Blackness,  Chronic Illness and Invisible Disabilities,  Depression,  Mental Health,  poetry,  Writings

a space made for us, black women with depression

I noticed that there aren’t very many, if any, representations of black women being depressed. We don’t get to be sad or upset, as the “strong black woman”. I don’t want to be strong all of the time, I’m tired of pushing through. Most of the time, I just want to be. The purpose of this poem is to make space for us to just be, in whatever state it is, especially in this world that tells us we shouldn’t be. Especially in a world where we have to hide our chronic illness. So be depressed here, be anxious here, feel whatever it is that you are feeling here. This space is dedicated to us.

Brick Walls

Hey, I’m depression. Nice to meet you.

I’m Depressed.
I have depression.
It took me a while to realize
I keep buying things, makeup lately.
It works for a little while
I look *cute* with depression

I don’t have the bandwidth for fancy words
Or matching rhymes every other line
Because I’m depressed.

I want to talk to my friends
I want to play my favorite game
I have so many things I want to say
But I’m too drained
I’m depressed.
I haven’t read a book in ages
I’m depressed.
I like to write
I feel the urge to write
but yes, you guessed it,
I am depressed.

I watch a lot of TV
consume. consume. consume.
Because I’m depressed.
I couldn’t find any representations of black women being depressed
It makes me sad.

E-mails and texts are draining
I won’t answer calls
I can’t reply to Tweets or interact
Because I’m depressed.
I’m depressed because I’m anxious.
Anxious because I’m depressed.

I put all my energy into applications for work and education
“Thank you for applying to…
we’ll keep your resume on record”

And now I’m tired.

The wall appears

I walked face first into a brick wall
on some level I knew it was there
forced to stop, I stood back

I’ve been staring at it for a long time.

it’s dark
shadowy and worn
scarred by past attempts to get through
somehow it still stands

I tried to ignore it.
I tried to go around it.
it always re-appears.
right. in. the way.

sometimes I consider scaling it-


it would probably fall apart
everything that’s I’m carrying is too heavy
it would buckle and break

it still stands here
in the way

I decide to try anyways, to find a way over

I work really hard
I put all of my energy 

– there –

 Into my fist

Working and punching my way through
My knuckles turn red
but I can’t feel it.
I’m too busy working
it feels so good.

They’re bleeding now.
blood running down my hands
flowing down
 over my chewed up nail beds
and purple finger tips

“Why you looking so sad for, smile, girl”

I’m smiling

: )

The world rewards me
telling me I’m “so strong”

I feel accomplished
It feels like a good day,
I’ve made it through
I’m elated.
My hard work payed off,
I got in.

~ Elated – for a little while ~

Good days are really good
and bad days are bad.
There’s always this underlying feeling of sadness-
– indifference –

But I can’t tell on bad days
Only on the good days when I feel free

On good days I smile
I feel it on the outside
but the warmth doesn’t settle on the inside
it doesn’t stay.
I’m moody and withdrawn.
I lash out.

Deep down inside I’m still hurting
I can’t feel it
but I know it’s still there
So I focus elsewhere
I have good days for a while

I think to myself

“I’m good, I’m fine, I’m okay, I can get through this”

It doesn’t always last forever
only a little while
Numb to the hurt feeling inside
 I try to forget
Until one bad thing, anything
the smallest thing
sets me off again

It’s bound to happen eventually
And then I’m really depressed
Again, worse than before
And now I’m tired
 I’m depressed.

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