I’m sure I am not the only one who has struggled with depression, let alone struggled with describing their experience to someone else. Whether it’s to a friend, parent, or even therapist, describing the state of being, or sensation, or emotion of depression, is difficult. Over 16.2 million adults in the United States experience depression per year, but many still find it difficult to explain what they’re going through. And when you’re depressed, talking about your depression isn’t exactly your favorite thing to do.
So you find yourself unable to explain the thing you don’t want to explain, to the people that need or want an explanation. Not a very comfortable situation.
It was the accumulation of these uncomfortable situations that inspired me to write this poem. I don’t usually explain my poetry, but I guess I’ll make an exception because it explains an explanation.
This poem is about my experience with depression. In the poem, the beautiful painting represents my life. The red, pink, and orange paints are all the fantastic parts; friends, family, love, and basically every blessings I have. The blues would be the not-so-happy moments; pain, loss, and misfortune that are inevitable parts of life. Together, the colors make up life, specifically my life.
And then comes this depression. Without warning, the bright and vibrant colors start to fade from sight. All I see are the blues until I eventually see no color at all. My painting is grey; bleak, unfeeling and cold. My depression coats all that I saw before; I lose sight of the beauty and only see and feel the bleak. The paintbrushes are the tools I used to make the painting, the tools I used to build my life. They could be my faith or religion, time with friends or family, achievements or success, anything positive. They are what I use to “be happy.”
But I no longer recognize them as those tools, or I no longer see them as such. Finally, I fade into bleakness just as my painting did; I fall into depression.
It might be confusing, but this is how I can best explain my depression. Of course, this isn’t the same for everyone, but I hope it helps. Here is the poem I’m talking about:
I see a beautifully vibrant painting.
A complicated masterpiece with abstract lines and colors coming together in a hectic array.
But suddenly, yet slowly,
all I see are the blues.
The once loud pinks and oranges sink into grays,
becoming quiet and dull.
And now in this silence, the blues and the grays seem to be screaming.
They scream until the vibrancy of those pinks and oranges
are just a vague memory on a palette no longer on my painting.
My brushes, the very tools I used to create my masterpiece,
do not remember how to paint.
The art fades as the artist fades faster.