I was originally going to write poetry about my struggle with depression. But the more I think about it, the more I want to include poetry from other depressed creatives. Because I recognized that I’m not the only one who suffers daily.
I realize that I have a burning desire to help people. So the logical thing to do is recruit people who live with depression and are willing to share their story with the world and publish a journal, magazine, books about what depression is really like.
The more I open up about it the more I realize that there is a lot of misinformation and stigma surrounding depression. And I want to do everything I can to dismiss those myths and give voice to those who suffer alone.
I don’t exactly know what I’m going to do. I could ask 5 poets to write or submit 2 poems about living with depression. Or I could ask 10 writers to submit or write a journal entry documenting their day and publish that as a book. Or I could start a magazine where I break down what depression is and how to manage with or without drugs.
But for now I’m still organizing the 40+ poems I wrote for The Fog and I’m going to publish those as a zine/chapbook.
I didn’t think this was going to be so difficult. I thought I knew exactly where I wanted every poem to be. But after reading and rereading my poetry I’m not sure anymore. I’m over thinking it, no surprise there. But this is my first collection and I want it to be perfect. I don’t know what story I want to tell or how to start or finish it. I just have a theme. Depression, how it feels, how I deal, and how I try to explain it.
I was thinking about starting from childhood. Poetry about the strong little girl I use to be and how I miss her. But I haven’t written poetry about that nor do I know how. It might come to me after some deep thinking and research. I might have to ask my parents about who I use to be. I was thinking of following that with my rape and how that may have been the beginning of my depression. I feel like I was forced to grow up pretty fast and my childhood hasn’t been the same since it happened. I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone and it just kept happening and I kept thinking about it. Then I stopped thinking about it. Trying to ignore it. Trying to erase it from my memories forever. It worked for a while. Until it happened again when I got older. And again with someone I thought could trust.
I feel like I was forced to grow up pretty fast and my childhood hasn’t been the same since it happened. I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone and it just kept happening and I kept thinking about it. Then I stopped thinking about it. Trying to ignore it. Trying to erase it from my memories forever. It worked for a while. Until it happened again when I got older. And again with someone I thought could trust.
Then maybe I’ll follow that with the little girl I use to be, imprisoned in the fog. And how I didn’t try to set her free. Because sometimes I feel like I didn’t try hard enough to free myself before it got bad. I feel like I did this to myself. If I had just talked to my parents instead of letting it brew in my head and heard for so long. I would be more successful. Right? I’ll never really know of course.
I think I like this direction. And all I needed was to type it out. I guess now I should write another 15-30 small noticings and try to build poems from those.
Stay tuned for more updates on The Fog!
I took a class on Skillshare on how to write poetry and it was very inspiring. So much so that every time I rewatch it, a poem flows from my fingers like water. They come so naturally now I really don’t have to think that hard. I was originally going to write a collection of poetry about finding purpose in my life for my project. But what flowed out of me was poetry about my depression. How it feels and how I try to explain it.
I bought small journal specifically to plan out my book of poems with the notes I took from that Skillshare class. I think this the first time I bought a journal and started using it with a purpose from day one. That’s an achievement. I’m addicted to buying journals. I see a beautiful journal and I have to have it. Anyway, the class told me to write down 15 “small noticings” about my topic and what came out kind of surprised me:
- Some days are easier than others.
- It feels like I have weights on my limbs.
- A fog that refuses to let me appreciate the beauty of life.
- My bed is like a magnet.
- Very rarely I feel like crying but when I do it’s overwhelming and I try too hard “stay strong.”
- I’ve gotten so used to pretending I don’t know how to express my real feelings anymore.
- I may look okay when you see me but most of the time I feel empty inside.
- My smiles are often fake, my laughter is usually hollow
- I hear the same advice and I try to follow it but half the time I’m too tired and the fog wins.
- It’s a mental battle that leaves me physically exhausted.
- Motivation is hard to hold on to. It’s like a butterfly, beautiful but flutters on leaving you behind.
- Sometimes I feel like my depression isn’t valid.
- It steals my energy, my confidence, my motivation. But I will not let it take my creativity or life.
- It took a long time for me to accept myself and believe that I am beautiful and talented. I still have doubts about my talents.
- Sometimes my thoughts scare me.
I have never thought very seriously about suicide but the very thought of suicide scares me. I know I would never do it. I’m too scared but sometimes I feel like one day my thoughts will win and I won’t care anymore. That’s actually my biggest fear. My mind running away taking my sanity with it. I’ve even had quite a few nightmares about that. I can’t imagine putting my loved ones through so much stress.
And sometimes I really do feel like my depression isn’t valid. I have a roof over my head, a bed, friends, family and an amazing boyfriend. And there are starving, dying children, veterans sleeping on the streets, families breaking up. I feel so selfish at times. And I want to help everyone but I never know how. I’m so empathetic it might get me in trouble one day.
I’m just shocked at how honest I was in just 5-10 minutes. I don’t want this post to get too long. So I’m going back to learning how to self-publish.