I really shouldn't show this, but it has been told to me that my personal insights of depression and all of its side dishes are by far more compelling than any original thoughts I might have for this world. So I show these: some poems that I wrote during the year in which I was no longer a practicing physician, yet still somehow severely depressed. I'm much much better now thanks to modern medicine and therapy. But these allow a little view of the inner workings of my mind back then.
I AM NOT A POET BY ANY STRETCH, but one day these words just fell out of my computer, like talking with food in your mouth that goes into someone else's space.
Breathing quiets that voice.
Forgetting to breathe?
The voice deafens.
The voice hates to breathe.
Hates when I breathe.
Breathing opens space
For the voice.
Lets it out
Instead of cramming it inside
Much less crowded that way.
Even my yoga instructor
Tells me to
Breathe. (It does not go well)
Breathing gives me breath, air and oxygen.
Ammunition for a
They tell me breathing is
Breathe in, breathe out.
The only other option
Is not to.
One measure in the world of medicine
Is the LD-50
It signifies the dosage of a substance
At which half of the recipients dies.
Lethal-dose 50. Get it?
As in: 50% die if they get that dose.
It usually refers to things,
Such as toxins or medications.
But in the world of Trauma medicine
There is a similar measure.
LH-50. Lethal Height 50.
The height from which
50 percent of people who fall
For solid ground
LD-50 is around forty-some feet
— about four stories.
One can look this up on the internet
With the use of a smart phone
While standing on a ledge
or a bridge.
One can then look up the
Height of that very
A 50/50 chance of death isn’t
That is to say
50/50 is not
How does one get anything done
With all of this screaming?
Non-stop, and so angry.
There are swears. So many swears.
What is it going on about now? Does it really matter?
It’s something done wrongly, something done poorly, something fucked up.
If it’s not fucked up, the screaming finds a way.
It is fucked up.
Which one is fucked up again?
Does it matter?
Choose a hobby, any hobby.
I did. Singing, drawing, watercolors, improv, acting, writing.
Now poetry, apparently.
I’ve chosen them and tried them.
Downright enjoyable each and every one.
Compliments. So many.
Likes on social media posts.
DM’s on Messaging apps.
Such praise. Such accolades.
Friends are all so polite.
I hear, see, taste, or feel
Only the flaws.
“Don’t quit your day job,” a voice says.
Whoops, too late, now you tell me?
So many flaws, it turns. Twisted, gnarled, hideous.
Only the flaws. How did it become so convincing?
Was everyone else so wrong?
Choose a hobby, any hobby.
Over and over.
Ammunition for my harshest critic.
Then I quit my day job
Leaving me free to listen to him.
The tadpole, leg buds and a shrinking tail
An inchworm, a silken chrysalis
A website, a vision to sell books online
The swanling, insults absorbed
Is it too late for me to book time at a primordial workshop?
Where is my cocoon?
How do startups actually succeed?
Who gets the actual last laugh?
(Amphibian, insect, technological, allegorical or otherwise)
Is it only for the young?
Who decides the exact cutoff?
You’re only as old as you think you are
Age is in the eye of the be older
Youth is wasted on the young
Clichés as old as I feel…
Perhaps it is not
A metamorphosis but a rebirth
Renaissance man but in a truer sense
Phoenix, ashes, blah blah blah
I await such a time
Like Venus from a clam shell
Only not from a shell, a husk
Hollow, burned, blackened.
I'd like to file a complaint.
Wasn't it supposed to get better by now?