On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, I have penned this poem highlighting the stigma associated with depression.
How do I say that I’m not fine?
I don’t want to complain, I don’t want to whine
A cheerful attitude attracts vibes positive
Therefore under a false facade I Iive
Sometimes that facade does help me beat
My depression temporarily, the respite is sweet
But then it returns, with a vengeance profound
I dare not mention it to anyone around
To admit my shortcoming, to seek help for it
Can cost me my livelihood, get me labeled unfit
My depression needs to, in the closet remain
By admitting to it, I would be inviting more pain
Further alienation from the world of people doing fine
Potential loss of income- all these cross mind
Each time I try to reach for professional help in some way
(Did I mention therapy is beyond my capacity to pay?)
I wish I could exchange the emotional pain
For pain in a body part, to avoid the disdain
That mental illness seems to receive
I am weak- this is how I think I’d be perceived
If I were to say I am depressed- I would probably hear
Be strong, snap out of your depression, dear
Believe me, it’s not like flipping a switch inside
Exercise, yoga, meeting new people- everything I’ve tried
But it is a lonely journey for me
Hiding my depression is not easy…
Empathy for my depression is not an easy ask
Therefore I readjust my metaphorical mask..
2 thoughts on “The Mask..”
Beautifully penned. You have covered a lot of areas.
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