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someone to hear me i have been alone in crowded rooms, faked a smile so well no one knew the sadness that oozed in my veins; people say that they'd notice their friends depression don't understand that depression isn't always cutting wrists, sobbing, or the inability to shower— sometimes it's burying your feelings down so as not to be a burden to anyone else, sometimes it's needing constant reassurance that you're loved because even if you should know sometimes you just can't; it is being a good swimmer yet still drowning because the emotions are too strong to fight off— with all due respect you don't notice all the little signs, i know because once i thought of how pretty it would be to view the sky from the bottom of a creek after i jumped off a bridge and no one even knew; love your loved ones as often as you can and over use "i love you" and be there and sometimes just listen and hear them, because sometimes i don't need a solution; i just need someone to hear me. so very bitter my co-worker and i were talking about depression last night, and i was telling her how annoyed i was that some people think suicide victims are selfish and how that made me angry because it's not like they're doing it for attention; they're in pain and they cannot feel the love that surrounds them from everyone who cares for them and she agreed with me— she shared something intensely personal with me, and it made me sad; because so often people say they would notice if their friends needed help— but no one seems to notice the little things, and it is often in whispers and small little noises that depression speaks; it is never one thing but a bunch of little things adding up until the pressure is too much to take— i have been a lot better lately, and i am grateful because i do love living but sometimes the hard days are intensely hard and so very bitter. more harm than good my uncle taking his own life made me realize that i didn't really want to die, just wanted to carve out all of the negative things that brought me down; i just wanted to stop being dragged down by the dregs of emotions too heavy for me to carry alone— because no one really wants to hear that you're struggling when they ask how you are, they want you to put on a smile and say that you're fine even when you aren't; life can be so difficult and so hard i don't know why we should require one another to wear masks— emotions aren't weakness, and i refuse to believe that anyone who wants the best for me would want me to pretend; so if i am crying or angry or wounded please don't be angry at the display of emotions because we should all be able to feel everything we need to— bottling everything in always did me more harm than good. survival i am proud of anyone who has survived the darkness of their own minds because i know it isn't easy, and the lies told are easy to believe in your weakest moments; sometimes my only reason for survial was spite so find whatever works for you and keep going because i promise you will find magic and beautiful things again— survive for all of the sunsets and sunrises, your favorite meal, your dog or your cat or pet lizard, survive for the moon dancing above the creek at night casting a long and silver shadow of hope, survive for all the future yous that you have yet to meet; because you haven't met all the people who will love you and all the people that are your tribe— so if you can do nothing else: survive. it's so easy not to be the darkness bullying was the reason that i wanted to end my life, i began to believe their lies; i felt worthless and like a burden to everyone i loved because of them— & the one time i went to an adult for help at school, i was told if i weren't so weird then i wouldn't be bullied; maybe if bullying weren't something considered acceptable in society then mental health issues might be a little better— it costs nothing to give someone compassion or kindness, but everyone is so willing to tear someone down because of their appearance or their taste in music or because they watch anime or because of their hobbies; in the grand scheme of things none of it matters because all of our lives are important and touch others— but depression is a knife of all the unkind things ever said to you on a repeating loop until you just want the darkness to stop, and it's so easy not to be the darkness; be the light that someone clings to instead. Bio: Linda M. Crate (she/her) is a Pennsylvanian writer. Her works have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies both online and in print. She is the author of ten poetry chapbooks, the latest being: Hecate's Child (Alien Buddha Publishing, November 2021). She's also the author of the novella Mates (Alien Buddha Publishing, March 2022). She has three micro-poetry collections out: Heaven Instead (Origami Poems Project, May 2018), moon mother (Origami Poems Project, March 2020.), and & so i believe (Origami Poems Project, April 2021). She has published four full-length poetry collections Vampire Daughter (Dark Gatekeeper Gaming, February 2020), The Sweetest Blood (Cyberwit, February 2020), Mythology of My Bones (Cyberwit, August 2020), and you will not control me (Cyberwit, March 2021).
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