Suicidal depression is a strange thing.
You go about your day,
make small talk with the barista at the coffee shop
and look normal, perhaps
and no one knows how intimately you know Death
how you commune with Her on a weekly basis
how frequently you must negotiate with Her,
trying to convince Her to give you more time
So strange how I can somehow blend into casual spaces
while fighting a vicious battle for my life.
*If you are in the US, feel this way, and need someone to talk to, call 988 for the national suicide hotline. You are not alone.
Sometimes, you have to fall to the ground
to realize you’re not breakable glass
but a bouncy ball
*Inspired by Parker Palmer’s Let Your Life Speak*
I think I’ve reached a point
where I will either get better
or I will die.
Black and white.
like you can cure my depression with your hands.
And I’ll touch you
like I can cure yours.
It won’t work, of course.
But it’s sexy to pretend.
I tried to escape the pain,
and nothing worked.
So now, I will go into the pain.
As I stand at the edge of this ocean,
I cannot see the opposite shore.
But I must trust that someday I will,
if I’m brave enough to start swimming.
When I go deep into my guilt, I find innocence.
When I go deep into my sorrow, I find joy.
When I go deep into my anger, I find forgiveness.
When I go deep into my self-hatred, I find self-love.
When I go deep into my grief, I find rebirth.
When I go deep into my hurt, I find healing.
When I go deep into my loneliness, I find connection.
When I go deep into my weakness, I find strength.
When I go deep into my fear, I find courage.
When I go deep into my bewilderment, I find clarity.
When I say deep, I mean DEEP.
The path to heaven often takes a person straight through hell,
offering no shortcuts.
But every suffering is the raw material for its opposite.
Don’t be afraid of your darkness.
Sit with it quietly.
Listen to it intently.
it will lead you to your light.
does ordinary, everyday life
feel so devastating?
When I was a young teenager,
I was suicidal.
I work on a crisis hotline
helping others who are suicidal.
I wish I could go back in time
and show my younger self
what she would become.
“Look,” I’d say.
“I know how hard it is for you right now.
I know you feel lost, broken, and alone,
and that everything seems hopeless.
But you will make something
of this pain.
It won’t be for nothing.
Look how you’ll spin
I finally see the mean inner voices for what they are:
part of the family.
I’m never going to eradicate them.
will always be in the car
in the road trip of my life–
a month from now,
a year from now,
ten years from now.
And that’s okay.
They can be here–
as long as they know their place.
They sit in the back.
They sit shotgun.
They are not the driver.
They are not the driver.
*Credit where credit is due: this poem is a paraphrase of a part of Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert.*
I think you view me
As the stars that light up a clear, summer night
But you’ve got it all wrong, babe
I am the darkness
(written summer 2018)