When Your Mind is Your Abuser

Depression is an abusive relationship
One that starts out small and slow
You don't notice at first
But you're slowly isolated
From all the people and things that
Might be able to help
You withdraw from activities
Because you don't feel up to facing them
Or don't want people to notice the change
You let contact trickle away
For the same reasons

You develop coping mechanisms
Consciously or not
You lose interest in not only hobbies
But in basic things
Like eating or getting sun
Give up halfway
On things that used to bring you joy
And feel some days
Like getting out of bed
And staying that way
Are the hardest things to do in the universe
When you find a new source of pleasure
It is hard to keep up with
And keep it away from your abuser

Your mood is flighty and erratic
Because most of your life is just fine
But you can't hide
From that one thing inside your mind
And it's terribly eager
To assert its dominance
Over every facet of you

And you don't notice at first
Because it starts out subtle
Little things that you can dismiss as
Something else
Or put off dealing with
"Maybe I'm just changing as a person”
“I can fix this on my own”
“I don't need outside help”
“It was just a bad day”

You don't notice
Until it's got a good chunk of you in its grasp
And by that point
Getting away won't exactly
Be the easiest battle you've ever faced

And odds on
It won't be a battle you can fight on your own
You'll need allies
Shelter
Rations
Weaponry

And it'll take time
Your abuser won't want to let go of you
Now that it has you
Even once you drive it off
It may try to come back
Subtly
Insidiously

Just remember that there is no shame
In having to fight
That everyone needs help
From time to time
And now is one of yours
That your abuser may be convincing
But it lies
That your abuser may be strong
But you go into battle armed
And flanked by the staunchest
Of friends and warriors
That you may be exhausted
And some will understand and help
That it may be a war of attrition
But that doesn't mean you can't win

And know this:
If you need a shoulder, mine has room
If you need an ear, mine is patient
If you need prayer, you already have it

And if you need an ally
A friend
A warrior
A touchstone
Be it through me or another
The Lord will provide.

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