Depression

Depression is a fog. It clouds your mind and heart and is a veil over not just the bad things, but also the good. I realised this the day that mine began to act up on a perfectly sunny, summer afternoon, when I should have felt happy. And I didn’t. Instead, I felt that sinking pit in the depths of my stomach, that signalled to me that something wasn’t right. And it hadn’t been right for many, many years. I have never been formally diagnosed with depression, but the symptoms are all there, and it runs in my family. My brother, my Mom, my Aunt, and so on, have suffered from anxiety and depression related issues. And I’m no different. Some days, even when I know it’s beautiful outside, I can’t even be bothered to get up early enough to fully enjoy the day.

Depression comes in many forms, and mine is made up of many different parts, shifting day to day. Some days are great, and I feel hopeful. Others are terrible, and I feel as if I’m going no where in life. My depression is particularly triggered by hormonal changes each month, which make me become very unstable at times, and very, very dark. It’s like a hurricane hitting my brain, and all the power goes off. But I recognised this some years back, and it helped me manage to push through it each month, because I knew it was coming. But depression isn’t always the extremes, it can be much more subtle, and sinister, than all that.

Depression, for me, is: The inability to fall asleep at a decent time. Never sleeping well. waking up so many times per night it’s unnatural. Feeling tired no matter how much sleep I get. Feeling forgetful most of the day. Being unable to motivate myself to go to the gym even though I know it’s good for me. Not caring what I eat. The inability to focus on simple things, like reading and writing, when I have an English degree. Applying for jobs but having no hope anymore that I’ll ever hear back. Trying desperately to convince myself that things will get better, but realising, maybe they won’t. Maybe this is just how life is. Maybe some people don’t get to be happy, because something is stopping them from achieving said happiness. Feeling like an asshole for complaining when you have a privileged life, and you’re incredibly aware of it. Being grateful and yet sad simultaneously. Wanting more, but believing you’re undeserving of it. Needing affection and intimacy but being unable to find it, or ask for it. Wanting to find love but feeling like you’re unworthy of it. Deciding that not everyone is meant to love, that it’s a privilege, not a guarantee, and you must just be one of those people who isn’t meant to find it. No one outside your immediate family will ever love you. Ever. And letting that eat away at you until it drives you mad. And then you sleep, and wake up the next day, and hope it’s one of those good days, where you picture yourself back in London, or Manchester, or Paris, when things felt ok, when you had hope that one day you might find a job in New York or LA or somewhere else that made you feel like you were part of something greater than yourself. But remembering, once more, that you are not. You’re not meant for greatness. There’s nothing special about you, apart from your delusions of grandeur, and this is why you’re never happy. You believe you’re worth much more than you actually are. You’re pathetic, and boring, and mediocre, just like you always feared. And sometimes those people find love and happiness, but you’re not like those people. You’re alone, in your bed, at noon on a Tuesday, wondering how you have an MA in Creative Writing from one of the best universities in the United Kingdom, and the world, and you’re still at home, trapped, like sand in an hourglass.

That’s Depression.

Kelsey H. 7.28.17

Time

My birthday is in a couple days and I genuinely don’t care this year. I feel so lifeless, I might not even bother going to dinner because none of this matters. This isn’t where I expected to be at my age, so I just give up tbh. I can’t even pretend to be ok anymore. I feel such severe anxiety when I think about time I could just pass out.

Bodega Roses

Bodega Roses

Lower East Side at midnight
his place
filled with lingering
wafts of 3 pm spliffs
and empty bottles
of cheap scotch,
I can never remember
the brand.
It made him feel like
James Bond
or Hemingway
when he drank it.
I didn’t want to
make him feel bad.
Bodega roses
of red and yellow
just for me,
in an old vase
on the kitchen table,
a patched crack
runs down the middle
of the glass.
I run my finger along it,
waiting for it
to pierce my skin,
but it never does.
He never takes his time
before his hands are
running up my legs
and under my skirt,
feeling his way inside,
before he lifts me
and sets me
on the table,
along side the flowers.
My eyes make contact
with their vibrant petals
as my pants
are pushed
to the side.
We have sex because
it’s what people
like us do.
My eyes close
and my mind wanders
to the painting of Ophelia
I saw at the
Tate Britain
a lifetime ago,
and the man who
wept
for her absence.
The bodega roses
come back into focus,
instead of his face.
We don’t make
eye contact
when he fucks me
anymore.
They are facing him,
even though I’m facing
them.
Because the truth is,
only one of us blooms for him.

Original Work: Kelsey H. 3.26.17

Bloomsbury

I saw the
edge of the universe
that I had been seeking
since 1924
at the bottom
of an empty glass
at The London Pub
as the sirens of
Bloomsbury
wailed and
filled my ears,
my eyes connecting
with Virginia Woolf
as I wandered onto
the pavement
of Woburn Place,
but I lost her as I passed
the Tesco Express
across from
the Russell Square stop,
since she said
she’d buy the flowers herself,
as I disappeared
onto the Piccadilly Line,
and she dissolved
into the blooms
of Tavistock Square.

Original Work: Kelsey H. 3.26.17

Bodega Roses

Lower East Side at midnight
his place
filled with lingering
wafts of 3 pm spliffs
and empty bottles
of cheap scotch,
I can never remember
the brand.
It made him feel like
James Bond
or Hemingway
when he drank it.
I didn’t want to
make him feel bad.
Bodega roses
of red and yellow
just for me,
in an old vase
on the kitchen table,
a patched crack
runs down the middle
of the glass.
I run my finger along it,
waiting for it
to pierce my skin,
but it never does.
He never takes his time
before his hands are
running up my legs
and under my skirt,
feeling his way inside,
before he lifts me
and sets me
on the table,
along side the flowers.
My eyes make contact
with their vibrant petals
as my pants
are pushed
to the side.
We have sex because
it’s what people
like us do.
My eyes close
and my mind wanders
to the painting of Ophelia
I saw at the
Tate Britain
a lifetime ago,
and the man who
wept
for her absence.
The bodega roses
come back into focus,
instead of his face.
We don’t make
eye contact
when he fucks me
anymore.
They are facing him,
even though I’m facing
them.
Because the truth is,
only one of us blooms for him.

Original Work: Kelsey H. 3.26.17