Sarah Thompson
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Real Depression

These feelings are real, but no one wants to start a real conversation about them.

You are not all of who I am. Stop fighting over the spotlight that is my life. You want so much of me for yourself, but I can only give so much until there is nothing left to give. You lift me up throughout the day with the many things I do to distract myself from the fact that I have a real mental illness. I crawl into bed at night with my heart pounding with fear, fear of the negative thoughts that I know you’re coming with. It’s like the neighborhood potluck, except you’re the neighbor everyone hates. Remember what you did to me a little while ago? It’s like you became me and made me take those pills. You said, “I am you, and this is your only option for recovery. It’s the fastest way out, Sarah. Save yourself the pain and give it to those around you.” It makes me somewhat selfish because I’ve given into you far too many times. Taking handfuls of pills hoping that it would be my last handful. I was so desperate to feed into you. Remember that one night I lit a candle and melted off the plastic which encased the blade of a disposable razor? I shouldn’t have done that, but I did. Now all I see when I look at my legs are the scars you made me leave. You said, “Just cut the pain away, it’s easier.” If everything is so easy, then why isn’t it easy getting rid of you? People tell me to stop letting myself get hurt in the ways that I do. As if slamming on the brakes works with this kind of thing. I didn’t want to be the problem, but you didn’t get that. I didn’t want those around me worrying if I was going to make it out alive to see the sunshine the next day. I feel like I have to wear the fact that you control me like people wear their heart on their sleeve, saying, “Look at this world: This is me!” I was embarrassed by you. I can see my peers at school thinking, She must have got like no attention as a kid to be able to publicly display her insanity. These feelings are real, but no one wants to start a real conversation about them. Why? What are people so afraid of? To the teacher freshman year who reported my self-harm cuts, I wish you truly understood why those were there. To my friend who grabbed my arm really hard and pulled up the sleeve that hid them, I’m sorry. I know that I hurt those around me, but it’s not me, or it’s not who I want to be. I don’t know why I feel so disconnected. It’s like I’m trapped in a clear box and the things people say to me aren’t getting through. My ex-best friend’s mom said, “You are so loved, more than you know, and ______ really cares about you.” I’m sorry; I can’t hear you. That’s the funny thing about depression, it’s so selective as to what you hear from those around you. It picks and chooses every word that comes and goes. You know, I tried to kill myself. It happens. It’s not a casual thing. I wait for every little thing to build inside of me, and I can only take so much before depression pulls me to the bathroom, grabs that razor blade hidden inside the back of the toilet, and lets it dig itself into my skin waiting for a release from the pain I feel in this world. I won’t give in. I have it way easier than so many other parts of humanity. I felt like I was obligated to put those who didn’t make it out before me. They said, “Live for those who didn’t make it out alive because you’re lucky enough to do so.” If I’m so lucky, then why don’t I feel lucky? It’s like I won the depression lottery. I didn’t ask to be saved, but here I am, writing this in self-pity inside the clear box I have trapped myself in.

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