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i remember
the first time i thought
taking medication was a bad thing
a thing
i would be better off not doing

i remember
wondering if it would make me a different person because
if it’s changing my brain, and i believe my brain is what makes me me, isn’t it changing me

i remember
taking it anyway, because it was supposed to help, and it did . . . sometimes
but it kind of made me worse,
the first one did anyway, but that’s another story

i remember
taking the second kind and knowing
that this was helping
it was making me feel better,
but then

i remember
my cousin telling me he didn’t need medication, that it wouldn’t help him
plus,
he was strong enough without it anyway

i remember thinking
“doesn’t that make me weak”
and i didn’t want to be weak
so i stopped taking
my medication

i remember
my cousin telling me i wasn’t weak either way
that i should take the meds if i needed them
but he also said “throwing meds at a problem isn’t always the solution”

so i remember
deciding it wasn’t the solution i wanted
i’d find a different one
i would be fine on my own
so now . . .

i remember
when I was taking medication
the lows weren’t quite so low
but
the highs weren’t quite so high either
This is not me advocating for anyone else to stop taking any of their prescribed medication.
i remember
my assistant speech coach
thinking my poetry performances on depression were just because it was a good topic
not thinking it could be because i’d felt that

i remember
performing in practice and her telling me
“you portrayed the sadness really well that time”
and i said,
“that’s because i’m sad right now”

i remember
her telling me it’s different
that i'm too happy to be that sad
“but you’re always smiling” she says
like that has anything to do with anything

i remember
being angry at her
for not knowing, not seeing i wasn’t really that happy
for telling me that i was

i remember saying
well that’s just the three Kickstart energy drinks
and the antidepressants i've taken today
and knowing she thought
i was joking
i remember
when i first went to the doctors for help
my dad took me
because my therapist had suggested I look into medication

i remember
the doctor telling me what
“the good thing about depression and anxiety is”
and i knew this man hadn’t dealt with them personally

i still remember that
because I thought it was funny that
he had the audacity to tell me
“there is something good about you always being so **** stressed and sad”

i remember
the doctor left, halfway through finding the right meds
he went to another town, another hospital, other people because why not

i remember
thinking i guess i’m not important enough
for even the doctor to stay and help
and i get that it’s not personal, but
it still feels a little bit personal
I am not beautiful
When I am sad
Because my depression
Is not the pretty
Made for tv kind

It’s the kind
That keeps me in bed
All day and night
Not able to get up
But also unable to sleep

The kind that means
I didn’t take a shower
Or bath all week
Because I couldn’t
Even put in that small amount of effort

It’s not the kind
That people want to see
To take artsy photos of
That could just be fixed
If only I could be happier

It’s the kind that means
I’ll be up all night again
And I’ll have bags under my eyes
And I won’t put on makeup
Because I just can’t do anything

And I can’t make myself study
Or do any work at all
Because my mind
Just can’t stop thinking
About everything and nothing

The kind that brings up
All of the memories
That I try to forget
And that try to **** me
Or maybe that’s just me
when my depression hits,
it is all i can do
to even get out of bed in the morning

i usually stay in bed
either all day or just long enough
to decide not to **** myself

i usually don’t shower
and i hate myself more for that
but at least i don’t drown myself

i only drown in tears
if it’s one of the days
when the tears even decide to visit

sometimes i’m too sad
for even the company of tears
let alone people

but i have to be normal
so i pretend to feel normal
because then no one comments

no one mentions the dark circles
under my eyes or the way
my smile doesn’t seem to reach them

and once in a while
when my depression almost swallows me whole
i think i’ll ask for help

but i don’t ever ask
i never say anything because
then it’s real
My stomach aches
     Probably from all that ice cream
and my eyes burn
     Probably from all the tears
and my heart hurts
     Probably from missing you
When I tell you
You are beautiful
I mean it,
But it’s okay for you to doubt
Because I know
Not everyone is sincere
And you’ve been hurt before

When I tell you
You have my heart
I mean it
More than you could ever know
Because you are the one
That makes me glad
To be alive

And when I tell you
That I love you
I mean it
And I hope you know that
Because you mean the world
And more to me
And I really do love you
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