Mental awareness By Eva Marie Ann Cagley

Updated: Jan 26

I recently had a poem published in a mag for mental awareness. It is geared for people with disabilities to learn how to write poetry as a tool for therapy. Working through their depression and anxiety.

I personally suffer from depression, and sometimes it's hard to even get out of bed. I lack the ambition to do anything. Withdrawn into my own little space within my head.

I have been using poetry as a tool for many years now. My earliest poems have a lot of roller-coaster mood swings. From the low desperation of suicidal thoughts to the high on life phase of bipolar.

I remember when I was first diagnosed with bipolar depression. It was the lowest time of my life. Never having been diagnosed until the age of twenty-two. Couldn’t understand Why Me?

My family did not understand it either. Placing the blame on themselves and felt shame that their daughter was crazy. Or was she?

The point is, many people suffer from depression and anxiety. Still very much misunderstood and often undiagnosed. In my family, most of us siblings have depression and anxiety.

I had the opportunity to be featured on their webpage. I wrote a whole article of feelings of and emotions. And I realized that others' suffering could be helped to feel better with my poetry. It was meant to be read, not hidden under the bed.

I caught myself feeling shame. That people would know. I’d be opening up that part of my world for all to see. I felt vulnerable. And I questioned why I had submitted there. I guess I thought it was going to be a place I could identify with others and understand myself better.

Some of my poems would fit like a glove, plus I’d learn about the struggles of others. Even in today's society, depression is much understood. It would be nice if someone could wear my shoe.

I hope with this article that others will be helped and understood. That people would stop placing labels and get to the core of the problem. I don’t use disability as an excuse. I embrace it and treat it like any other disease. I am no longer a victim, but a survivor. It’s a matter of perspective to stay positive and hard work.

Today I am stable and enjoying each day as if it's my last. One day at a time. So I remain humble and count my blessings every day. My challenge for readers is to try to educate yourself about depression. Don’t look down on or judge because you never know in could be you next time.

Stop labeling depression as crazy. I’m no different from you. I get by with a little help from my friends.

In the meantime, pick up that paper and pen and express yourself.

Happy penning © Eva Marie Ann Cagley

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