Depression Poetry: A Retrospective

I wrote this poem on April 3, 2015. I was in a dark place. I was close to suicide for the first time since 2010. I had been mourning my grandfather and my life was in a bad place. I was in the depression cycle that started in the summer of 2014 and didn’t end until the summer of 2015. I haven’t had a depression cycle quite as long as this cycle.

This poem is one of my more darker free thought poems. I just wrote what I was feeling.

This is a look back at the top blog posts for The Bipolar Writer Blog which will end March 12, 2021.

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My Darkest Depression

I know it has been a long while…
I have been lost.
Depressed.
And even tittering on the edges of suicidal thoughts.

It has really just been that way.
I am so afraid.
So afraid of what could happen.
What might happen?
The truth?
I am going down a road that I may never come back from again.
It scares me to death.
I know the signs and yet here I am.
Afraid.
I am really just a mess so much lately.
Most nights I really want to cry.

So I cry myself to sleep.
Wishing.
Wishing that I don’t wake the next day.
Yet, here I am.
Awake again. Another day. More struggles.
I often think that God hates me.
That I hate myself so much that God has given up on me.
Let’s face it, I would give up on me.
It is a wonder that no one wants anything to do with me.

Is there something I can do, probably not.
My life is this mess, the mess I created.
The Chaos.

It’s not gonna change—I tell myself that every night.
It has become me, my past is present. It might be my future.
What does all this mean anymore?
I continue to perish in the darkness. Forever.
Darkness, my best friend, and worst enemy.
Depression my familiar companion, you never leave me.

by James Edgar Skye

Always Keep Fighting.

What is the worst that can happen?

James Edgar Skye

Visit my author website at http://www.jamesedgarskye.me

Purchase my Memoir and Novella here: https://www.jamesedgarskye.me/jamesedgarskyebooks

For everything James Edgar Skye use the QR code below Or use this link.

Photo Credit:
unsplash-logoBen Blennerhassett

A Depression Poem – By J.E. Skye

I wanted to preface this poem with a “trigger warning,” this is a poem I wrote about suicide and depression recently, at this time I am NOT depressed or suicidal. But, this poem could trigger those feelings, so please read only if you are in a safe place. This free-verse poem was written during a poetry class in my last semester of my bachelor’s degree. It was my raw feelings when I was suicidal turned into a poem, please enjoy. I will link the other poem I posted recently.

Updated Version of my Poem: 12:15 am

My Darkest Depression

It has been a long while. I am lost in my darkest contemplations. Sinking, unable to breathe. “I’m Depressed,” there I admit it. Teetering, on the edges of the blackest of thoughts— suicide. The darkness serves as my safe and unsafe place. “I am always here for you,” says the darkness— it is far away in the distance, but I hear its cry. Fearful of this darkness I let the thoughts of the end consume, afraid of what could happen. What might happen? What will happen? This winding road is leading me to the point of no return. The darkness laughs, and it moves closer in the distance.

My thoughts seek the out the painful memories, and the thoughts missile into my consciousness. Afraid. So Afraid of losing myself. My life is a mess, a black hole of endless despair. At night I lay my head down— wanting to cry, and so I cry myself to sleep. “Yes, my friend, give in. You belong here with those who lose themselves.
Wishing. Waiting. Wanting. This will be my last day, nevermore. Awake. Alone. Again. Another day lost in the darkness, it consumes my inner soul.

God hates me for what I have become, I hate myself so much that God— he has given up on me. Let’s face it, my hope evaporated long ago, it is a wonder that no one in my life wants anything to do with this lost soul. “I am here for you—always,” the darkness tells me. Can I fight this— is there something I can do? Probably not. My life is this mess. The Chaos. I created a monster inside me.

The darkness begins to consume, first my mind— and then my body. The darkness is just outside my door, it tells me this is the right thing. “Death is just mean to an end— the end of the infinite agony,” he tells me. “Give in, your life is not worth living. Give in, it will be painless.” Thoughts devour any shred of hope. The darkness wants to win. It just might.

I find myself on edge again— a familiar place, but this time it is different. I lay out the pills tidily in front of me. Counting. Thinking. “Yes,” exclaims the darkness, “this is who you are now.” How many sleeping pills does it take to sleep forever? This becomes routine— a nightly ritual that never changes. I tell myself every night, this is the night. “You must do this now,” the darkness hovers just beside me, “this is your destiny.” A flood of my past consumes my present. There is no future.

What does life mean anymore? I continue to perish in sinking into darkness. Forever. Darkness, my best friend— and worst enemy. Depression my frequent companion, never leaving me. My darkest depression. Will I give in?

Always Keep Fighting.

What is the worse that can happen?

James Edgar Skye

For everything James Edgar Skye use the QR code below Or use this link.

In Dreams

sleepless nights
and sleeping in
aimless walks
on dimly lit streets
shooting stars
above a back yard trampoline
singing songs
to the sky that never listens

binging fruit loops
on a front porch swing
dancing downstairs
in our underwear

last two hits
of our parents’ cigarettes
chugging beer
in the bath tub upstairs
washing it all down
with mountain dew

morning cartoons
snuggling in bed
the morning gleam
through your bedroom window
lighting up your skin
a brilliant hue

in all this time
it never hit me
in all this time
i never knew

no time could be like this time
no future could give me you

in dreams i hold you tighter
in dreams i laugh even more
my dreams can give me
what life can no more

The Creative Connection – Part One

Another influential writer in my own life Hemingway had a long history of mental illness. Hemingway, known at the time as the most celebrated American Writer, but had his demons he was fighting over the course of his life.

Recently I was asked to discuss the connection between Bipolar disorder and creativity. The blogger wanted me to link some famous people and choose the writers that influence me that had some level of mental illness. Creativity and famous people will most likely turn into a series where we see creative people in history and the present dealing with a mental illness,

How Mental Illness & Bipolar Disorder Connects to Creativity

If you research the subject, there is a real link between mental illness and creativity. In my research, on the issue, the links are as creative as the people themselves. The truth is many who have a mental illness like Bipolar Disorder, have been known to have a creative side. Even those artists that go undiagnosed have at some level issues with mental illness. I have always thought that my creativity, as it is, comes from my struggles with Bipolar One.

Today I thought it would be great to list some of the more famous writers and artists that have a history of the Bipolar disorder and mental illnesses in general.

Edgar Allan Poe

edgar-allan-poe-hires-cropped

It seems fitting to talk about the greatest inspiration in my writing first. If you have ever read one of Poe’s poetry, short stories, or really anything he wrote you can see that he was a real genius.

Though Poe never saw a diagnosis with a mental illness, he was a heavy drinker, and he had issues suicidal thoughts. Poe often discussed death in his work, and my favorite from Poe’s poem will always be “The Raven” where he talks about death. Poe certainly knew the dark depths of depression and that darkness haunted him. My favorite short story (detective work) will always be “The Purloined Letter.” The truth when I studied the man himself I see many similarities in my own life as a writer. It is why I honor Poe in my work by using his name in my pen name.

Ernest Hemingway

Yousuf-Karsh-Ernest-Hemingway-1957-1558x1960.jpg

Another influential writer in my own life Hemingway had a long history of mental illness. Hemingway, known at the time as the most celebrated American Writer, but had his demons he was fighting over the course of his life. Hemingway was known to be very manic at times in his life, and depressed. Those closest to the writer say that he was manic-depressant (Bipolar) his whole life.

His creative genius was apparent in everything he wrote. My favorite novel from Hemingway will always be “A Farewell to Arms,” and Hemingway wrote about influences in his own life experiences as an ambulance driver in World War I.

If you know nothing about Hemingway, then it might surprise you that he committed suicide on July 2, 1961. Hemingway had a long history of suicide attempts and hospital visits in his adult life. It goes to show that even the most creative of us a susceptible to the darkness and suicidal thoughts.

Sylvia Plath

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Sylvia Plath is another influential writer that I turn to so that I can get inspiration from her amazing poetry. Like the other writers on this list, Plath had a history of being clinically depressed and had been hospitalized many times in her life.

The poet also made several suicide attempts over the course of her life and succeeded in 1963. If you have not read any of her work, “Ariel” is a fantastic piece of poetry that shows the darkness that Plath felt during her life and why she turned to suicide. Plath was a creative genius, but like so many on this list, her mental illness eventually consumed her.

Ezra Pound

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Unlike the others on this list, I know the artist Ezra Pound’s work but little about his mental illness history. Pound’s diagnosis in his life Narcissistic Personality Disorder which influenced his creative work and political views over the course of his life. Some believe that Pound also had schizophrenia, but many debates about the validity of this have happened for many years in both directions.

Ezra Pound is another example of creative genius, and mental illness can collide over the course of a life and have positive and negative connotations.

Leo Tolstoy

Leo+Tolstoy.jpg

Leo Tolstoy is a compelling creative artist that explored his depression in his original creative works. If you have a chance, please read Tolstoy’s work– A Confession for a look at his own experiences.OWhat is impressive is that like most of us, Tolstoy spends a lot of time contemplating and examining his depression. I know for me writing my memoir and part of the focus being my depression I examine the many facets of who I am as a writer and someone who is dealing with a mental illness.

J.K. Rowling

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Okay so maybe this is the wrong time to put Rowling on the list as many of the others on this list are dead, but Rowling will always be my favorite modern writer. I grew up with the Harry Potter series and he works will still be influential in my life– Rowling also has a history of depression and suicidal thoughts.

Rowling makes this list because she has been open and vocal about her struggles with mental illness in her life, at the same time she has been influential in the fighting of her depression. Not just a creative genius, Rowling is also a fantastic human being and advocate.

The End Thoughts

This post has been great, and I have more to tell in the future about other influential creative artists who advocate (not those who use their mental illness for their means to gain fame), and I will be putting out more of these in the future. I want to show creative people using their craft for good and to help end the stigma. I hope you like the series and you see that you can succeed even with a mental illness. At the same time, there is the other side where we as a society have lost creative geniuses because of the stigma that surrounds mental illness. Stay strong.

Always Keep Fighting (AKF)

James Edgar Skye

You can visit the author site of James Edgar Skye here.

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.

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Photo Credit:

Mel Poole

Poe image from Poetry Foundation

Hemingway Image: Google

Sylvia Plath, Ezra Pound, Leo Tolstoy images from http://airshipdaily.com/blog/022620145-writers-mental-illness

Rowling picture from Google.

My Demon Said To Me

Broken and alone
Chilled to the bone
Confused, spinning
From the chorus in my home
‘You’re not enough
You’re not enough
You can’t do it on your own’

I concede
I give in
Okay, I’ll listen
I must admit
I’ve come to love
The way the cold blade glistens

But when I close my eyes to go
Among those who
Took fate by the throat
Something whispers
Soft and slow

I tilt my head
To lean in to the muse
And my demon says
No one can hurt you

As long as I’m here…no one can hurt you.

Kind of Like a War Hero

I’m a war hero.

At least I’m kind of like a war hero.

I survived a war,

but was never in the military.

I have battle scars,

but was never in combat.

I have PTSD.

That illness you understand for veterans.

I survived a war,

that I’m still battling.

I’m a survivor,

but I’m still surviving.

I’m a war hero.

At least I’m kind of like a war hero.

My father was my war.

He is still my struggle,

my battle,

my sorrow,

my pain.

I recently saw my father and my brain regressed to a frightened little girl.

Parts of me are still there. Shattered. Frightened. Sad.

Hidden in a corner in my closet, knees scrunched up tight, head buried in.

I will continue to fight, to grow again.

I will love my little girl self and hold her, comfort her and soothe her wounds.

I will be the parent she never had.

I love you Suzie. You are beautiful.

You are strong. You are so many wonderful things.

You can be all the things you couldn’t be before.

Be them now. Find them. Find you.

There is still time.

Find a way.

Become the new you. Anything you want to be.

I am kind of like a veteran.

A different kind of veteran,

but still I need to celebrate me.

I have PTSD, but not the kind you understand.

I was never in the war.

Not that kind of war. A different kind of battle.

I was never sexually abused.

It was not that kind of abuse.

It was the other kinds of abuse.

The physical and the words.

It was the words and how he said them that hurt the most.

The kinds you say I should just get over.

The kinds you think I should just let go.

It was the different kinds of abuse,

but still I have PTSD,

and I am a survivor.

I survived a war.

A different kind of war,

but still I am a survivor.

I survived my father.

I’m still surviving my father.

Each time I see him I return to war.

His words, his tone.

They trigger me back to enter that war zone again.

It is my war. My private battle.

A war I re-enter

each time I see my father

or when an image, a sound, a phrase, or a tone

triggers me back to the battles,

the fear, the pain and the heartache.

I’m a war hero.

At least I’m kind of like a war hero.

I survived a war.

My father

was my war.

I survived my father.

~written by Susan Walz

 

© 2020 Susan Walz | myloudwhispersofhope.com | All Rights Reserved

Photo credit: Photo by Vero Photoart on Unsplash

An Unwelcome Itch – a poem

Mental illness is a bitch

that leaves an unwelcome itch

I cant scratch away.

Believe me. I’ve tried all day.

Can’t remove this crud

that entered like mud

after Hurricane Fred

entered inside my head

and very soon spread,

multiplied and bled

throughout my insides.

Been swept away by the tides

of depression and anxiety,

maybe triggered by PTSD.

Who knows. Doesn’t matter

as long as I don’t splatter

and get any fatter

by eating from the platter

of anger and disgust.

Piss me off in the dust.

Come back coping strategies.

Do your healing thing, please,

before it’s too late

and love becomes hate

and I deteriorate

inside my crate of fate

which lingers and looms

above the darkest of glooms

and deciduous tombs.

Help me. I cry.

Like a sty in my eye,

you are unwelcome here.

Your presence I fear,

quick departure I cheer.

Oh, I pray it’s near.

Ready to be free of this mental illness bug

Such a cruel, heartless, destructive thug.

Why me?

Why not me?

Just flee out of me.

Mental illness let me be.

I’ve had more than enough

of your disgusting stuff.

I’m tired

and wired

like a barbed wire fence

poking me and hence

the discomfort and pain.

No wonder I’m stained.

~written by Susan Walz

© 2020 Susan Walz | myloudwhispersofhope.com | All Rights Reserved

Photo Credit: Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Healing Through Poetry

April is National Poetry Month. Poetry has played a significant role in my healing process. I spent many years discovering myself and learning how to heal. The things hurting me were not always clear. I wrote my first poem when I was 15 in 2002. Terrible does not describe those early poems, but I continued writing. Making sense of my emotions proved difficult. I didn’t understand myself completely. My childhood memories sat repressed in my mind making me feel and react to things. I never knew the cause until I began to heal.

As my trauma resurfaced, my poetry evolved. I had found my voice. After years of struggling with expressing myself, everything flowed with ease. In writing about my thoughts, fears, and anxieties, a blanket of burden lifted. I felt connected to those closest to me. I never felt connected to anyone. Poetry gave me the opportunity to understand my emotions and develop my thoughts. When I get an idea to write something, I often consider it as a poem first before other writing options. I don’t often have the money for therapy. Poetry acts as therapist to help me work through difficult problems.

I have a long way to go yet, but I’m confident that I’ll find my way to recovery. Writing poetry has kept me going for this long. I imaging I’ll write until I can’t type or lift a pen anymore. Everyone is different and I understand that writing poetry may not help others heal. I do encourage everyone to try. Especially during National Poetry Month. I wouldn’t call most of my poems great or inspiring. I have pride for creating something and I’d rather create than destroy. Creating something is what leads to healing. I recommend practicing an art form to anyone who struggles to heal.

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Letter to myself

Dear me,
Life is not easy, nor will ever be.
You are a fighter and a survivor.
And worthy of love
and to revive her.

Dear me,
Sticks and stones can’t and will not break your bones.
Life will get you down,
They will get you down.
They will call you names like ugly and fat.
Just your life is so much more than that.

Hello and welcome to this blog. I want to give a little warning, in this blog I will share a poem I have made about a letter to myself of my past. And this could trigger anxiety, depression, and suicide for those who are easily triggered. This poem is about my past and things I have personally been gone through and for that I hope you guys can respect that. I would love to hear your thoughts/story/emotions about this topic. And I want to make one thing very clear. No matter who you are and what you have gone through you are worth fighting for and be the best and most beautiful version of yourself. Because beauty shines from inside out.

Now please enjoy the poem. For more blogs made by me: prettyrose177


Dear me

Dear me,
Life is not easy, nor will ever be.
You are a fighter and a survivor.
And worthy of love
and to revive her.

Dear me,
Sticks and stones can’t and will not break your bones.
Life will get you down,
They will get you down.
They will call you names like ugly and fat.
Just your life is so much more than that.

Dear me,
They might break you.
They might haunt your dreams.
And they will go to extremes.
Just don’t give up.
You are worthy of love.

Dear me,
Don’t let the anxiety killing me.
Dear me,
Don’t let them control me.

Dear me,
You can save a life
Just throw away that knife.
A knife of pain and suffering
And all the illness it will bring.

Dear me,
I will fight for you,
I will love you,
I will take care of you.
Just don’t give up hope.

Dear me,
Let your light shine.
Let them see,
Who you are and mend to be.

Dear me,
Show them they won’t control you
Show them you are stronger than ever before.
And that you have a lot more strength in store.

Dear me,
You are loved.
Dear me,
Your angels watch from above.

My Loud Whispers of Hope–My New Blog Name and a Poem

“Turn loud whispers of hope

into shouts of joy

for the triumph of life and living.”

~Susan Walz


My Loud Whispers of Hope

When I finally accepted the theory that Bipolar 1 Disorder was in fact a misdiagnosis for 26 years, a heavy ugly weight has slowly been lifted from my being and soul. It is in a small sense an emptiness–void of a label I worked long and hard to finally accept after many years of fighting it. Now there is a huge lightness and freedom from this release of a hugely stigmatized label that was branded on my forehead like a flashing neon light for the world to see.

Since I have embraced the lack of the bipolar disorder label from my list and my LIFE, I realized it was time for a new blog name. I wanted to keep the name My Loud Bipolar Whispers similar so I just removed the word bipolar and wanted to name my blog My Loud Whispers but it was already taken. Rats.

At first I thought My Loud Whispers of Hope was too long, but then I decided it was perfect. Hope was the key to my recovery and beginning of my journey of wellness.

I wrote the following poem AFTER I changed my blog name. I started writing my blog post and this poem was transpired.

I hope you like my poem and I hope you like my new blog name.

Be well my friends.

Much love and hugs, 

Sue


My Loud Whispers of Hope

The silence of shame

ate at my soul,

weakened my spirit,

and extinguished my light,

until God ignited my spark,

rekindled my flame

and unmuted my voice

with loud whispers of hope.

My loud whispers of hope

became clearer words

of strength,

recovery and healing.

My loud whispers of hope

became lyrics and melodies

of courage,

inspiration and faith.

My loud whispers of hope

became shouts of joy

for the triumph of life and living.

~written by Susan Walz

“Turn loud whispers of hope

into shouts of joy

for the triumph of life and living.”

~Susan Walz

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