By Angélica Vélez-Giraldo
PROMPT—No one noticed ...
Isolation is my friend; it caresses every inch of me. Tightening ever so slowly, when it feels like it’ll be the last breath, it loosens. I wiggle around and make space for the next wave.
Space, for my thoughts, emotions, and actions. This is where love, comfort, and gentleness live. This is where ambiguity, pain, and loss live. All in one, this small place.
Small, this is how I feel at times. The more I speak, the smaller I feel. Why though? The more someone says they’re hearing me, the smaller my words get. The bigger my thoughts present, my thoughts are somehow bigger than the emotions felt. I think I’ve dissociated.
Dissociated, my thoughts, events, and emotions appear to have no conscious connection. Something I’ve worked so hard to realize and control. Thought I had mastered it, so naively. Thinking I would always be aware of it.
I have not Always felt this way, it’s not the same. However, it always has a theme.
Theme, a cluster of events, and feelings we try to make sense of, because we know they connect. Sometimes it takes me longer, sometimes the theme passes and doesn’t cause too much wreckage, but sometimes it lingers.
Lingers, it's why depression exists and persists. The lingering feeling or thoughts of worthlessness, uselessness, and numbness.
Numbness, a sign of disconnection, there’s no joy. Well, there is but you can’t see nor feel the warmth of it. We become disinterested in real people.
Real, I have a hard time figuring out what’s in my head, and if it’s real. It’s scary.
Scared, that is how I feel, scared to become someone no one wants to understand. Depression is scary. It manifests differently when you think you have a grip on it. You lose it.
Lose it, this is all our fears every single time. Will we lose it?
This wave comes and goes. One is stronger or smoother than the next. It washes away the un-grounded and it makes you sink into place.
Sinking into my couch, feeling everything and nothing at once.
Move, I cannot do. I cannot physically or emotionally move. I don’t move.
Angélica Vélez-Giraldo is 28 years old, uses She/Hers pronouns, and holds an M.A. in Clinical Psychology; she is also at the tail end of her doctorate program. As a First-Generation Latina, Angélica spent a lot of her adolescence and young adulthood struggling with depression and anxiety. She wrote this poem a little over a year ago when she had enough emotional resources to finally put into words her depressive episodes. Angélica writes from West New York, New Jersey.