I'd written "Was This How You Planned For It To Work Out?," a response to the cruel words a young woman I'd graduated with had messaged me about being "too stupid," "too lazy," and "too selfish" to use birth control or to have an abortion.
Thinking about this negativity was exceedingly difficult for me as a Latina woman and mom who is depressed.
Her words impacted me for a long time, wounding me so deeply that I felt as if I were completely losing my battle with depression.
As I wrote about the situation, it almost felt easy to let those feelings overwhelm me again--the anger that someone so educated could be so unkind, the fear that this young woman's perception of me could be true, the sadness that there is so much condescension in our world.
I recalled the fact that there is still beauty in the world, that there is goodness in people and that someone battling depression can find the support they need in others.
I am grateful to all of you, my dear readers, for your kindness, for your encouragement and for your time.
The 100-word poem below is for everyone who gets lost in negativity, who thinks they are worthless, who no longer believe in hope.
It's so important to address your mental health, to seek help from professionals, friends or family and to remember that you are not alone no matter how lonely you feel.
Apathy, doubt, anger and fear--a sense of loss overwhelms
your other senses, and it's hard to taste or hear
joy, to touch or smell the wondrous good of living.
Mornings taste bitter.
Meals look grotesque.
Pleasure smells like nothing.
Maggots of guilt and sadness have risen up within you…
Ignored, they have rotten away your insides, filling your soul
with grief's irritability. You're exhausted.
It's hard to remember hope--how it can renew you,
give you the strength needed to survive these difficult times,
but it exists in friends, in children, in your hands.
You aren't alone. You matter.