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Health Anxiety – A new way of coping. Guest Post by Julie Mariner.

As part of our policy of publishing guest posts submitted to us (normally but not exclusively) by members, I am delighted to be able to share the following guest post from one of our more recent members – Julie Mariner.  Who’s personal blog can be found by clicking here.  

Julie’s blog and especially the following post (written for us and published with her permission) offers some interesting information and techniques in dealing with an illness which is probably one of the lesser-known ones within the metal health blogging world. And, as we all know to our personal cost, being lesser-known does not make it any the less important or the less difficult to deal with.  And so we are extremely grateful to Julie for writing this for us and sharing this with us.

Health anxiety – A new way of coping.  By Julie Mariner

If you suffer with health anxiety then you’ll know what a lonely illness it is. Whilst there are forums online where other sufferers offer support, often what we want to write about will be a trigger for someone else. Or maybe you are like me and are terrified of such places in case you read something that then becomes a trigger for you. So what do you do when you are in the grips of the worst fear possible?

I have been a health anxiety sufferer for thirty-two years. At times, my anxiety has laid dormant (the longest time being three years) but it always rears its ugly head again. I have had counselling, CBT, psychotherapy and more medicines than you can shake a stick at. I have fought so hard to beat this fear of cancer but no matter what I throw at it, it always wins. When I am at my worst all I want to do is hide away from the world. We all know that talking through our problems is a much better solution but who do we talk to? If you are lucky enough to have a family member or close friend that you can lean on then fine. For me, it was my Mum and a friend who lives many miles away. I know I can call them any time of the day or night and they will help me but for some reason I rarely do that now. Instead I find myself becoming a recluse and fighting it alone. I have no idea why I do this but I suspect it’s because talking about it makes it more real and also I have a huge fear that they’ll say the wrong thing like ‘you should get that checked out’ and that would send me into a complete meltdown. You’ll know that avoidance is a hard habit to break and I have yet to manage it.

I always think of that saying ‘You have to experience something to be able to understand it completely.’ and I often wonder just how many doctors, counsellors and therapists have ever experienced true anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, I think they all do a wonderful job but how can they truly understand what it feels like to experience such crippling fear on a daily basis. So we try and explain it and we pour our hearts out to a complete stranger who then comes up with a plan of action. This will usually be something along the lines of CBT, medicines and a whole load of printed sheets on coping strategies.

Some of the strategies we are given are really helpful but nearly all of them are physical such as standing under a cold shower, squeezing a tennis ball, getting some exercise etc. These are all well and good for some people but not terribly helpful for others. I could do all of the physical strategies and my brain would still be trying to convince me that I’m dying at the same time. Over the course of my thirty two years of this crippling mental illness I have learnt some ‘mental’ coping skills that really do help in my darkest and most frightening moments. I make no apology for how whacky they may seem. They often work for me and maybe they’ll help you too. I call these my ‘voice strategies.’

Let me explain why for me ‘voice strategies’ work better than physical ones. As human beings we can physically multi task which means we are capable of doing more than one thing at once. A physical strategy might well occupy your hands and body but for many of us it doesn’t quieten the mind. I can be doing the housework and still convince myself I’m dying. A mental strategy however is very different. You can only think one thought at a time. You might be having racing thoughts one after
another, quick as a flash but you simply cannot think two thoughts at once. When you think a thought you are effectively talking to yourself. You are hearing yourself, your voice as you think and this is where ‘voice strategies’ really do help. I’d like to share them with you. These are my top four.

Song.
No matter how hard it is, when you are gripped in the middle of anxiety and panic, focus on singing. It doesn’t matter if you sing silently in your head or belt it out for the neighbourhood to hear. Either play a song that you love or sing one in your head but the secret to this coping strategy is to sing along to the correct words. Keep replaying if you have to until you’ve got it right. Pretend you are on the stage and cannot get it wrong. Turn the volume up and concentrate really hard on the words. Your brain cannot do this and focus on your health at the same time. The second your brain deviates from the song you need to get back on track. Dance too if you want and lose yourself in the moment of stardom. You will honestly be surprised how much this distracts you and actually lifts your mood.

Interview yourself.
Yes I know it sounds whacky but I actually do this a lot and it really works. When I’m truly convinced I’m dying of cancer this has worked wonders for me. If you are not alone then go somewhere quiet. Sit yourself down and start an interview with yourself. Ask yourself a question silently in your head (this will be the interviewer) and then answer out loud as yourself. You have to be completely honest in your answers and your questions can be anything that springs to mind apart from anything anxiety related. Interview yourself about your career, your parenting skills, your finances etc. Nine times out of ten your first question will be on something that you would really like to know the answer too. My first question, without any real thought, was ‘Why haven’t you written a book yet?’ I answered myself and those questions so honestly that it was almost therapy in itself and I promise you that it took my mind way from anything to do with health. This coping strategy has been great for me. My book on my thirty two years of health anxiety is currently being written and coming along nicely. I talked myself into starting this blog site with this method too.

Write.
You can write about anything but not health in any way. You don’t have to write it, you can type if you prefer. This is what you do. A famous movie producer has approached you and asked you to write at least a 500 word synopsis of a great movie idea. You accept and you sit down and get on with it. Stay focused. Don’t give up or let your mind wander. Come up with the most amazing film storyline that you can. You’ll be amazed at what a great distraction this is. If you enjoy it and go over the 500 words then great. At least you’re not convinced you’re dying right now.

Maths.
My maths ability is now quite remarkable. Many times I have sat down and written out the most ridiculously hard sums without giving any thought to the numbers themselves and then tried to solve them. Maths for anxiety is great because you need to stay focused and concentrate to come up with the answer. If you find it easy, write harder ones. If you find it hard, don’t give up. Many times I’ve spent several hours working out seemingly impossible sums just to get the right answer. Never use a calculator :-)

Some more of my tips.
When you are going through a particularly bad bout of health anxiety distraction is vital. If you have children then announce that you are all going to have a fun spelling or maths tests. Once you’ve committed, you can’t let them down can you? If you have a partner, then ask them to dance and have a laugh. If you have pets and are alone then try some trick training. Always try to have music or TV on to distract you from those frightening thoughts. Avoid jigsaw puzzles and drawing at these times as they are easy to lose focus on. It is so easy to end up chewing on the end of your pencil and staring out of the window. Remember the ‘mental not physical’ rule. Ultimately you need your mind to be trying to work something out, to solve a problem or create something wonderful.
Coping strategies will be different for everyone but I hope this article helps you in some way.

Thirty two years of fear and I’m still here and right now I’m coping quite well.
© Julie Mariner.

Julie Mariner

[Editor’s Note:  As I have already said above, I am extremely grateful to Julie for writing this post for us and sharing it with us.  I often get submissions for guest posts which sadly have already been published elsewhere and thus cannot use them.  This being because our guidelines state that – so as not to flood member’s in boxes with articles they have already read elsewhere – guest posts must have been written specifically for first publication on the guild and not have been previously published.  So it really is a joy to have received this submission and especially because of it’s focus and content.  I hope members will pop over and visit Julie’s blog.]

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Mental Illness Is Not Contagious – Guest Post by Marie A. Abanga

It gives me the greatest of pleasure to be able to share this guest post shared with us today by a dear blogging friend of mine from over at  Merry Marie.  Marie has been a great supporter of the MHWG and also a great and much valued support to me personally and the guest post she has kindly shared with us carries a great deal of important truth:

Mental Illness is not contagious: No not even Schizophrenia

I have been following the noble blog Taking The Mask off for a while, and today I decided to do a guest post for the Mental Health Writers Blog.

Wonderful portrait painted by person mentioned in this post.

Wonderful portrait painted by person mentioned in this post.

Let me briefly introduce myself. My name is Marie Abanga and I am from Cameroon in Africa. I am every other woman, but also one with her own dose of mental challenges raging from Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks and some mood swings which embarrass even my own-self especially when I burst into tears in public.

I am also a sibling who lost her only and dearest brother to Bi-polar disorder last year. He was 33 when he died. To add to my bio, I am a friend to many especially online, who have a mental illness or the other, one of whom has the ‘S’ label and others.

I visited her last month, and although she was in an institution, I stayed at her apartment which I cleaned up and over, and visited her in that ‘jungle’ twice a day for 5 days. I think with that bio, I can aptly write on the above topic.

Who wears the Face of Mental Illness?

I have personally not be diagnosed by any shrink, maybe because there was no thought of even seeing one back in Cameroon at the height of my challenges. It got so bad that I attempted suicide. I lived such parallel lives that even my mum didn’t know or would believe what I was going through. And then, the focus was rightly on my brother who had received a DSM grade because he found himself in the USA after winning the DV-Lottery. Now, several who knew us and me in particular, couldn’t tell that we had any such issues. Not only because of ‘stigma’ which pushes families including mine to ‘shut-up’, but also because back home we generally try to manage such ‘health issues’ differently. I mean you have to be walking naked in the streets and speaking in sort of tongues, before the mental illness label is given to you. This is why I ponder about who wears the face of mental illness. How many people can we point to on the streets who have a mental illness whether diagnosed or not? And if we can’t easily tell who wears the face of mental illness, how then can we treat those who dare to ‘come out open’ about theirs like ‘shit’? Do we think mental illness is contagious? I dare say no it isn’t. Ignorance, intolerance, lack of empathy and above all fear of the unknown can better explain all this ridiculous stigma surrounding mental illness.

If mental illness were contagious

I sometimes wonder where I would have been if mental illness were contagious. I loved my brother so much and we sometimes slept on the same bed. A few times during some manic episodes back home, he’ll ask me to sleep by his side, or stay with him in the hospital. At least back home families are allowed to stay by their loved ones 24/7 if they want. One person at a time. The system is also different, less focus on medication and more on alternative treatments. Indeed, in the memoir I wrote about my brother’s life when he died, his third stage which was in Cameroon, is to me and us his family, his best stage. And so, if I didn’t get contaminated then, why I beg to ask, are mentally ill treated most often ‘despicably’? I visited my friend in VT USA last month as I earlier said, and it was my maiden visit to the US. I even went there only because she invited me, because on my brother’s demise and in bad memory of the way he had been ‘treated’ by that system, I had vowed never to step foot in that country. I recall my own family being apprehensive of the visit to this friend I had never met before and even she herself once institutionalised again prior to my arrival, said I could cancel my visit if I wanted. I however knew it would do both of of us so good if I went, and I did. It took me a lot to get there, I almost lost track of her because she was moved and had no access to the internet, I was prepared to go to the red-cross. Then I had to brave flying in a Cessna for the first time in my life. But in the end it was so worth it and I learnt another humbling lesson in life. Above all, her mental illness was not contagious or else I would have caught it because I hugged her a few times before an RN soullessly told me about the ‘No touch Policy’ in there. Therefore, if mental illness is not contagious, why oh why the treatment why leaves so much to be desired?

I heard taking your meds compared to taking insulin

I was listening to some YouTube talk and the speaker said taking prescribed medication for a mental illness is as indispensable as taking insulin for a diabetic. Don’t ask me which medical exam the patient took before getting one of those ‘denigrating’ labels, or why prescriptions and combinations are sometimes changed and cocktailed ad infinitum.

Don’t ask me why the side effects of the meds can actually lead you to diabetics, eating and breathing disorders, heart complications and … Don’t ask me if there’s no big business going on somewhere in this whole industry, I mean please don’t ask if these mental health patients who for the sake of urging them to take their meds are compared to diabetics, are treated with even an iota of empathy like the ‘real diabetics’.

Comparing it to insulin for me is a ‘mockery’ period. I know and I am one of those people who fares better without ‘meds’ – I tried them but I couldn’t even fake compliance. I didn’t let the shrink out here get me to trying another one. Thank my Heavens I am learning more and more ways to deal with my ‘bad moments’ the earlier the better. Advocacy is one of the ways I do so.

Dear all, I will argue until it is proven beyond reasonable doubt, that mental illness is not contagious. Some say if it runs in the family, there is a high risk of it passing on to generations. That’s true, but there’s also a higher risk that it would not. It isn’t automatic that if your moma is obese you’re a sure next, and we can quote more examples. I advocate this openly and passionately for mental health because someone has to do something, just like what this noble blog is doing. I am not afraid of critics or what people might say or try to ‘stigmatize’ me, I am actually trying to ‘stigmatize stigma’ in return. Thank you all for reading and be assured that you can at least hug or smile at a mentally ill because their illness is not contagious.

[Editor’s Note:  Again I would very much like to thank Marie for writing and sharing this with us.  There are some important issues touched on and some essential questions asked in this post.  And I hope you will all visit Marie’s blog as well as commenting below.]

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“Familiarity Can Go To Hell!” – Guest post by Kelsey G.

I thought it was probably time for another guest post.  I haven’t published one for a while now and if honest haven’t really felt like writing much myself lately.  So I was absolutely delighted to have received the following article from Kelsey G, who is not herself a blogger but who has a wonderful writing style.

So it gives me great pleasure (and of course my thanks go out to Kelsey for allowing me) to publish this piece for you…

Familiarity can go to hell.

go to hell
I turn the light out and stand stationary in the doorway of the bathroom, waiting until I can act on the realization that I shut everything down again too quickly. I flick the light back on, continue to brush my teeth, take my pills, re-evaluate my perception of “self” in the obnoxiously brightly lit mirror. Just on time – that catch in breath that sends shock waves down the spine. A signal of impending doom without the gratifying feeling of inevitable death soon to come, the guilt of viewing it as gratifying in its place.

So this is life. This is life? When did this happen? I’ve cried so many times: over The Office finale for an hour until I was ridden with such a nauseating stress migraine I couldn’t even think about moving; over numerous failed dates with failures of human beings, just wanting someone to listen to their rendition of “all seven types” of their cat’s meows; over food – so many times over food. There’s something intrinsically different about these involuntary fits of tears, though.

I turn on the decorative hanging lights in my room, hung on a night when I desperately needed to forget. To move. To do something – something that required planning and space evaluation and every other “completely legit!” concept we make up when so desperately avoiding what’s most legitimate in life – pain. PAIN! Woe is me, you, but definitely me, the bearer of all pains when feeling any pain.

Seriously, to hell with it. But don’t for one second doubt its ability to shake every foundation you’ve ever known, as naive and already fractured as they may be.

color-earthquakeThe floor at the foot of the bed will have to do this time; my body is too exhausted to make it downstairs again in an attempt to crawl beneath the dining room table and pull in all the stools, creating as tight and secure a panic room as possible, courtesy of IKEA. This room will have to do. The lights strung along its walls are usually a source of invaluable relaxation, their pattern still unpredictable in the most time-consuming and mind-numbing way. But tonight they just remind me of every conversation we’ve had under them. I fiddle with the empty socket on the strand right next to my pillow.

“This little one looks so sad. So empty.”

“Just wants to be loooved, poor thing.”

I compare the dark and lonely socket to myself in the following moments of silence between us and immediately have to recount all the ways to stop from tearing up. Who the f*ck am I?

Back in the present, the pressure of god-damn living these past several months is condensed into a sudden burst of heinously bizarre sobs and choking noises, followed by the familiar snapcracklepop of salty snot bubbles erupting from each nostril and I wonder why I’m still so alone in these critical moments. I say “critical” like I’ve actually experienced anything substantial, and I say “alone” like the internalized sad clown, moon-boot-fanatic version of my eighth grade self. The fact of the matter is, I have several people in my life that I can talk to about this- this, anxiety? Panic? Stress overload?

Three people, to be exact. More, on a good day. Far fewer on a normal (every) day. First, there’s the “number-one-go-to, hands down will always understand friend” who’s lived almost exclusively “substantially”. Oh, crying under the table again? Talk to me. But then, should probably check on that. Here’s why. Go. Then there’s the “obligated/still concerned family members”, one of which just doesn’t understand to the point of complete destruction, bless her god-damned, unintentionally ignorant heart. The other knows everything about mental health (or the lack thereof) but just can’t express the necessary emotions needed for a conversation on account of her inability to feel them in typical ways. On good days, there might be one of the occasional passers-by in life, the meaningful people who share their lives and expect the same in return and inevitably disappear into god-knows-where at the time of their choosing. I don’t call on these people in these moments, though. Actually, I don’t call on anyone. I drop a story here and there about these little panic episodes, making sure to add the precisely measured amounts of humour and sincerity in order to have the fresh-out-of-the-oven product: depth, desirability, just enough sanity (or the lack thereof). I don’t call when the breath catches and the tears start and the fetal crumpling kicks in, because what would I say when or if they answered? What do any of us say?

Things happen. F*cking duh, said every person ever who ever said something obvious. But really though. Things are always happening, and we learn to always expect the always-ness. Life has been pretty saturated these past few months. Anyone could see that the resulting anxiety attacks are a pretty natural reaction. Graduation (but maybe not?), moving cross-country and getting real jobs like real people and getting into actual graduate schools like actual assholes (after graduation FERSHER, but like..
maybe, maybe not even then), coming to terms with the most twisted, embarrassing and realistic cause of complete shame, misery and longing for portable IKEA panic rooms: Tinder.

Cue: An unlikely match that killed the conversation one minute in, only to still be the topic of most, months later – with myself, my friends, mycrosoft word at four in the morning after this “Shit Show Beneath the Stars.” Beautifully introspective and self-deprecating, everything I’d want to be but also not, because it would mean not being able to see it exactly the way I see it in him. The deal was “casual”. Why would we do anything else? I’m leaving in two months. Fuck, Two Months came and went over a month ago. Close to the time I hung these lights, hoping to avoid the inevitable darkness these realizations would hurl me into. The power of unstated discomfort cannot be overstated, but my god, what hope do the socially inept, anxiety-ridden souls of this world have? The simple (ha!) act of living is one disproportionate belch of unstated discomfort, wriggling and writhing within us until we throw up in our mouths as the inexpressible discomforts of existence finally force their way out, knowing we can’t possibly take anything else on in that instant. But in a moment, the crying will stop, the strange choking noises that I’m sure have been reported by neighbours as criminally offensive sex acts will subside, and the snapcracklepop of snot bubbles will dissipate.

This come-and-go routine is just as familiar as any other. But while we’re left seasoned and more impervious to the timing and mechanics of these unwelcome, gut-wrenching reactions to anything and everything, the fact still remains: this is life. What does that mean, exactly? No idea. “Knowing” this leaves us just as lost and helpless as ever. But I do know that I’ve had some really great days and some incredibly beautiful moments in this life as well, and I know I’ll have them again. And when I do, I’ll probably appreciate them for what they are – great, and beautiful – because I’ve gone through hell to understand the alternative. So we wait. And wait. And maybe wait some more. Because eventually the sun has to come up and shit on all this darkness, because this is life. And that’s how life works, right?

[Editor’s Note: I would again like to thank Kelsey G for sending me this piece and for allowing me to share it with you all.  I believe that real, raw, well written, descriptive and informative pieces such as this one are so very important.  And I hope that you will have enjoyed reading it as much as I did and will take time to comment accordingly.]

 

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Here Here, There There. Guest post by Emily Camille Boullear

The following is a guest post – which I am delighted to be able to share with you all – submitted by Emily Camille Boullear, in which she writes about her isolation growing up, and later living on and off as an adult, in Kansas City with Schizotypal Disorder.

It is by design meant to be “a pretty quippy read that is meant to be at times humorous as well as insightful“.

There are some very real and raw emotions expressed in this piece and I am so pleased to be able to share them with Emily’s permission…

 

Here Here There There

Emily Camille Boullear

 

Swollen, bitten and itching, hyperventilating Kansas City, I’m so very disappointed in you. Still tethered, I try on contentment in between the phases of my escape.

My disappointment isn’t my right here. There’s something wrong with my body, psychology and words here. Until recently, I was a very diligent survivor and tried to match every small movement in my life to my highest imagination of good. But my imagination isn’t a working paradigm here. I’m asked with judgmental eyes to sacrifice my own mores and after I do, there’s no end to what I’m supposed to mutely accept for some abstract reward or promised solace.

Kansas City, you’ve possessively collected my individuality, conviction, imagination, creativity, optimism and confidence. I’m repeatedly caught in your webbed simplicity. I’ve given you the benefit of the doubt for years but you’re still a bully and I’m a pained cliché.

I birthed these sour emotions during my miserable only-childhood. As a defense mechanism, my imagination desperately grafted non-existent worlds onto my inevitable adulthood. For this, I was diagnosed with Schizotypal Disorder. Adulthood doesn’t even house the pretty justice I used to imagine.

This city is delusional. Really basic things go unnoticed here. Like, how imitating someone’s accent doesn’t really help that person understand your language. And, if you hit someone’s pet with your Bush era SUV, you should probably turn around to take her pulse, not just mutter something about crosswalks and speed away.

This city is a karmatic nightmare, and once again, I need to leave. A prolonged low cost of living is among the few true benefits I’ve enjoyed while playing along with this capture-bonding archetype. The first decade of my adult life has dedicatedly alternated between triumphant moves away and thoroughly cursed, prodigal daughter moves back. It’ll only take me a few more months of serving tables and living with my estranged, divorced parents to finance my next move. Suspend your disbelief. My soon to be therapy dog and I will (not) see you en Paris.

With clarity, I know I am my own problem here. I don’t fit in. Don’t worry Kansas City millennials. I’ll show myself out again. You don’t want an artist or activist who is shrouded in self-doubt and likes to imagine beyond the threshold of what you can handle. You shouldn’t have to change your city so I feel safe in your presence and just because I feel so twistedly comfortable with the terribly low standards here, doesn’t mean I should keep coming back to you.

[Editor’s note:  Our thanks go out to Emily for sharing this piece with us.  We don’t always here the less brighter side of having such conditions, but all our experiences are valid and should be given voice in the right setting and at the right time, I feel.  Not just the ones which bring entertainment to others]

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Anxiety – Guest Post by Faith.

This morning I would very much like to share a guest post with you which simply comprises of a poem sent to me by a twelve grade student called Faith.  Here is what Faith said…

Hi!

My name is Faith and I am currently a grade twelve student. There have been some really difficult times in my life and as a result, I have written some pieces. This one is about anxiety and I would really appreciate, if you wouldn’t mind, to read it over. It’s a short poem.

Thanks so much,
Faith

As someone who knows these feelings well and also as someone who loves reading and writing poetry, I am delighted to be able to share this with you..

teenage anxiety

Anxiety

I can’t breathe.

I’m drowning and crying for help.

I’m screaming at the people around me,

But no words come out.

Panic fills up inside me,

As I surrender to the monsters.

Another attack,

Somebody help me, please.

It’s over now.

I try to regain my breath.

The people surrounding me stare at me,

Looks of uncertainty cover their faces.

I didn’t know it was going to happen,

Sometimes the trigger just comes.

I can’t do this on my own,

Although I’m in a crowd,

I feel all alone.

“It gets better” they all say.

“Just breathe and calm down”

They don’t understand.

There’s more to it than that.

I need help. But where can I find it?

Somebody save me,

I can’t do this on my own.

[Editor’s Note:  I am extremely grateful to Faith and want to thank her for sharing this with us.  But more importantly I want to send a message to you Faith asking if you are getting any help with your anxiety and any other mental health related difficulties that you may be facing.  No-one needs to face these things alone and we are here for you as much as we can be.]

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What One Thing Can People Do To Reduce Mental Health Stigma – Featured Article

PsySciI have recently been contacted by Marcus over at PSYSCI.CO regarding an article that he had written with the help of some of the guild’s members.  This article entitled ‘What One Thing Can People Do To Reduce Mental Health Stigma‘ asks and answers exactly what the title suggests and makes for interesting reading which very much affirms what many of us who write about mental health and mental illness feel/believe.

In his introduction to the piece the author explains….

I recently set out to ask this one question to as many mental health bloggers as I could get my hands on, in an attempt to provide a full and hopefully useful answer to the question.

And this is one area where the Mental Health Writers Guild came into play, with a number of Guild members being approached and responding accordingly.

Additionally, among the comments/responses made by members of the guild, was this comment from Mary Widdifield from Behind The Wall.

It is our responsibility to speak about mental illness openly in an effort to help those who will be diagnosed sometime in their lives. Because talking about mental illness openly is a first step toward reducing stigma, which is the first step our society must take to encourage the newly diagnosed to receive treatment.

Something which I think all our members would no doubt agree with.

I would therefore invite all Guild members to pop over and read this article and to show support.  And I am very grateful to Marcus from PSYSCI.CO for letting us know about it.

 

 

 

 

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Your Story – Guest Post From The Author of The “Out of The Dark” Blog

The following is a poem written by the author of the “Out  of The Dark” blog and sent to us as a way of encouraging other who might be going through the same or similar things.

We are very grateful for this submission and would encourage members to pop over to “Out of The Dark” to see what else is on offer over there.

Your Story

inspirationYour story is your own to write
Each moment adding to the plot
You can control your character
But other things you can not

When depression takes a hold

And you can’t see a way through
Please remember it is just a chapter
And it does not define you

being-in-lifeIt may be a very dark time
When the world feels empty
Even your sense of self changes
Full of loneliness, pain and apathy

But in managing to carry on
Just surviving each day
You show your inner strength
And nothing can take that away

You can not foresee a good ending
It seems impossible for it to be happy
But in the best stories darkness is overcome
And in you it is the hero that I see

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