I wandered high,
I wondered low;
Amazing how far
Mind and body go.
I am the white-hot fire within.
I burn to cleanse,
I burn to destroy,
I burn to create,
I burn as a beacon in the night.
My fuel is my own.
I fell off the Earth today,
Lost my balance and floated away;
I tried to grab a branch or rock,
Anything with which my arm to lock;
My desperate flailing did not connect,
As I continued to show gravity no respect;
Higher and higher, I rose and rose,
My next destination? No-one knows;
For a while I calmly enjoyed the view,
Not really caring where I flew;
Thinner and thinner became the atmosphere,
I could no longer breathe, yet showed no fear;
Squinting through the infinite dark of space,
Distance soon will this small Earth erase.
Guilt... storm... regret... rains... down... cold... drops... but.. bounces... back... up... the... drain... ...
Technology should be the slave of me,
Not the other way round;
It should be a tool to set us free,
And yet to it I'm bound.
Depression is my dark twin.
It knows everything about me,
All of my strengths,
And all of my weaknesses.
It can counter my every move
To try and improve my condition.
It can stop me from being human.
It can drain me to the point of lifelessness.
It is devious, and has the ability
To enslave me in a darkened bedroom
For months on end.
It steals the totality of:
It laughs at me and belittles me
When I try to fight my way back
To a semi-functioning state.
It kicks me in the jewels
Again and again.
It is darker than deepest space,
And yet more powerful than the core of a star.
At the same time, it is so very enticing.
It draws me in with this thrilling pain that I feel.
I crave it every bit as much as I loathe it.
When I give in to it fully,
I am paradoxically both free and enslaved.
It is inextricably linked to my
It is me.
And yet I am so much more than just my depression.
I room the full gamut of emotions and energy states
That my bipolar chooses to foist upon me.
As well as all of the negatives,
There are many positives to depression,
Although they can be very hard to find,
Especially when I am mired in the muck of my misery.
I recognise that my depression
Is also an important and natural part
Of my mood cycles.
It is a crucial part of the yin and yang,
The alpha and omega.
It is a time when the seeds of my creativity
Are sown in dark soils at midnight.
It is a time when I feel loveless and unloved,
But eventually I see
A brief glimmer of light in the distance,
As a fleeting will-o’-the-wisp,
And I stir from my coma
And rediscover the deep and profound
Love of life that I have within me.
When I start to emerge from my depression,
I feel life and love again,
And I return to living a fulfilling and balanced life,
Having survived my time in the darkness.
The feeling of the sun on my uplifted face is indescribably beautiful,
And I realise that without my depression,
I would not fully be who I am.
For that, I am grateful.
It is a gift and a curse, all at once,
This thing called depression.
Learning to survive it is the first step.
Learning to harness the power that it prepares you for is the next step.
I look forward to finding out what further steps await me…
I am so sorry for everyone in the same leaky boat,
Desperately trying just to stay afloat.
Their petty little red tape games
May be just an inconvenience for the average person,
But for us they can be truly soul and life destroying.
I would give anything to have Tony Abbott
(and in fact every single politician in parliament)
Walk in our shoes for a week or two,
So that they can experience some small part
Of the consequences of their heartless policies
That look so good on the budget balance sheets.
See you in the queue at my local 'Link, Tony.
Wait to give 'em your number not your name.
Sit with me and wait for hours,
Because obviously my time ain't worth shit.
Get immersed in the funk of desperation and depression that is everywhere.
Marinate in it as you wait
For your worthless name to be called out.
Leaf through all the pretty glossy pamphlets
That tell fairy tales of how good and easy it is.
Then take a good look around at the reality.
Fiddle with your phone (if you're lucky enough to have one),
Seek your dots and dot your coms,
Look for my career,
Log on to that nifty little Centrelink app
That tells you what to do when,
When to jump and how high.
Don't fuck up, be forgetful or let life drag you down...
Your payments could stop.
Then you'd really be in the shit or on the streets,
And Centrelink take rather a dim view
Of people with no fixed abode.
Get distracted by the spell of the smiling well dressed actors
On the TV screens, sharing their Centrelink success stories,
Then compare that to your own sorry ass,
Sitting in a red seat waiting to have a soulectomy.
Your name is called,
And you walk passively behind the fast, efficient consultant,
Wondering whether they will be nice or a cunt.
"Watch your knees as you sit down".
"Thanks" you say, still not knowing if they're nice or a cunt.
Bang your knees as you sit down.
Answer their formulaic questions like a good little robot,
Show them the evidence that you have been doing
Everything that they tell you to do
In your Employment Pathway Plan.
"Why haven't you got a job yet?"
Hold back the answer that you want to give:
"Because there fucking aren't any.
There's thousands upon thousands
Of younger and abler people,
Sitting in the same shitty red chairs,
Waiting for you to ask that shit.
How the fuck do you expect a useless cunt
Like me to compete?"
Instead, smile sadly and tell 'em
You're doing everything in your power.
"Well, I'm afraid that isn't good enough.
You've been unemployed for over a year now."
Don't you think I would change that if I could?
I would open a vein just to shovel shit,
But someone else already took that job.
Agree to come back to Centrelink next week,
Same shit, same shovel,
All this pain and confusion...
In the thoughtful and careful weighing of it, I see that it is worth it...
There is a majesty beyond reckoning in that oh so simple act of "being"...
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