The crosswalk that rules my mind


Depression is crossing the street without looking both ways.

When I told my friend this, she told me it was amazing and that I should write poetry for The Central Trend. What she didn’t know is that those nine words took me years to pull together.

That simple sentence clashed together in my chaotic mind after hours of searching for some way to explain the emotions that ran through my head and that made me gasp awake at three in the morning on a Saturday. 

Every thought, every experience, every worry is viewed differently through the eye of every individual. Now, I’m not saying that every person in this extensive world has experienced the feelings of loneliness, pain, and emptiness that come from my broken mind; I am saying that those who have gone through their lives without crippling from the weight of what our minuscule lives mean and the constant internal questioning writhing inside their mind, begging them to answer “Why am I here?”, are some of the luckiest people in the world.

Those are the people I long to be. The people whose smiles you know are real and who can view their future without an intense tightening in their chest reminding them that they may not be enough. 

I have tried blending in as one of them; I laughed a bit too loud at jokes that weren’t that funny, and I went out of my way to appear like the happiest person in the room, but, in the end, it left me even lonelier than before. 

For when you fake your joy, people soon begin to assume you have nothing to be sad about. The knowledge that no one is worried about how I was doing or the people I called my friends became uncomfortable when I expressed anything but pure bliss drove me deeper into the dark cave I had come to be acquainted within my mind.

Instead, I am stuck as a shattered being—held together with duct tape and pure will. I am fragile, but I have become so acquainted with pain you could call me unbreakable. For as many times as I fall or stumble, I get back stronger and a little more determined to make my mark on this crazy world. Now I surround myself with those that know about my dark shadow and that I can depend on to help dig me out when I get stuck a little too far under the lies I tell myself. 

Depression is… twisted and sharp. As many times as I am proven wrong, I still can’t get out of my persistent brain that maybe I don’t have someone there. Or maybe the friends I love so dearly are sick and tired of dealing with my constant heartbreak. It’s the hardest part of being perpetually sad. Being lied to by the one being you thought you could trust: yourself. 

 I can say with confidence I’ve gotten better at blocking the untruths out. It helps when your friends and family surround you with love and support. Despite the constant bickering in my mind that these people are just faking, that they don’t want to stand by me when it gets dark, they remind me time and time again that my trust is placed in the right group of individuals.

Depression is… emptiness. I don’t know how to describe it. I had always thought that depression meant sadness, sorrow, and misery; to me, depression is just the feeling of nothing tinged with loneliness. It’s like pure snow, when you drip a bottle of ink into it, the blackness spreads. That’s what my sadness feels like. A giant emptiness just seeps into my body and I end up feeling lost. 

Depression is… hard and confusing. It’s uncontrollable and wild, and it’s as much a part of me as any of my other traits. I’ve had to face it for most of my life, and I will continue pushing against it. I remind myself every day that I am surrounded by those that love and support me and that most of my insecurities are not true. I will continue to stand strong and battle against my shadows. 

Depression is survival.