Jacki Ingalls

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Depression is my best friend, my constant companion.

It hides behind each day and each smile.

It greets me each morning and is beside me in my dreams.

There can be good days, real smiles, occasional laughs.

There can even be good nights and sweet dreams.

Soon to follow, always behind each one is my best friend, my worst nightmare.

It's questions, silly questions of life unrealized.

What could have been? With each person in my life.

The roads not traveled are so many with each loved one.

It's the ever-wondering, the fears of continued torment.

It's the sweet dreams that don't exist in the light of day.

It's the nightmares that are always waiting.

It's the silence and the ever-flowing tears.

The mask people sometimes hide behind has nothing on mine.

Mine is ever in place, surviving, smiling, sometimes, being able to laugh in spite of it all.

My mask keeps the tears inside to only be freed in the darkest hours when loneliness is sometimes a blessing.

My mask can help others make sense of their torments and questions, to scream in frustration at my own.

My mask rarely shows the depression that holds me down and suffocates me.

It's almost a daily ritual, the fight for moving on.

The daily ritual of trying to find something to laugh at, something to smile about, something to make the day worth living.

Suicide is the silent solution, always standing in the corner waiting to be called out.

No one realizes how close at hand it always is.

I guess it too is part of the mask.

I can't let the mask down because my pain is too great.

It would terrify most people. It's better that they see what they need to see and leave me to fight my own battles.

At least the mask gives me something to strive for, something to try and attain.

Depression is a shadow that is here with me even in the darkest hours when shadows should disappear.

It closes in with no warning.

The tears come, with no relief.

A wish comes too, for past days of forgotten happiness.

Days that I had energy and purpose.

I wait for the tears to relieve me, to wash away the pain, the regrets, the questions.

They too seem to stay with me, bringing no relief.

I can't remember what a day without depression feels like.

I can't even imagine it anymore.

© Jacki Ingalls, 1997

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