What does depression feel like?

What does it feel like when
your partner, your closest friend
sees the fresh cuts across your stomach
and doesn’t say a word? It feels like silence.

What does it feel like when
words don’t form fast enough on your tongue
and your parents watch you oddly, because
your eyes are lolling and drowsy?
It feels like disappointment.

What does it feel like when
you finish an important exam early but
stare at the pages because you know
your answers were incorrect? And you believe
you will fail the class, and never graduate?
It feels like despair.

What does it feel like when
you fall in unrequited love
(if I may use the term so casually,
because what does it really matter),
with your favorite professor, who is married
and has children?
This feels like an ache in my chest.

And how does it feel
to know it is never love, and never will be,
for you are incapable of such a commitment?
It feels like preparing to stop breathing.

What does it feel like to
spread open your arms to the wind and rain
but feel nothing?

It feels like nothing.
It tastes like the blandness of pablum,
sounds like the echo of far-off music.
Maybe something better is out there.
Maybe not.

But at times it feels like the weight of an entire sea
surging over your body, dragging you down, down heavy
to the ocean floor. Hold your breath as long as you can.

At times it will taste like vomit, or sound like
the roar of a helicopter in your skull.
Feel me, feel me. I am here. I’m not leaving.

Depression feels like this.

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