Lately, I’ve heard of so many women who are plagued with anxiety and depression.
I get it. I spent the better part of my adult life, being under the influence of that great, unshakeable, black cloud. I also had a fair share of hit you out of nowhere, heart-racing, palms-sweating anxiety.
Perhaps it is our curse or society’s creation of the noteworthy female- the perfect woman- super woman- who deals with her monthly roller coaster ride of hormones with finesse, who balances the growing and variegated demands of modern life with a perennially cool head, who gives and nurtures, asking nothing in return, who tends to her outward appearance with poise, who accomplishes lots and lots of stuff.
Whatever the cause, when this sadness or panic overtakes us, we feel helpless, possessed by it, even. Some of us hide it. Some of us self-medicate. Some of us try and struggle and fight against it- to seemingly little avail.
This ode is for all the women who understand the battle; all who wish it might be different and don’t give themselves permission to get rid of this demon on their back. And for those of you that don’t deal with either of these things- read this. You need to understand and have sympathy.
To hell with you, depression!
You can sink right back
Into the deep, dark hole that you are.
Heavy, my chest rises and falls
Like an incredible weight pressing down
That makes each intake a struggle.
I hate you, depression!
You steal days away from me
Like a languishing, wasting disease.
Slippery, I grasp to hold on to something,
Anything to climb up from the bottom
Of this dank, slimy pit.
Leave me alone, depression!
You hang over the top of me
Like a dark cloud that shrouds the sunlight.
Gripping, your tendrils have wrapped themselves
Around my legs and arms
Keeping me prisoner from movement.
You don’t own me, depression!
You try to trick me into believing
That I’ll never get through life without you.
Menacing, your influence lurks,
Like an invisible evil spirit
Whose black soul sucks the life from me.
I take my life back, depression!
Because I can and I will
Because I want to live free
Because there is more to life than this
Because a smile looks better than a frown
Because this is a fight I can win
Because bondage becomes no one
Because I am worth something
Because my strength outdoes yours
Because YOU DON’T DEFINE ME.