What We Didn't Know


We were taught of depression

in high school, in college.

We learned about the mood.

About the suicidal tendencies,

About how counseling and drugs,

fix everything.


We weren't taught about the stigma.

About the ignorance of relatives, friends, the self.

About how everyone argues and makes you prove what can't be proven.

About the advise we already think to ourselves, already know doesn't work.

About how they doubt us unless a doctor agrees,

About how they judge for therapy and judge for drugs.


About how we will want to share,

because it will weigh us down

and get us nowhere.


We didn't learn until it was too late

that we would have countless questions

about the physical: the workouts, the sleep, the meals, the other pain.

how even though it controls the physical,

everything is an easy fix to anyone

who hasn't experienced.


We weren't taught that we would have to constantly

think about why, even if there isn't a why,

because depression doesn't make sense,

because people don't realize, it happens, it's real.


It's as real as MRIs showing the light gone from our brains.

As real as hormones and neurons.

As real as cells shrinking,

taking our memory, our energy, our strength.


As real as struggling to get up in the morning.

To go to the grocery store because, it's overwhelming.

To be around people because, it's exhausting

to pretend we are normal.


As real as the cut open veins, the gashed heads,

the bruises, the scars.

Because we want it to be physical

Because no one understands the mind.

Because only a handful share their stories

and only a handful let us know it's okay to not be okay.


Then we are forced to scream

that it is a cancer

spreading through our bodies, our minds.

It is attacking us, it is pushing us

past the point of knowing who we are,

past the cliff, until we are left wondering,

how we are still hovering?


We are forced to admit

we have no control.

that we can't know everything.

That the cancer comes and goes in stages, in phases, different for everyone.

We are not always sure if it is gone forever, for a week, for an hour.


We fight to prove we can.

We fight to show the rest of us, that we can make it.

We fight harder than we ever thought possible, because we have to.

Because we have to,

We have to.


This poem is about: 



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If You Need Support

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741