Editor’s note: I met Natasha some time back. Her eyes are bright and there’s a pep in her step. One would never guess the hardship she has endured in her young life.
I’m inspired by her strength and her compassion. She wrote this poem when she was in the depths of her depression and submitted this piece as a way of encouraging others to hold on, for things do get better.
Living with depression
I wake up everyday
and confuse myself with dying.
It’s a war inside my head,
that sometimes I just can’t win.
My body is so tired from all those sleepless nights
and from all the energy used u from thinking too much.
I’m mentally exhausted, and physically drained.
Everything I do feels like such a chore.
I drag my body out of bed
even though I just feel like rotting on the floor.
Worst of all though, is that I feel so alone
even when I’m surrounded by so many people that I love.
I just can’t help it.
I feel like such a burden just by existing.
I feel like people are getting tired of my constant moping
and of listening to the same thing over and over again-
a cry for help that sounds much like a broken record.
My depression holds me hostage.
Like a prisoner in my own head and body.
It’s not that I don’t want to be happy
It’s just that no matter what I try, I just can’t bring myself to be happy.
And more than anything in this world, I just want to feel okay again.
But tonight it just feels like being “okay” is far from what I can accomplish.
I AM NOT OKAY.
And people think that it’s that easy to put on a smile everyday
when it feels like I am drowning and gasping for air
I AM NOT OKAY
My chest feels like obliterating because there is a tornado in there
I AM NOT OKAY
I feel like a slow form of rigor mortis
to everyone else, I look fine but
I AM NOT OKAY
I USED TO BE OKAY BUT NOW IM NOT AND NOBODY CARES
I just wish people could understand how hard it is for me
to try and live, to stand up, and to push on
because every single voice in my head is trying to kill me.
and no matter how hard I try to drown the voices out, I end up destroying myself even more-
because how do you kill the demons inside of you, without actually killing yourself?
But, the words “I’m fine” end up slipping carelessly from the tip of my tongue
like rolling heavy boulders into the oceans
my words sink down into the lowest depths of empathy
my words crush every bone and structure inside of me
Because “I’ m f i n e” is all they care to hear
They don’t care that I don’t want to be here anymore, but somewhere else
Yet today, I am still here.
And I can say that things do get better, yes
Better than before.
Natasha is an 18-year-old who recently completed her O levels.