charm of depression (haibun)

Depression can mean many things.  We tend to overuse that word meaning, sad, moody, down in the dumps and wiped from work or school;  all these last moments to days or weeks but depression is not quite the same thing.

I remember seeing the face of depression when I was a teen for the first time.    I observed the grey tint to her face, the emptiness in her hazel eyes and that consistent  pout.  Of course, what did I know at thirteen?  I thought there was a cause and  that was the effect.  One person causing a broken heart, which in turn turned those hazel eyes into depression.

And yet, I know now that it is far more complex than that.  Yes, a broken heart is grieving a love that one had. I like to call all grief a “necessary depression”.    And that sadness can conjure up old wounds and offer an opportunity to reflect and perhaps heal some of them.

Depression does not have to be the result of a particular cause.   It can surface for no reason at all outside of the person.  “A chemical imbalance,” a doctor may explain.  I remember getting calls from youths shocked that they could possibly be suffering from depression when they were in a loving family, they had good friends at school and they were doing will academically.    But this does happen.  Sometimes there is a genetic component that may increase the risks of depression.

I also recall working in home-care and seeing some of my colleagues (nurses or personal support workers) who were suffering from “burnout”.  I had not realized how that can creep into your life like a snake…very slowly.

That may be why I never saw it coming for myself. Working at two part-time jobs, taking two courses per semester at university, member of school committees at my children`s school, along with other volunteer positions.   I learned what it meant to “burn the candle at both ends”.

Depression allowed me…no forced me…to take the time to reflect on my life.  It was like I was driving on the expressway and never taking the time to stop and visit the towns along that highway.  Depression forces you to take the scenic route, although you may not see it as charming at first. Truths are never too pretty to face sometimes but the weight alleviated makes your perception on life so much prettier.

depression
depleting life’s fragrance
fetid black hole
semantics adorn truth
eau de mélancolie

&&&

rising to darkness
blinded
glare of the sun
struggling to decipher
imitation from realness

&&&

dawn to dusk
one long steady sweep
of grayness
children playing in a park
specs of colour start bouncing

&&&

depression
my sunshine poking me
never giving up
finding my lost treasure
my self-worth

©Tournesol’16

Written for Chèvrefeuille’s Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

This started off as a series of tanka and I decided to personalize it more and shall share it to my other blog StigmaHurtsEveryone

habits of the times (solo no renga)

©Clr'16
©Clr’16

echoes linger
mocking in the shadows
mid barren trees

tendencies of souls at risk
symbolic of this season

hopelessness
leaving far too many
unhinged

©Tournesol’16

Three Word Wednesday: symbolic tendency unhinged

Daily Moments October 21, 2016  habits of the times   Solo No Renga

sitting in darkness (haibun)

Stop the Stigma

Depression can be a passage in time life offers one to take stalk of one’s life; other times it can be more complex…meeting up with past traumas, a chemical imbalance and the brain needs a boost of “vitamins”, a professional who accompanies one through the darkness so they don’t stumble in those twists and turns in that labyrinth of a tunnel…perhaps it is a moment to grieve which I often call a “necessary depression” to take the time one needs to mourn a loss…to recognize and embrace that moment even when it hurts.   I remember telling a youth embracing suffering sounds so absurd but picture embracing a cactus! and once you have felt the pain, with a supportive listener helping you detach from the needles of that plant, a lightness is felt and finally one may find enlightenment.

(Troiku)

waiting in darkness
waiting for the light
nothing seems to…

View original post 37 more words

The Stigma of her despair

Stigma deprives so many suffering youths and adults from getting proper treatment. There is treatment and there IS recovery.

Stop the Stigma

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The stigma of her despair

She struggled every day at school

dragging her feet there anyway

life at home was not so cool

she rarely talked to anyone

at school they called her emo

she always dressed the same

black shirt, black jeans without a logo

a long black trench coat too

all clothes she got at Sally Ann

she died her hair jet black

painted her nails and lips

black with hints of maroon red

to match colour of  blood,

it looked like her uniform

a suit of raw despair

because no one did care.

she tried to ask for help

saying she felt so sad

whenever she couldn’t stand

the pain, she chose to hurt herself

then students saw her marks

and bullied her some more

the teacher called her parents

so she could seek some help

but they screamed with such fury

for shaming the family.

And…

View original post 124 more words

Holy C Melan

deadlygothicdesigns.webs.com
deadlygothicdesigns.webs.com

Her nickname is Melan,

she is of sly, slithering species

tantalizing in her distinct bouquet

mesmerizing in her discrete array

of victims of her choosing

dripping bliss as she`s oozing

her prisoners of despair

suffer anguish in her care.

Hallowed in her divine

prowess she will define

the true painful meaning

finds her prey ever demeaning

suffering the wrought of her ability

winning casualties of her torment

sinking teeth of Ms. Melan C. Holy

whilst innocent souls lament.

© Cheryl-Lynn 2014/04/05 All Rights Reserved

Too often the powers of depression or long dreaded visits of melancholy can bring a person down. Not everyone has to be diagnosed with clinical, situational or other forms of depression to relate to these feelings of despair and I thought this poem describes the tormenting visits of this Melan C Holy baby.

Originally submitted at Stigmahurtseveryone

Criticism (haibun)

“Hello, you’ve reached a counsellor. How can I help you tonight?” I waited.  I heard soft sobs; he spoke so fast, I could not decipher his story. “Are you safe right now?  Are you okay?”

“Yes, I am safe. I’m at home alone.  My parents are at my school meeting teachers. It’s the parent-teacher meeting tonight. They are going to kill me when they get home!” His voice reached a high note and he sounded more like a young, scared child…not his fifteen years.

He called out of helplessness…a last resort.  Wishing to protect his family as youths usually do, he needed to get this off his chest for the first time.  Tonight, he wept on the phone for the first time a practice he was accustomed doing privately … his nightly lullaby.

He was worried about his parents’ reaction on their return. He had an  82% average and usually he got 90+  He talked about his listlessness and difficulty concentrating lately, his insomnia, his depression…

“I can’t remember a night I have not cried myself to sleep since I was 11. My  parents say I exaggerate and that I’m just going through adolescence.”

We talked about  these “depressed” thoughts and I suggested a doctor could help to ensure he had a proper diagnosis and address his melancholy and  his insomnia;  I asked him to describe what  it was like for him to feel sad every day, how did he interact with friends, was he involved in sports.  He said he wore a mask at school.  He quickly added his parents were not abusive and  supportive. “They always tell me they love me and want me to go to them if I need help.” He broke down sobbing again.

I asked him what he was thinking…I wondered what triggered the sobs. He hesitated,  “Well, I know my parents mean well but they always criticize me and tell me it’s for my own good. But I am so tired of hearing them talk to me like that…it hurts so much.” He sobbed softly.

He told me what his parents often add to their supportive messages, my mouth dropped as I heard it, “We love you, we care, what are you STUPID?!”  I was silent.  I felt like I’d been kicked me in the belly. I could not imagine how hurtful it must feel hearing such  “criticism” day after day, for so many years.

We explored which trusted adult he could ask for support. Someone who  might be able to help his parents understand how he feels. He thought of a family friend, his father’s best friend.  I asked him if he would consider seeing his family doctor.  He seemed wary about seeing his doctor without his parents knowing even if he was permitted at his age but would consider emailing his father’s best friend after our phone call.

He sighed and said he was very tired now but would call us again. “It feels good finally getting this off my chest. Thank you.”

(Hiaku)

True criticism

appraise and appreciate

does NOT denigrate.

© Cheryl-Lynn 2014/03/17

Photo credits: Psychology and Astrology

Something about Criticism.

Never give up (haiku)

Part of a puzzle
one big piece that does not fit
That just might be me

Darkness colours grey
oceans swallow fowl beliefs
sea of lost riddles.

despair clouds the mind
shift in attitude restores.
Equilibrium.

By no means give up
tomorrow’s another day
faith, hope… reliance

© Cheryl-Lynn, 2014/02/24

There is hope

deadlygothicdesigns.webs.com
deadlygothicdesigns.webs.com

Despair became her friend
sadness wrapped her like a blanket
Drinking, harming her new trend;
death seemed like her only target,
woke up mornings and saw grey
looked outside and just saw clouds
Praying, hoping was her way
now the pain just screamed too loud.
had no clue that there was hope
there are people who assist
teaching different ways to cope
seeing lifelines on a list
she decides, give life a try
called a youth line late one night
realized she needn’t die
Gave life a chance, saw the light.
Sure am glad she called that night.

Don’t give up when times are bleak
Talk to someone soon this week;
if you’re scared, check a helpline
they may become your true lifeline!
They’re always open, day and night
They never close…so call, alright?

*

Check for further resources at Stop the Stigma

*

© Cheryl-Lynn, January 18, 2014

&

On January 28, let’s talk.
Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives for every:

Text message sent*
Mobile and long distance call made*
Tweet using #BellLetsTalk
Facebook share of our Bell Let’s Talk image

*By a Bell or Bell Aliant customer only

Don’t forget, January 28th, to share those Tweets and Facebook shares will donate 5 cents…so share, share, share and so folks  talk about mental health to remove the stigma so more people, youths and adults will get help.

Compassion heals Pain

Cropped Photo: Mural street art - Montréal, October 2013 Cheryl-Lynn Roberts

Cropped Photo: Mural street art – Montréal, October 2013  © Cheryl-Lynn Roberts

Pain has become my best friend forever
that actually makes me feel alive…
without it?
I’m not sure I would survive.

Acceptance is the magic key
prognosis of a puzzling condition
he who has a medical degree
diagnosed a painful affliction.

But rather than sink into despair
I simply trudge on anywhere
and work with passion at my career
filled with compassion that is so dear
and knowing that my fate is clear
destined to help , soothe a hurt soul
I  feel blessed fulfilling this role.

Nothing better than to give…
listen, care, help them  forgive
yet not regress but
live again
and moving on, learn to let go
of their past hurts and childhood pain.

To feel a physical pain inside
simply confirms that I’m alive.
And when I think of those who stride
in war and poverty, still survive;
how dare that I consume self-pity
and whimper meagre aches and pains
when those who suffer ‘round the world
of hunger, rape …do they complain?
They only ask for peace … petty portions
of cease-fire, gain some liberation
and tranquil minds, and scanty rations
what so often we take for granted.

Pain has become my best friend
that actually makes me feel alive
without it?
I’m not sure I would survive.

I feel so humbled to assist
these youths who suffer silently
and reach out to us for a list
of ways to live more positively.

And then I try to instill hope
that will in time conquer despair
and offer skills to help them cope
until they learn to truly care
and turn their life ‘round for repair.

I feel so humbled to assist
these youths who suffer silently
and reach out to us for a list
of ways to live more positively.

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, January 5, 2014

Poetry share, prompt 37 for MindLoveMisery – Unavoidable Pain