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

1906

It was all too much,
each day the heavy weight
of continuing on waited
to crush her,
knowing her arms were too weak to
lift the load above
her head once
it fell.
She couldn’t hold it off
any
longer.
It had hung there for
far too long,
taunting her,
teasing it’s imminent
collapse.

Her body shook,
the power of 1906
San Francisco
quaking her
from the inside out,
until she lay
paralyzed,
frozen by the power of it’s
force.
The weight dangled
above her eyes,
shaken loose by
her mind
and soul,
if that even
dwelled inside
of her,
she didn’t know.
Not anymore.

She resigned,
and closed her eyes,
and held her arms
out to the sides,
her hands facing the sky,
begging for it,
wanting for it to obliterate her,
just this time.
Finally
finally
finally.

The darkness
descends.

Original Poetry: © Kelsey H. 5.4.17

The Bathtub

She sat in the lukewarm water for going on the second hour, and kept her eyes closed, not wanting to accidentally catch her reflection in the mirror opposite. She used to fit in this tiny bathtub much more easily, but she had stopped paying attention to what she ate at least six months ago; maybe longer, she couldn’t be sure anymore. The bath salts had settled under her legs and bum, the bubbles long since popped, leaving a milky, white film on the surface of the water. That deep sense of aching, that had been permeating her stomach and chest for hours was still there, sinking her further down onto the white ceramic, until she felt absorbed by the cool material. She never knew where this sadness came from, but when it hit, it felt like being stuck in a room as you watch the walls slowly be consumed with fire, and you’re waiting for the inevitable explosion. The heat of the flames sounded good right now, she mused. Reaching the tap to add hot water to the tub would be simple, but she couldn’t muster the energy to rise up and reach out for it, so instead, she sank further, until her head dipped below the surface of the water, and she could taste the manufactured lavender scent against her tongue. She didn’t know how long she was going to stay under there.

Original Work: Kelsey H. 1.23.17

People

People love to pretend that everything will be ok, and will work out. But the ugly, ugly truth is we don’t know that that’s true. There’s no guarantee in life that everything will work out? Or that everything happens for a reason? Or that we’ll all end up happy? Or find love? It’s all a fairytale. And no one wants to admit that to themselves, or to others. But it’s true. I can’t pretend like things are ok or my life is going the way I want it to or that things will work out. Because none of that is true. Because I don’t know if they will. I have lived a very blessed life, and I am grateful for it. But I can’t pretend like certain things aren’t missing. Yes I have traveled and seen some of the most beautiful cities in the world, and for that I am eternally grateful, and truly, truly blessed, and thankful. But I’ve never felt love, true love, and that makes am very sad. I’ve never felt like anyone’s first choice. I’ve always felt like a burden. And that hurts. I feel very alone most of the time, and it’s very painful. Isolation and loneliness can kill you. But you have to try and keep fighting. And I am trying. I’m trying. Trying.

K

Tired

I am honestly, so massively unhappy. I KNEW I wouldn’t be able to find a job when I moved back to the States and I was right. I even used my brother’s address on my resume in the hopes that it might attract more people but nothing. I am so, so, so sad I am NEVER going to find a decent job. I am going to have two degrees from two of the top universities in the world, all of this education, and experience working other jobs, and I am never going to find a job where I am able to utilise any of the skills or knowledge I’ve accumulated over the years. I am trying every day to make something happen but I can’t even get formally rejected from jobs and I am so fucking tired all the time. Eventually, unless things turn around, my depression is going to win and I’m just going to give up trying for anything better in life because what’s the point tbh.