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Yes, but then no

by S.C. Says 6 months ago in depression

Poem by S.C. Says

Yes, but then no

Yes.

This is another poem about depression.

No.

It will not be comfortable.


Yes.

When I was 22 I tried to kill myself.

No.

That is not an easy thing for me to say.

But if I hadn’t said it

You’d probably assume that I’m fine.

Yes.

I see a therapist regularly.

No.

This is not something I’m ashamed of.

Though it used to be.

Because I believed that needing therapy

Meant something in me was wrong.

Was less than normal.

Yes.


I believe going to therapy should be normal.

That taking a sick day for your mental health

Is as valuable

As taking a sick day because you feel sick.

No.

“We’re all dealing with shit”

Is not an acceptable response

To someone struggling with a mental health condition.

Yes.

We are all dealing with shit.

But what you see as an inconvenience

May hit someone else like an avalanche.

May bury them with the burden

Of having to explain the emptiness.

Hopelessness.

The lack of a desire

To see the next anything.

No.

It is not ok to stigmatize anyone who takes

Prozac,

Lexapro,

Trazodone,

Abilify,

Zoloft,

Xanax,

Or any other antidepressant.

Yes.

There are ways to manage depression without medication.

But just like some people think running a 5k

On Thanksgiving

Is…fun

Everything doesn’t work for everybody.

No.

There is no silver bullet for depression.

There is no “cure.”


It is something many of us will do war with

Again and again

Until our either the depression wins,

Or our hearts stop beating.

Yes.

Odds are you know someone battling depression.

They probably just don’t feel comfortable telling you about it.

No.

The symptoms don’t all look the same.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still search for them.

Because chances are

These are your friends,

Your family,

Coworkers,

Significant others,

Spouses,

Children.

Twenty-five percent of the American population

Struggles with a mental health condition.

Which means

Unless you're a hermit

You know someone whose brain chemistry

Is actively working against them.

Yes.

I know people who have lost this fight.

Who presented only the Instagram version of themselves.

The one they thought everyone wanted to see

Until they edited themselves gone.

No.

I don’t blame them.


I blame a game that taught us perfection

Is the only way to exist.

I blame pleasantries

That wall our ability

To effectively communicate.

Because if we’re not "fine"

It’s uncomfortable for everyone else.

Yes.

Every single time I perform a poem about mental health

Someone comes up to me after

And tells me their connection to it.

In grateful whispers

Of burdens they’re afraid to name.

As old as seventy

And as young as nine

They thank me for my bravery.


No.

This doesn’t make me happy.

It makes me worried.

That a poetry reading

Was the only space they felt seen.

Not their schools.

Their jobs.

Their church.

Their homes.

Their life is a game of hide and seek.

Only no one seems to be searching

For the pieces of them that went missing.

So we keep hiding the things

That we’re dying for others to find.

Yes.

There is something you can do to help.

Imagine being born with a fifty pound weight

Strapped around your neck

And being told the weight doesn’t exist

Because no one else can see it.

And once you have this image

Remember it.

Every time someone has the courage

To tell you their depression is winning.

No.

You cannot save everyone.

And it’s not your job to.

But if you desire to be

Even a decent human being

You should still fucking want to.

Yes.

It is ok to not be ok.

Yes.

It is ok to not be ok.

Yes.

It is ok to not be ok.

No.

I will not stop talking about depression.

Because mine nearly killed me.

And I’m hoping that something

As menial as a rhyme scheme

Is helping someone

To keep fighting.

depression
S.C. Says
S.C. Says
Read next: Never In the Cover of Night
S.C. Says

S.C. Says is an Austin based slam poet who has been performing slam poetry since 2013. He's toured and featured at venues and universities across the country, and his poetry has been viewed over 700,000 times.

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