Friday, September 5, 2014

The ABC's of Depression

It may not be the most cheerful of poems, but it is honest.
For those who live with, love, or are married to someone with depression:
I give you a look inside our heads.

    A is for Apathy, I can’t seem to care.
Asphyxiating Anxiety steals all my air.
Angry and Agitated, Annoyed to the brim,
And so Anti-social, I’ll never fit in.

B is BiPolar Bouncing my Brain
Up to the happy, then right down the drain.
A Black hole that sucks the light out of life,
With Brutal Blue Barriers that Bicker with strife.
My thoughts are Broken and filled with the Blahs
In my Brain this Blizzard-like storm never thaws.

C is the Cage that Circles my thoughts,
It’s Corrosive and harsh, a shouting of oughts.
Control is a joke, I Can’t Choose what I think.
Cruel Chemicals are driving my brain to the brink.
Compassionate friends show they Care and are kind
But I’m Callous, Consumed, Crying out of my mind.
Crazy Cures Could bring freedom, I’m grasping at straws.
Trying this thing and that, is my diet the Cause?
My neighbor insists Castor oil is a must;
I’ve Cleansed and I’ve greened and I’ve Choked in disgust.

Depression is D, Damning Darkness so black.
The sun cannot shine through the foggy attack.
A Downward spiral it whirls, sucking joy all the way,
While in the shadows Death beckons, mocking my Day.

E is for Energy: where did it go?
My children, they need me. Didn’t you know?
I’m Empty, Exhausted, I just can’t keep up.
If you need me, I’ll be on my bed all curled up.

F is Forgetting it: life, joy, and light. 
My emotions are Flat, I’m not up for this Fight.
I'm Flustered and Frumpy, my hair's in a Frizz,
And make-up? What's that? I don't have time for this biz.

Grumpy and Growly and I don’t know why,
Guilty and Gutless, but yes, I still try.
I’m a Ghost of the person I once used to be,
And oh, did I mention these all start with G?
“Life’s Good! Count your blessings! Gratitude fixes all!”
But it’s all Gray and fuzzy, I feel very small;
A piece of human Garbage with arms, legs, and feet.
Take me to the Gallows, this Game’s not for me.

Hollowed out Horror is H when I wake,
Without Humor, I'd probably jump in a lake.
Hope is a must; things get better, they will!
Just don't ask me when, there's no answer to spill.
My Hygiene is awful, it's Humiliating, really.
I feel like a Hermit on a Heretic's journey. 
I Hate that I can't care to shower so often.
It makes me feel Hopeless, all stinky and rotten.

My brain is plain Itchy, I want to scratch It right out,
This Invisible Illness fills me with doubt.
Everything is Icy Intense numbing pain.
Interrupt this mental tape before I go Insane.
I’m Isolated, Irate -- self-Involved I assume --
Everything aims Inward, the source of my doom.

It’s Just too much, life’s a Joke and a lie,
The world is my Jury, I can’t Justify
The Jagged emotions, from Jealous to Jerk.
With my brain turned to Jelly, it’s Just too much work.
My soul Jitters and Jumps to escape from this shell,
it Jolts oddly in place and remains here in hell.

My body and thoughts reflect K trying to Kill.
My muscles are Knotted and twisted and ill.
I didn’t ask for this horrible Knife in my side
I’d prefer to stay happy, but it ebbs like the tide.

To Laugh at depression is how I survive.
“You’re Lazy,” says hubster, my kids roll their eyes.
Life-sucking darkness Lurks in my brain;
I’m Lost, Losing Light, and filled with disdain.
Lumpy and Limp, emotions Lopsided,
I need a Lobotomy, a Last resort sighted.

M is the Minefield of the Mentally ill,
It’s Mysterious and tricky and sucks out my will.
It’s Missing Myself for Months upon end;
A Malignant Misery which I cannot Mend.
Meds do help to keep the dark fog at bay,
The habit to take them just part of my day.
Pills in the Morning and pills at night;
Some say they’re evil, but I need to feel right.

N is for Nothing: what I think, what I am;
I’ve Naught left to give, so why give a damn?
I’m Numb and I’ll Never be good enough,
This Non-stop assault makes me wimpy, not tough.

O is the Oppressive weight On my shoulders,
Each failure, each Option, another big boulder.
The basic to-do list is so Overwhelming
Opportunities to repent both salvation and maddening.

P is the Pointless advice that I hear:
“It’s Punishment.” “That Panic’s irrelevant, dear.”
“If you had enough faith, this would all go away.”
So I Pray and I Plead and suffer anyway.
This life’s a Performance, and I’m the main Player
The real me sedated, a Psyche ward surveyor.

Quoting folks with those know-it-all cures is Q
Those Quick fix-it miracles that’ll save me and you.

Ruled by chemistry is R, along with Rage and Regret
Ritalin and Risperdal: a synthetic Roulette.
It’s a jumble of hope and Ridiculous wishes,
If-onlys, desires, and countless what-ifses.

“Snap out of it,” I’m told, “Get up, go do Something.”
“Stop Sleeping So much! No wonder you’re Suffering.”
“Suck it up,” Self-doubt says, “They’re right, just admit.”
Their opinions are worth more than they Should be, dammit.
STOP SHOULD-ING ON ME! You don’t live in my head!
I’m Still here, leave me be: at least I’m not dead.
Side-effects from the meds leave me dizzy and faint;
Shaking and Shuddering, hands caught in restraint.
I don’t want to Shout or Scream all a’tremble
I Struggle to make my thoughts reassemble.
Yes I’m Self-absorbed, but you cannot assist
The war in my head where I fight to exist.

T is Tired and Torn and should Think better Thoughts.
Tell me, oh Tell me, how to just shut them off?
If you know my brain so much better than I,
Fix me, already; I’ve Tried and I’ve Tried.

Unmotivated U, is Unworthy, Uncouth.
What effort I gave was wasted in youth.
Uncontrolled and Unhappy, I attempt to see clear,
To focus on something Unique and so dear.
Those tiny small moments, Uplifting and kind,
Of bright sparkling happy, so sure and defined.
I wish they would linger right here in my mind,
A hug of warm fuzzies to help me Unwind.

I Wonder with W what could possibly be
If Wishes were fishes and I could just see
A life Without haze or fog or bleak darkness.
Would it be Wonderful? Or simply Weird starkness?

X doesn’t start anything but X-ray
I’ve had plenty of those, but they’ve nothing to say.
My problems aren’t visible: no bones are broken.
It’s emotional, a chemical monster that’s woken.

Y is the Yo-yo Bi-Polar 2 brings
Yawning up then back down like it’s burning my wings.
This Year’s been a horror, let’s not do it again.
Next Year will be better, I swear on this pen.

Z is for Zombies that shiver and shake
Craving a brain that won’t make them ache.
My brain cannot give them a nourishing punch.
At last! One thing’s good: I’d make bad Zombie lunch.

I know who I am; I know why I am here.
I know that my husband and family are dear.
I can’t choose the battle, though the fight I must win.
I can choose to survive or choose to give in.
I don’t expect understanding, it’s impossible at best.
I hope for relief and good times with good friends.


  1. As for the deleted and spelling and typing on an ipad don't make a very clever mix. I wanted to thank you for sharing this. I love this poem, I have it book marked now. I wish more people could be honest like this, but they are not and to me that makes you so brave. I needed to hear this, to have a good long look in the mirror. It came into my life right when I needed it. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read it in full.

    1. Thank you. I am humbled that it meant something to you and am very glad that it was helpful.