A Year, That Year

If you use Twitter, you may have noticed that a number of people have turned their avatar blue. It is part of the effort to raise awareness of anxiety and depression — Blue Day 2008. World Mental Health Day is on October 10. Depression can affect any of us, at any time — sometimes it creeps up on us, other times it hits like a fist. But it can be worked through — and help can be found. For me it was writing that helped to me to work through my own depression … and I have now lived many years without looking back into its cold eyes.This is a poem that I wrote  from the depths.

A Year, That Year
The must door exhales the memory of you.
Rotting teeth, perfect flying spirals
  and the fresh breath of forgotten fears
I dreaded your coming and going
  and the wake of your torrents – the sting of your tale
For I knew there was more to the story than the telling.

The idle tranquility of sprawling sheets offends the angry palm
Slamming doors, eyes shut, window panes.
The disappointment of a clear sky, an empty
  room and words falling from the page
And of all this you taught me:
  Even deserts have spring rains.

But for me?

I have supp’d on losses of a kind
The mother lost and lost haunts each move,
  each thought, each brush of skin on skin
The friends countless, disappeared, disappearing
  all rooms without faces
And the words that left me when only
  writing could hold the sorrow that breathed me
I stood
  shooting tentacles, acts of faith –
  desperation aside
I would have preferred anything to this
To the slow, unfolding knowledge
  that can only bring you to yourself
I have squeezed the blinding anguish of you,
  ripped the pages of your history
Ate it like the truth

And at its end, shooting sparrows from the sky,
  I began with ink
  and an uncertain ending.


UPDATE: Take a read of some personal Blue Day stories.

So what can you do?

The folks from BlueDay2008 suggest the following:

  • If you don’t have a blog of a podcast, register on this site and submit a post that will appear on the Submitted Posts page.
  • Change your avatars on your favourite social networking site
    Twitter/Facebook/FriendFeed/etc to something blue, download one of our pre-built ones
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Modify your blog theme to be mainly blue
  • Run a Second Life event, or attend the jokaydia event
  • Wear blue for the day
  • Organising a meet ups on the day, currently organised:
  • Tag your photos/posts/tweets with BlueDay2008
  • Become a fan on FaceBook
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