who am I to tell a depressed girl that it gets better?
to spin stories of recovery and pat her on the shoulder
to squeeze a smile on my cheeks when I don’t remember
how to smile like a survivor, like a human person
to reassure her mother that it happens
to artistic people like us and that the sun
still rises even for someone who thinks they are broken
to tell her that she is not broken
who am I to give tips to them like I survived?
to tell her to just lie in bed and close her eyes
even knowing sleep will evade her that night
to tell her to vent and not bottle up
when I myself barely open up
to ask her not to be ashamed
when I hide any scar that still remains
to hug her and say the darkness doesn’t last
like I didn’t want to answer the call of the void and make it fast
so who am I to tell a depressed girl that it gets better?
because for me, it didn’t.
but who am I to scare her with the reality?
who am I to reveal that truthful cruelty?
someone has to give her hope.
someone has to do something.
Note: This is a poem meant to illustrate just how common mental health issues are among teenagers now, regardless of the location. It is modeled from personal experience, although I’ve taken some artistic liberties, none of which serve to undermine the truth here. The truth is a lot of us are hurting, and a lot of us are trying to help those who are, maybe at the same time. You’re not the only one.