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THE DIFFERENCE by Anonymous



(Editors note: This is National Suicide Prevention Week. The poems we feature this week are meant to contribute to raising awareness toward this cause. All are welcome to participate)

For some, adolescence painfully toys with their lives like a cat plays with a mouse before devouring it…

With its overwhelming swirls of hormones and individuating drives, adolescence can rip into sensitive hearts like fangs into soft skin. 

Mercilessly, it leaves some young girls dragging themselves to school, only to question why their peers seem to be smiling and laughing frivolously, planning prom dates, while they are throwing up in the bathroom or up all night agonizing over ways to take their own lives. The contrast is dramatic.

This drastic difference is perhaps one of the most tormenting realizations depressed teenage girls can have: the observation that they are experiencing struggles that most of their peers are not. It is an incredibly isolating sensation at a time in which socializing is so important.

Because only 20% of teenagers experience severe depression before they reach adulthood, those who do often have a hard time finding friends who can understand them or relate to how they feel. 

Consequently, they keep many of their feelings to themselves, which usually makes their struggles worse. Writing poetry can become, in part, what carries depressed teens through that most challenging phase of their life. As they learn to share their feelings through poems, they draw some comfort from feeling heard. I used poetry in this way when I was a teenager, and today I would like to offer a young voice that same opportunity: to feel heard and hopefully, not so alone. 

Recently, inspired by the other poems in this poetry journal, a courageous, teenage girl decided to voice her own struggles in a poem of her own, and share it here with all of us. The only request was that I publish it anonymously.

Although I usually don’t publish poems anonymously, I feel that this is a worthwhile exception, as sometimes letting just one achy heart know that it was heard and appreciated, can save a beautiful, young girl’s life. 

Thank you.  ~Catherine~ 

I'm a 15 year old girl...

Ever since I was 12 I have struggled with depression along with self-harm and self-image problems. 

This poem is a comparison of some of the challenges I face alongside of what I feel are the things a typical teenager deals with.
'Wishing you well' by teen photographer Kiara Rose


The Difference

When you think about pain, you think of a scraped knee
When I think about it, I think of the scars on me

For you, sadness lasts a day
For years my sadness has been to stay

When you were hungry, you ate
When I was all I saw was fat on my plate

The most stress you ever had was studying for a test
Me? Well, my whole life was a mess

When you think of happiness, you think of rainbows and butterflies
I think of being pretty and having smaller thighs

When you say you're depressed, it's for something as minor as spilling your tea
When I say I am, it's because there's no future I can see
That is the difference between you and me.
~


(If you ever need someone to talk to, 
please call 1-800-273-TALK (8225) for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
'We Are All Going" by Teenage Photographer Kiara Rose

~


Comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing from the heart ~ very touching words ~ very precious ~ love

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  2. Thank you for this courageous poem and for sharing so generously. I am reminding myself that while we are different in the physical sense, we are also the same spiritually, simultaneously. Please keep on sharing and writing. Love and virtual hugs.

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome to reach me directly at anytime.
      e-mail: soulsanctuary88@gmail.com and visit: www.soulsanctuary.org

      Delete
  3. Dear Anonymous Soul! Thank you for your courageous vulnerability and honesty! I can you see your beautiful soul shining through in your poem; your sensitivity, your sadness, your pain, but also your hope. Hope, you ask? Writing a poem, SHARING a poem, is an act of hope that your pain is not only your pain -- that it is not as meaningless as it feels -- that something deep can reveal itself through a courageous facing and sharing of pain (like you have done here, Dear Anonymous). When we are faced with deep sorrow, we are forced to face ourselves and life in a way that those people who live only on the surface level will never know.

    So, by writing and sharing your poem here, Dear Beautiful Soul, you have probably HELPED many other people to deal with similar pain like yours, you have lessened their loneliness, you have made them feel less like a freak, less abandoned, less pushed aside.

    This, my dear, is the gift that you have! It is only the sorrowful that truly can comfort the sorrowful. It is the sensitives that can communicate to others the subtle layers of feelings. It is those who feel ugly inside who can truly learn to see real BEAUTY in others (and hopefully, in years to come, also in yourself).

    Dear Anonymous, I want to let you know that I've spent my teenage years feeling much like you are feeling right now (and I am sorry you've been struggling for 3 years, it's too many years, but IT GETS BETTER). I promise you; if you just keep taking care of yourself, keep writing, THINGS WILL GET MUCH BETTER. The poet and mystic Rumi used to say that "the wound is the place where the light enters us." And Jesus Christ said that "blessed are the cracked for they let the light through." And so it is, it is the wounded and the broken souls that get to SHINE like no other. It's the souls that have been through hell that can learn to help and encourage and heal others in a way that is just special. You are already doing it! By sharing your poem, you have already comforted others through your own suffering.

    I look forward to seeing you SHINING your light, dear one. You are beautiful and precious. With many gifts to give and treasures to share. The world needs you. You have a special light to shine; and shining through your brokenness that light of yours is going to be that much more powerful! So uniquely yours, so beautiful, so deep.

    Sending you many hugs & love! Please write to me anytime, my email is: tadiyadasi(at)yahoo.com.

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  4. It does not matter whether what flies is a bat, a crow or a eagle, they all sense beauty and freedom once they are up in the sky. All the hearts have wings when they feel love and they fly higher when they give love. A small bird might fall from the nest before knowing how to fly, a heart might be hurt before knowing how to love. But their respective nature is to fly and to love. Keep writing your heart to exercise your wings of love. The sky do not know boundaries.

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  5. Thank you for sharing. Please know you're not alone; not amongst your peers, however carefree they apper to be and certainly not amongst human beings in general!

    I was one of those 20% too - and the self-harm and eating disorder references are very familiar to me... My scars are still there, inside and out and fresh ones are still added from time to time...

    For me, poetry was and is and always will be a life-line. Not only a life-line for me, from my heart to the source of life, but also a line that, I realise more and more, is held by sensitive souls everywhere, unbound by time and space. This is a wonderful, bejewelled web of life-lines and you, beautiful poet, are a part of it. I hope you can feel the strength of it in the dark times.

    Feel free to get in touch if you need a chat.

    With love. <3

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  6. Dear Beautiful, Your poem speaks to many. It speaks to my heart. It touched a core piece of my youth. I spent many hours, days, years writing poems...like you. You will get through this. You are beautiful. You are love. Right now you might not be able to see it...but I promise, with all my heart, you are special, kind, creative, and highly intuitive. I wish someone had said those very words to me when I dwindled down to bone but only saw fat. I only saw rain in the sunshine. I'm much older now. Life changes. You are changing too. You're words are real and so are you. Thank you for sharing your poem and a part of you. You have SO much to give. I can't wait for your next poem! Please write again.

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  7. I can feel your ongoing pain in your poem and my heart goes out to you. Just know that hope and light are always there with us, even if they seem hidden in the shadows for awhile-or even for painfully longer than awhile. Oftentimes the way we perceive ourselves is not the way we really are. ...I think you might find this video interesting...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zw72ECvuT5c

    Every person is precious, every person deserves love-love from others and also to allow themselves the grace to love themselves. Sometimes the advice and words others might give , including my own, might seem superficial, might ring hollow, might not seem to compare to the pain and apparent bleakness in which you view life. Just know that so many of us have experienced our own walk through what seemed spiritual deserts-when life seemed empty, ,hollow, full of pain...There is hope though, there's always hope...

    One thing that has helped me to begin to see life in a more positive way is to keep a gratitude journal. Everyday just writing a few things, no matter how seemingly insignificant they are, down in it. For example...This morning I'm thankful for feeling the sun shine and hearing the birds sing. Just noting such things can be transforming to our perspective and help us see things in a new light. Perhaps one thing you can think of is just writing one feature about yourself a day that you appreciate...Like how great of a writer you are..and then start to also think about something physical about yourself that you appreciate-maybe your smile, or your eyes. Just some suggestions, hope they prove helpful.

    I wish you the very best. Lots of love. <3

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  8. Thank you, thank you for sharing. Please know that you are not alone. For those who smile on the outside can have a much different world going on the inside. I've struggled with depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. No one would have guessed until I started sharing my poems and writings. I discovered writing (journaling, short stories and poetry) as well as meditation and yoga as a young teenager and through my spiritual practice I saved myself. These practices to this day still help me to do this. And through my love of art, through my love of creating, I see that there is so much beauty all around me. This lightens the darkness, and when I honor the mess inside and send it healing, I make it more bearable. I hope this for you that you can find the anchors in your world, the things that you love that lighten the darkness. Sending you BIG love <3

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  9. Dear Anonymous,
    Thank you for sharing your poem. It really struck a chord with me as your experience is so similar to what I went through in high school. Depression can be a very heavy burden. But I see so much insight and courage in your poem. Again, thank you for your writing. And I hope you will share with us again.
    Radha

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  10. Thank you for your lovely poem. Heart-felt, true and clear...
    I too went through a depression early in college. Your poem deeply touches my heart....I hear you, I feel you, I honor you.
    I hope that you will share more of your poetry. As it heals you, it heals us all. You are an amazing poet and most lovely human being....
    With gratitude.<3

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  11. Hi there, my name is Edie. I have been writing since I was 9. Poetry was my first love and remains so. Your work shows depth and craft. As Ezra Pound said, Great Poetry must resound with meaning, my paraphrase....[it's been a while]. And you have lyric and image. Well done.
    As a teen I felt very alone. On the outside maybe I looked happy. On the inside I was riddled with anger and sadness. I sought to understand why I was the way I am.
    Depression is a tough one...to understate the case. I have a diagnosis on Schizophrenia and was an alcoholic from the time I was 15 to 30. I still today struggle with grief, an inner sadness that is a large part of who I am.
    When a freshman in college I decided I was not supposed to feel belonging anywhere, because that is what life had taught me.
    As a college graduate I was a donut dealer steeped in booze.

    Today I am 53, almost 54. Finding kindred souls, whether here or anywhere else, is vital.
    You have a gift with words. Use it. Find comfort where you can. Gratitude feeds the heart and nourishes the soul.
    I would not say life is easier today but with time I am better able to live it and find balance...today my feelings get hurt just as often and the feeling feels stronger yet I can process it better. Time gives me that.
    I am sorry you feel alone and are full of hurt. If I could I would wrap you in a hug just so you know love is near...the more we give the more we have to give.

    Sometimes just putting one foot in front of the other is the most we can do. And that's okay. We fall down to learn how to get up.

    Keep writing. Feel free to write me if you like...Yoga.Edie.Lazenby@gmail.com. Keep writing. Don't give up....there's a light in your heart and it wants to shine. i know it is there.

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  12. Adolescence is a tough transforming period for most of us. Wanting to be accepted and loved is a major issue and unfortunately not all of us have that environment but believe me, in due time you shall see that it gets better as you gain confidence in your own individuality and all the things that now make you feel like you don´t fit in will be the very things that make you feel unique and truly special. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some day very soon you will see how truly beautiful you are through your own eyes and that of your beloveds´.
    Sending you love

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  13. Sorry I am so late but I hope you can read this dear girl. I know how you feel. I know how it feels to look in the mirror and turn away.Literally turn away disgusted. Not liking what I was seeing. This is after my teens! I know what it's like to judge my body. I used to measure myself. My hips, thighs, mid section. Weight weekly and sometimes even more. I know what it's like to look in a friends face and smile and on the inside be thinking "I wish you knew how much I hurt." I can tell you my dear, I KNOW, how you feel. Keep writing, keep pushing, and dream of all the Good you do have. You do have it. Even if you have to look for it, it's there, is always has been. Stay strong love. If I made it out, so can you. xoxo

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  14. Allow yourself to be loved by those who you think may only be prejudiced as friends, family, neighbors. They are all choosing to look at your light and mirror it back to you. It is the time in your life to let others feed your spirit with some of their own. Embrace it now, for you will be feeding others with your spirit in a few years.

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