I Am Sat at the Bottom of the Ocean: A Poem on the Daily Struggle of Depression


I am sat at the bottom of the ocean.
It’s a dark part of the ocean,
But just shallow enough for the faintest glint
Of sunlight to break through the surface
And reach me.
The water is a dark blue-green;
Almost black in some instances.

But the odd part is that
The water appears to be perfectly clear.
There is no sediment.
No fish.
No dirt.
No life;
Just me, sat on the sand and rocks at the floor.

I am completely naked, and so very cold.
My knees are pulled to my chest each morning
I wake up down here.
I lift my head to look for the light, as I know it exists.
I know that light is above me.
The waves above are so very strong and angry;
Light flickers down to me once in a while.

I have to reach the surface to breathe.
I need to give myself life.
My lungs are burning and I push forth
With my legs forcing me upwards.
The currents pull me back and knock me off course,
My legs kick frantically to the light;
Whilst the waves above get louder and louder.

The clarity of the water makes the surface appear closer than it truly is.

My body is screaming to breathe.
I need oxygen.
I kick harder and harder with each pump of blood
Coursing through my body, fuelling me.
The surface gets closer.
I can see more light than before;
My vision blurs with the lack of air in my lungs.

I reach forth with my fingers,
Clasping and grasping at the water,
Trying to pull myself to the surface.
The water rushes between my fingers as I grab
At the sunlight that now taunts me;
And the final molecules of oxygen are spent in my muscles.

Suddenly I feel fresh air on my face.
I gasp.
The air floods my lungs like the sweetest nectar
And my aching body screams for more fuel.
The sunlight is warm and the sound of the ocean
Brings a sweet reminder to my ears of life;
And the waves crash into me, breaking the illusion.

I splutter and choke as wave after wave
Hit me and push me, throwing me around
And teasing me as I try to regain my breath.
As I try to regain my life.
As I try my best to survive.
The salt burns my eyes and tastes of anger;
I swim as hard as I can to stay afloat as long as possible.

And then I see you. You are the small dinghy. The life raft on my ocean.

I kick towards you, still pulling the roaring ocean through
My sore and ragged fingers.
My body is exhausted from the torment,
But somehow I manage to swim to you.
You are the shining beacon in this turbulent ocean;
I begin to pull myself into your safety.

I drop to the floor of the vessel, completely drained.
Physically.
Emotionally.
The waves batter the raft and threaten to throw me back
To the bottom of the abyss.
I don’t want to leave the raft;
I don’t think I can manage another day in the storming waters.

And then a wave topples you. My small dingy. My life raft.

I hit the booming ocean hard and get swallowed instantly.
The waves push you away from where I entered the inferno
And the current drags me back down.
The sunlight begins to thin out as I get deeper
And colder, with my sandy bed waiting with baited breath.
I kick and swim as hard as I can;
But I am simply too tired.

I fall back to the ocean floor with a soft thud.
My muscles ache and burn,
Whilst my eyes are swollen from tears and pain.
I am back to where I started.
Back to where I will once again open my eyes in the morning;
This is my life. My daily cycle. My eternal struggle.

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Unsplash photo via Jacob Walti

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