So easy now to slip from highs to lows,
To jagged-edged ridges of darkness nobody knows,
Consuming swathes of blackness that taunt the mind,
The heart and soul. The shape of oneself left undefined.
Yearning for the touch and warmth of feeling,
Yet only neglect and inconsideration send senses reeling,
Worthlessness dominates and self-esteem savaged,
Trusting instinct abused; body ravaged.
Fear of being alone, fear of wrong decisions made,
Fear of friendlessness, fear of being played.
Gazing upwards to gloom as lucky star burns out,
And shunning those who love over baseless doubt.
Lasting scars inside; on the surface temporary,
The slightest sparks of pain can turn incendiary.
Too difficult to explain how you really feel,
Accusations of melodrama ignore what is real,
Behind blank stares and closed doors it’s simpler to hide.
Confidence shot. Bruised pride.
I can only say I’m sorry to those I hurt with temper and indecision,
But uncertainty and insecurity cloud my vision.
Obscured in a deep deep darkness nobody knows.
So easy now to slip from highs to lows.
Emma H, age 23, 23/02/2014
I have seen a lot in the news and on social media feeds recently about the importance of mental health and the effects of depression, so I thought this would be an apt poem to post.
I wrote this poem just over 3 years ago, when I was experiencing the darkest period of my life in terms of my mental health and self-esteem; I had had others, but this was undoubtedly the worst. Unfortunately, I only decided to seek help from the doctor once the likely depression was already starting to recede, and so I never received a formal diagnosis.
I constantly felt as though I had a heavy weight in my mind and on my shoulders; I found myself getting tearful, often for no reason, in public; and I constantly thought about recent regrettable decisions, beating myself up over them, hating myself. I found it very hard to talk to anyone because I was convinced that they wouldn’t understand – originally my parents told me to just cheer up and stop being grumpy, but I think further down the line they begun to realise that the situation was more serious.
The biggest lesson that I learnt is that the most important thing is to talk to people about how you feel, as hard as this may be – a friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, parent, sibling, doctor – because bottling up the pain will often intensify the emotions and make you feel more alone.
I am fortunate that in the last 2 and a half years this level of darkness has not reoccurred, and I hope absolutely that this will remain the case in the years to come.