What Depression Is Like

For a while now I have wanted to write a poem that encapsulates what it feels like to have depression, and last week I finally managed to put in words what I have been battling for over a year. It’s rather, well, depressing, but honestly there aren’t many happy things about depression. Allow this poem to be a glimpse into the life of someone struggling with mental illness.

 

Depression

The ground beneath me is quicksand,
And I am pulled under, weighed down.
The farther I sink, the more the sand
Grips me, and the less I believe there is
A way out. 

Fighting for breath, I cast my gaze upward,
Searching for any signs of life.
Darkness forms in the corners of my vision,
Blackening the blue sky until only
A pinhole of light remains. 

As long as there is light, I hope.
But the sand is filling up my lungs,
Filling every crevice, every fold of skin,
And it won’t be long until there is
No way out. 

-Erin Mount, 2019

adventure arid barren coast
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Let Me Not Forget

Let Me Not Forget

When nature hints at spring, let me not
forget the frost of winter and
its bleak landscape, sharp with barren trees,
the cold hitting wind-chapped cheeks.

When the buds burst forth, let me not
forget the harsh, stiff ground and
my body moving across a frozen pond,
cracks spider-webbing the surface.

When the world explodes in color, let me not
forget the inescapable gray and
the way my cries were swallowed by the wind,
soft as a whisper, loud as a siren.  

When finally the sun’s warmth returns, let me not
forget the chill I could not shake and
the many ways I tried and tried
to thaw my frozen heart.

–Erin Mount

bare tree in the middle field covered in snow

Photo by Todd Trapani on Pexels.com

Lament for the Downcast Soul

The clouds loom gray above my head.
Will the sun ever pierce this gloom?
How long until the pain is gone?
How long until I feel more than a sense of doom?

Lord, You say You know my inmost thoughts;
You say You will not leave me.
So why is it that when I pray
My prayers never seem to get past the ceiling?

My feelings rage and seek to rule me,
Filling my heart with anger and pain.
I look around for help to find me
And pray for a break from this endless rain.

I yearn for the day when I can stop fighting
And rest in Your steadfast love alone.
Lord, make your face to shine upon me;
May I find mercy at your throne.

Help me hope in what I cannot see.
Help me trust in what I know is true.
Help me surrender the lies I believe
And gently guide me back to You.

When faith seems far and evils near,
Dear Lord, be kind to remind me
That though I think I’m all but lost,
Your grace will always find me.

–Erin Mount

Trust

I trust You, Lord, in the depth of quiet night,
when my mind is turning endless circles
and the beating of my heart rings loudly in my ears.

I trust You, Lord, though the tempest rages strong around me,
and fear begins to take familiar shape
in the murky corners of my mind.

I trust You, Lord, in the loud silence of doubt
that haunts my nights and darkens my days
with dogged persistence.

I trust You, Lord, though the path is unclear,
and the way is choked by what ifs and unknowns
that threaten to overtake the light You give.

I trust You, Lord, though inside I long to betray you
and trust instead myself.
But You know and I know
I cannot be trusted.

Not too long ago, I came across the above poem that I wrote while in college, probably 14 years ago (holy cow, I’m old). I was struck by a few things as I read it:

  1. Why did I even hang onto such a bad poem? (Because I don’t get rid of things, even bad poems. And there were a lot of bad poems.)
  2. My love of overly dramatic turns of phrase is alive and well today.
  3. I still struggle with the same issue this poem addresses–trust.

I have been praying one prayer more than any others recently, and it is this one: “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.” I’m in a season where my faith hasn’t come easily to me, for a variety of reasons. I feel like I’m having to remind myself far too often of the most basic truths of Scripture: that God loves me, that He is sovereign, that He is working for my good, and that it is Satan who is waging war against me, not Him. Some days I don’t feel as though I can muster much beyond that simple prayer, but I take comfort in knowing that the Spirit prays on my behalf with groans too deep for words. And I know that there is no better Person to bring my doubts to than the One who can dispel them all.


What do you do when your faith seems hard?