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Coping With Depression: A Poem

Some people I’m close to are going through some difficult times right now. Some are having relationship problems, others are enduring career...

Some people I’m close to are going through some difficult times right now. Some are having relationship problems, others are enduring career crises, and some are just very, very low.

So in the spirit of Valentine’s Day – which is, at the end of the day, a celebration of friendship and love – I thought I’d post this poem written by the fabulous Colleen Wainwright of Communicatrix fame.

I’ve been sending it around a lot lately:

For Occasional Blues

When you are low

—and you will be,
just as sure as you
may not be now—

it is good to have
a few necessities in stock
to keep the beasts
at bay.

Like your day at Point Dume,
and that wall of wind pushing back
as you sung the first three lines
of fifty pop songs
against it
while your heart screamed,
my ocean!

Or sinking into the air-cooled comfort
of first show at the Grove
and tucking your chilled toes
up under your tush
as you prepared
to disappear
for two delicious hours

Or the heat of the tarpaper tiles
on the low-slanted roof
as you baked between classes
beside your traveling companion,
passing salted Ruffles
and a half-quart tub of sour cream
back and forth
against the prospect
of imminent minor discomfort.

The trick
if there is one
is to recall specifics
with the precision
of an ichthyologist
aligning individual scales:
the feel of leaning in
the nap of new velour
the slope of the incline

And if you can’t,
make it up

But precisely

God is in the details
even if you are the god
who put them there

and it is through these million
man-made pinholes
that you will reconnect
with the All-That-Is
and find the love
that eludes you now.

Send this to someone you love. We all need a pick-me-up once in awhile…

Image: Depression by Canonsnapper via Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

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  1. sagehope February 15, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    Hi, I found you by the tag “LOVE” I am connecting with people who are on some level like minded. So, Hi, and hope to speak to you in the near future.

  2. Tammy McLeod February 15, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    This is a great poem. Her descriptions are alive and one can imagine actually being pulled from depression. I found your blog when I searched on “love”. That’s pretty cool.

    • delialloyd February 15, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

      yes it is! thanks for stopping by!

  3. sagehope February 15, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    It is wonderful that you have other people’s well being in mind. by for now

  4. Colleen Wainwright February 15, 2010 at 5:13 pm #

    Hey! No one finds me when I tag my posts with “love”!

    Seriously. SERIOUSLY. Thank you for sharing this one with more people, dearest D. (And thank you to any people who are sharing it further.)

    I’m not sure that these lines are the most graceful or elegant that I’ve written, but if they’re helpful, I don’t give a rat’s patootie for elegance. Depression is nightmarish and extended sorrow ain’t much better.

    YOU, however, are awesome.

  5. delialloyd February 15, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    They are your words, my friend, and they happened to arrive right at the perfect moment…karma it is, I suppose. Happy V Day!

  6. Rachel February 15, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    It always gives me hope when someone shares a poem – not quite the kind of specific sensory memories the poet speaks of as a bulwark against the darkness but still an uplifting that we’re still capable, as a species, of crafting language to capture the truths of our lives – and of recognizing them when we meet them. thanks to Delia and Colleen. Rachel

  7. Daryl Boylan February 16, 2010 at 12:26 am #

    You’re right — language helps. Might it help an old friend?

  8. Deborah Robertson February 16, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    Thank you Delia. It was perfect to be reminded this dark, sad morning that I can reconnect with the Divine whenever I need to. That I can be in charge of me. xx

  9. Cathy257 February 16, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    Thanks Delia! I needed that.

  10. Patricia February 16, 2010 at 9:25 pm #

    What a great poem and I am finding so many contacts are dealing with depression right now….these words are helpful and lifting.

    I am worried sad….and letting go of my expectations…good work and this is a nice gentle touch.

    I do believe that my body made this pain to get me to stop and do this work…I might be smarter next time.
    Thank you for sharing

  11. delialloyd February 17, 2010 at 6:46 am #

    I’m glad it was helpful, Patricia. And I think letting go of expectations (if they are set too high) is important…you’ll make it through to the other side. We all do!

  12. Jana February 23, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    Wow, what a beautiful poem! Thanks for posting it.

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