentless

And you cannot find the will

To move your limbs or play the part

Of normal, well and still

 

And yet you crawl on through

With a boulder on your head

Knowing when it’s over

You can limp off back to bed

 

No one sees your struggle

(Or at least that’s what you say)

The strength it takes to make it

Through each and every day

 

What kind of life is one

Where average is the goal?

To walk the line of undisturbed

Never feeling in your soul

 

Eat right, sleep well and exercise

Your will to be quite sane

But know your world will never be

Completely free from pain

 

“We all feel it too,

We swear you aren’t alone.”

If that’s true I pity you

Our hearts are made of stone

The Messenger 

I stumbled upon this song again last Friday, after years of not listening to or even remembering it. It’s been playing on repeat ever since (to say I get obsessed with stuff is an understatement). 

Some days it makes me feel strong, most it makes me cry. The lyrics are so beautiful, and are sung with such feeling it breaks my already broken heart. 

I’ve been in a depressed state for over a month now. Some days are easier than others, but most are really fucking hard. Either way, listening to this is helping me process things (as music always does). 

Warning Signs 

I know my depression is making a comeback when certain things start to happen. Before I really began researching and tracking my illness I just took these signs as a part of my (almost) everyday life… I thought they were normal. Apparently not. 

Firstly, and most noticeably, I start to dread waking up. Mornings have always been the hardest part of the day for me (unsurprisingly I am a night owl), but when I feel depressed they are sheer pain. I open my eyes and my first thought is always “fuck, I’m alive”. There is a cement block on my chest (anxiety), which makes getting up that much more difficult. Sticking to my routine is vital though, and even when I’m on the verge of tears I pull myself out of bed. 

Secondly, sound and touch start to annoy me. I’m talking revulsion. I’m talking rage inducing irritation of unreasonable proportions. “Do you have to swallow that juice so fucking loudly? Must you breathe so heavily? Do you have to sit so fucking close to me?” These are the kinds of thoughts that run through my head daily. Ordinary things that others wouldn’t notice crawl under my skin and drive me mad. I have to constantly restrain myself from verbally snapping or lashing out. It’s awful (for me and those around me), and most of the time the only thing that helps is if I remove myself from the situation (not always possible). 

Thirdly, everything seems like a chore and I am constantly tired. It doesn’t matter if it’s something I enjoy – I have no energy or interest. I feel like I’m on autopilot, just going through the motions to get through the day. Everything seems pointless. My mood tends to be quite reactive, so when nice things happen or I complete a task I do feel good temporarily. I always go back to feeling shitty though. Daily tasks, such as feeding myself properly, doing laundry, grocery shopping and keeping up with basic hygiene, become utterly exhausting. 

Lastly, I simply have no hope for the future. My life seems like one long, lonely road that is never going to get better. Sometimes I can’t even see my future – the fog is that thick. Other times I’m convinced that it’s just going to be worse than the present. It’s difficult but I have to remind myself that the fog will eventually clear (please hurry up I’m suffocating) and things will start to look better. 

These are only some of the things that accompany my depression, but they are among the ones that stand out the most to me. I hate the fact that this is such a big part of my life. I resent this illness so fucking much. 

I Am Breaking

I am breaking

Bit by bit

Pieces falling

As I sit

 

I am breaking

Day by day

Empty heart

Nothing to say

 

I am breaking

Hear me cry

Avert your gaze

Walk on by

 

I am breaking

Can’t you see?

Shattered hopes

Remain of me

Tethered

Temporarily tethered together

We wish worlds would

Remain romantic

Too

 

But being bound by

Duty does devastate

Everything, especially

Us

Fireworks

I’ve taken to walking around my neighbourhood at night. My usual route takes me down a tree lined path next to a large park that’s usually bustling with people no matter the hour. Tonight it’s especially crowded. Dozens of scooters are parked in neat rows along the street. I can’t be bothered to be around them all so instead I walk on past towards a small baseball ground.

As I look at the now dark field I remember the group of young boys I saw playing on the grass earlier that day, baseball bat and mitts at the ready, looks of intense concentration on their perspiring faces. I walk slowly around the space and climb the concrete stands on the far side, and sit behind the tall fence. It’s very dark here and I look over at the lit up park across from me.

I have on my noise cancelling headphones, and as the song I’m listening to comes to an end a deafening silence envelops me. I sit there, almost in a trance, lost in my own head. It’s only when I see the fireworks burst into the sky in front of me that I realize I can’t hear anything. Slowly I lift my headphones from my ears and the sounds around me rush in.

It’s Moon Festival in Taiwan, a Mid-Autumn celebration, and the air is filled with noise – children playing, families barbecuing in the streets, fire crackers that sound like gun shots ringing out in the distance. I drop my headphones back onto my head and it all goes quiet again. Suddenly something strikes me – this is what depression is like.

Sitting alone in my dark corner of the world I watch everyone living around me. I see the joy, I see the excitement, I see the colours of the fireworks – but I can hear none of it. Like Plath in her bell jar I am cruelly cut off – able to look but not fully experience.

Sighing, I pull off my headphones completely and hang them around my neck. As I walk home I still can’t hear a thing.

Pills 

A pill to get me out of bed

And clear the blinding mist

One to calm my racing heart

And unclench my aching fist

More to soften sharpest moods

And keep me standing tall

Another to send me off to sleep

And catch me as I fall 

Noise 

Atop the highest peak 

I glimpse the life I could have

I watch it slip away 

As I fall back down to where I live

I can’t hear the music anymore

Only the noise 

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