Mental Illness Poem

Struggling With Depression Yet Refusing To Give Up

I have struggled with depression, as well as many other disorders, from a very young age. This poem depicts one of my frequent bouts of depression. The conclusion is not necessarily a happy ending. The relief experienced is but a brief oasis in a vast desert of a messed up brain.

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The Pit

© more by Jacob Kahn

Published by Family Friend Poems May 2014 with permission of the Author.

I sit alone in the dark.
The sun is shining, birds chirping, children playing,
But all that surrounds me is darkness.
Every time someone says, "Cheer up,"
I sink deeper into my pit.
The hole my brain has dug for itself.
The serotonin that refuses to pass through my synapses.
This is depression,
The unspoken disease.
I sink deeper in my pit.
People tell you to "be happy," "smile more," "just get out of the house," "you're holding yourself back."
I smile and say, "I'll try. Thanks," and give a little chuckle.
What an act!
I suffer alone.
I do not want their useless words.
They do not understand.
How could they?
I sink deeper in my pit.
My eyes close and I picture respite. 
But in this dream, there are pills, ropes, knives, chemicals, and ledges.
No, that won't do.  But it sounds so nice.
I sink deeper into my pit.
The light is gone. I sleep all day.
The dream world is where I am happy. 
Away from people.
Away from life.
I sink deeper into my pit.
Colors are nonexistent.
Black and white are my world--minus the white.
Snowballing through gritty streets,
Turning the pristine ball of hope into a filthy mound of broken dreams.
I sink deeper in my pit.
Depression stays by my side.
My only friend.
But this friend, well,
He is the one who talks behind your back.
The one who makes fun of you to get ahead.
This is the guy who pushes you to the ground and then laughs.
This is the one who you cling onto because you have no one else.
I sink deeper in my pit.
I finally muster up the courage.
I scream for help.
But by now, no one can hear me.
No one wants to hear me.
I have pushed them all away.
Why am I still here?
Because I don't want to die.
But I do.
I am so confused.
Death greets me when I knock on his door.
I meant to play ding dong ditch.
But no, Death has seen me.
He says, "My turn," and gives me a knife.
The knife is white like an angel. 
So full of innocence.  Made for chopping carrots for a stew.
I am to taint this knife with my blood. 
The blood of depression.
I sink deeper in my pit.
Death winks and says, "Let's pick up the pace. I don't have all day."
I reply, "You're right, neither do I."
So I hand him the knife. 
I say, "I'll see you another day."
I wonder why I turned down that sweet, sweet offer.
I see my mom. She is finally breathing.
No air had passed through her lungs while I was gone.
Someone cares.
I see a rope crawling down my pit.
I grab hold and shout, "I'm ready."
I ascend the walls of my pit, slowly.
It takes years.
I meet therapists and friends who care.
I talk to my past and say, "Go away."
I am still climbing.
This is a journey.
I get so tired, sometimes slipping back.
But I hold on tight.
I don't let go.
I don't give up.


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