What Depression Feels Like – A Poem
Today, as I explain briefly in the video, I thought I would try something new for me. I’ve always liked the idea of reciting my poems rather than just typing them out for you all to read. I thought I would start off here. I didn’t have this poem memorized, so I am reading it off the screen, which explains why my eyes are moving so much. And the camera quality isn’t great. But those things aside, I hope you enjoy this, and let me know which you prefer!
I love spoken word poetry, and most of my poems are written with the intent of being read out loud. If you all like this, I would be interested in playing around with better camera quality and lighting, and reciting poems that I do have memorized, in a bit of a more practiced, and not so relaxed setting. Let me know what you think!
I’ll also leave the poem below in case you would rather read it.
The first time somebody asked me what depression feels like
My tongue ballooned inside my mouth
They asked me
“Are you just…sad all of the time?”
And I nodded
Instead of screaming No!
If I was merely sad all of the time
Why would my face twist into this upside down frown
Why would I tell you I am
Fine when you ask me how I’ve been lately
If I was merely just sad all of the time why
Would I push them all away
The hands that reach out to help me
Why would I touch their fingertips for a brief moment
Before closing my eyes and forgetting how good it feels to be needed.
I don’t blame you.
You unknowing examiner simply curious
What does depression feel like
I lived in the same house for most of my childhood
I could tell you where each coffee table and arm rest sat
I could trace for you a map of each safe walkway from door to door
But when the lights are shut off and the darkness swallows
I stumble into corners
I know that if I turn right now I will find a lightswitch on that wall
But I turn a second too soon and my hand finds a jagged edge
Of a picture frame inside of the light switch
This is what depression feels like
I have lived inside this body my whole life
When the lights go dim
I can’t seem to find the light switch.