Reaching the Shore

Reaching the Shore

Karina Mehmet

I don’t understand the phrase “battling depression”

I can barely do anything let alone hold my own against a restless, unforgivable force

I’m not battling

I’m taking a beating

Every day I feel wave after wave of doubt, anger, despair, hopelessness come crashing down on me

And I’m drowning in it

But when the feelings finally recede things don’t get better

Instead of being able to breathe it’s like I can’t anymore

I can’t take a deep breath or feel relief

Instead I’m numb

Enveloped in the silence that pounds in my ears

No ship can find me

No life preserver can lift me out of the dark depths

Instead I’m weighed down by my thoughts so I sink lower

Making it harder for me to swim back to the surface again

Some days I come surging out of the ocean and get a glimpse of the shore

Brimming with hope and gladness from finally feeling the warmth from the sun on my face

For feeling something

Some days I barely keep my head above the water

I strive to stay afloat amidst the chaos

Waiting to be caught off guard and submerged again

Some days I stay anchored to the ocean floor

Tethered there by my own thoughts and emotions that make the world darker, bleaker

Where no one is willing to dive deep enough

Or know just how far down I am

Because when they see me in my own private ocean the water usually appears calm

Only I’m aware of the degree of turbulence that happens just below the surface

But I’ve become exhausted from struggling to survive for so long

It’s hard to keep treading water when I start to think I might never walk on land again

So I’m not really battling

I’m just trying to not drown

And reach the shore

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