Let the flowers grow

Let flowers grow inside you

in places you once thought 

could never see life again.

Let the emptiness inside your chest

be the soil that nourishes new life.

Let the earth take over 

fill sadness with hopefulness.

Bury your feet in the dirt

and know you’ll be fine.

Just because you feel alone

doesn’t mean you are.

They left you hollow and lost

but just because you’re empty now

doesn’t mean new life can’t grow.

Spring Sadness

It was the middle of spring,

Birds were singing, flowers in bloom.

I should’ve been happy,

Why wasn’t I happy?

Everything lush with color,

Everyone chipper and chatty.

Why couldn’t that be me?

What was holding me back

From enjoying spring to the fullest?

Could it be I’m just not over my depression?

Or is there something getting me down?

Winter seemed to breeze by,

I was sure I was over being depressed.

But now that the sun is shining,

And the air is warm,

I can’t help but wish I was someone else.

I daydream of running away,

Starting a new life with a new mentality.

It feels like I’m in so deep,

There’s no escape but to restart.

 

You’d think I’d know by now,

Running away only causes more problems.

Starting over only gets me so far

Because all my problems follow

And soon enough I’ll be in the same position

In a different location,

Daydreaming about running away again.

Emma Carter (Part 2) Surviving is an uphill battle

Missed part one? Check it out here!

A week had passed since I saw that Tumblr post. I saw my therapist today. I told her everything that had changed in the last few months. I cried, she listened, then offered advice. I took it. She said to do little things that are productive. I don’t need to get a job, but I can start looking. I don’t need to do the dishes, I can just move them to the sink. I don’t need to hang out with my friends, just text them good morning. If I feel like doing more, I can, but I won’t push myself. It made sense, and I was mad I hadn’t thought of it before. 

I came home and texted my roommate Penny “morning.” Collapsing onto the couch, I sighed. My stomach rumbled, I hadn’t realized it was already noon. I had breakfast earlier, just a bowl of cereal. Food had always been a big stress reliever for me before this big wave of depression, so I opened up my recipe app and began scrolling. I saved a few recipes I thought sounded good and looked for the ingredients. My other roommate stumbled out of his room. I nodded to him, pulling out ingredients from the fridge.

“You’re cooking?” Richie asked, surprised. Normally, I would have been angry he asked. I would have bitterly spat something rude back at him. He would’ve sighed and left me alone.

I wasn’t mad, though. He had good reason to be surprised. I hadn’t cooked in months. The most I had was a peanut butter and pickle sandwich. That was my depression meal.

“I am.” I nodded back to him.

“What are you making?” He asked politely, trying not to anger me.

“Avocado and chicken salad. Where did you guys hide the knives?” I asked, almost laughing at how absurd of a question it was. They hid the knives from me in fear of me hurting myself with them. I understood why, but I hadn’t hurt myself in a year. I was over that. I felt silly to be asking him, and it was even sillier for him to hesitate to answer. I could tell he wanted to just use it himself. “Richie, I haven’t cut in a year.” I assured him.

“I know, Emma, I know. I’m proud of you. I’m just worried because you’ve lied to us before and I don’t want something to happen to you.” Has Richie always been this nice to me? I remember furiously hating him because of how rude he was. Was I seeing him differently now? 

“If you want to do it, you can. I just have to cut the avocado and chicken.”

“What changed, Emma?” Richie asked me.

“What do you mean?”

“You put dishes in the sink last week and actually left the house today, after you hadn’t left your room in almost two weeks. What changed?”

“I don’t know. I guess I realized I should get help. I kept falling into a pit of depression waiting for me to be at my absolute worst when I didn’t need to. I thought it wouldn’t mean as much to come back from a depression wave if I hadn’t destroyed my life beforehand. But I realized I don’t need to be at my worst to get better. It is still progress if I feel better in some way.”

“You don’t think you were at rock bottom?” He asked delicately.

“No, do you? All I was doing was sitting around all day, it’s not like I was actively destroying my life. You guys didn’t kick me out.”

“That’s true, you make good points. We wouldn’t kick you out, anyway, Emma. You’re our friend, no matter how depressed. We love you.” Richie said. I smiled genuinely, feeling valid. 

“You’re a good friend, Richie. So is Penny.” My phone vibrated, it was Penny responding to my text. 

“Hey, sunshine!” Penny’s text read. I was a little bitter about her overly-positive tone. I didn’t respond right away. Anger still stewed in my chest, even if I was beginning to feel better. This was going to be a long process. It terrified me to think how much work I still needed to do to feel better. 

I knew what I needed to do. I had to train my brain not to think so negatively. That could take a while. It was going to be exhausting, I could already tell. I was smarter than my depression, though. I wanted to get better, my depression didn’t. It was just an evil parasite living inside me, feeding me lies about how I feel and how I should react to situations. I was a good person, I wasn’t my depression. I knew that much. 

A letter to my past self.

There’s so many mistakes you’re going to make,

so many things you wish you said

and so many things you could’ve done better,

but you’ll get through it just fine.

To me from a year ago:

Good things are close,

do whatever you can to keep yourself busy,

and you don’t need an excuse to do what you want.

If you want to spend all day watching YouTube,

who’s stopping you?

Don’t move in with your boyfriend three weeks after he betrayed your trust.

Just because he’s going through a tough time doesn’t mean he should be your responsibility.

To me from two years ago:

You don’t need a boyfriend, 

you need a friend.

Reach out to people you’ve lost contact with.

Don’t date that boy just because he’s nice to you.

You’ll hate your summer job,

but it’s good money for the time.

And for fucks sake, don’t listen to that boy you’re going to date-

you don’t need to buy weed, he does.

To me from three years ago:

Let it go.

That annoying person shouldn’t ruin your day.

Yeah, he sucks but he’ll make for a good story.

I’m proud of you for getting through your first big break up.

It was months ago, 

but I know you’re still dealing with it.

You’ll be over him soon.

He still texts you every couple months, though.

To the future me:

I hope things are still going good.

I’ve been trying to set you up for success.

I’ve fallen into a routine of positive coping skills,

and I hope you stick to them.

Emma Carter (Pt. 1)

My room hasn’t been clean in months. My head is a cloudy mess. My body isolated from society. I haven’t left my bed besides to binge eat in two weeks. I don’t remember the last time I showered. My friends gave up on me. I don’t blame them. Maybe I should get out of bed today. Or maybe today will be the day I finally disintegrate into this bed…. 

Mornings are all the same: alternating between sleeping and scrolling through the internet. I was having an exceptionally bad morning, seeing horrible news on my Twitter feed and angry people in the comments on Facebook. I’d seen everything on YouTube last night in one of my binge-watching late nights. Bored was an understatement. 

In the middle of another suicidal thought, I found a post on Tumblr I’d never seen before. It said, “you don’t need to hit rock bottom to get help” and it resonated with me. Maybe I had been subconsciously looking for a sign, maybe I was open to advice at that moment, or maybe that was just what I needed to hear. Either way, it helped me out of bed that day. 

I hadn’t done it in almost six months, but I texted my therapist for a new appointment. I made myself cereal. I had a whole glass of water. I took a screenshot of the post. I sat at my kitchen table, old newspapers and dirty glasses scattered. Making room for my cereal, I stacked a few glasses in a corner. I might move them to the sink after I eat. 

Eating is tough. Nothing really has a taste anymore unless I’m manic. Today, I could actually taste again. Granted, it was chocolate-y sugar cereal, but I was taking it as a win. There was still a weight on my shoulders, but it was lessened. At least for now.

I wanted to take small steps. I didn’t want to overwork myself with self-care. So, I put the dishes in the sink. All of them from the table. Then I took a nap on the couch. It was a depression nap, but at least I was out of my dark room. The sun shone from the window behind me, warming me up under the blanket. I smiled for the first time in a month. It felt good. 

“Maybe I’ll be okay eventually.” I whispered to myself before drifting off to sleep.

Self Care

Self care is laughing at yourself

instead of beating yourself up.

Self care is going to sleep at 8pm because you’re tired.

Self care is eating when you’re hungry.

Self care is not buying yourself things you don’t need,

in hopes that it’ll cure your broken mind.

It’s letting yourself be upset,

and doing something that makes you happy.

It’s asking for help when you need it,

and letting yourself have a good cry to that one sad song.

It’s reaching out to an old friend,

even though you two haven’t talked much recently.

It’s being honest with yourself and those around you.

Self care is important,

because you’re the only one who will always be there for you.

I Will Recover (Poem)

I’m done fucking lying to myself,

Keeping things in just because it hurts.

When I’m in pain, 

I’ll talk about it.

I’ll work through it.

I’ll get over it.

And I’ll be stronger for it.

I’m sick of being a bystander in my own life,

Watching as things just happen.

As I make a friend,

Lose a friend,

Drop out of school,

Start again just for the hell of it.

From now on I do things because I fucking want to

not because it’s what everyone else is doing,

But because it’s my god damn life

And I can make my own decisions.

If I don’t want to go back to school,

If I want to work part time while writing on the side

I fucking will.

If I want to go get a coffee,

And that new book I heard about,

I will.

Even though the mall is a half hour away,

And there might be traffic

Or a lot of people.

No more excuses for easy things. 

I’ll call for that doctors appointment,

I’ll go get my oil changed on my own.

Hell, I’ll go for a drive just to clear my head

Just because I wanted to listen to that one song as loud as I can handle.

And scream the lyrics along with the band.

And I’ll be a stronger person for it.

I’ve been through hell already,

Who’s to say I can’t get through more?

Depression VS The Fighter in Me

I’ve never been good at love,

I’ve never been good at anything.

I’ve never wanted to be better,

Until I met you.

I had no reason to stop my self-destructive behavior.

You made me realize I’m worth more.

You made me want to love myself.

You make me want to be better.

Everyone left and I didn’t understand why,

I was suicidal and I didn’t understand why,

I was anxious and I didn’t understand why.

I knew it would get better,

But I didn’t understand why I needed the pain to begin with.

I was so naive 

to think the pain didn’t make the pleasure better.

I was so naive

To think I couldn’t beat depression.

I was so naive

To think I couldn’t find coping skills.

Part of me knew I’d get better,

The fighter in me.

Part of me thought I’d never get better,

The depression in me.

The fighter is stronger,

But the fight isn’t over.

It probably won’t ever be,

But now I’m stronger,

I have better weapons.

I can get through anything you put me through.