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.
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.
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.
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.
We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.
Unsplash photo via Jacob Walti