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  • Writer's pictureRabbi Raffi Bilek

The Experience of Depression

I am working with a client who is struggling with severe depression. With her permission, I am posting a poem she wrote this week that I think powerfully depicts the experience of a depressed person.

I’m sitting in a room that’s full of people,

But to me there could be not a soul. 

I feel so lonely, don’t know what to do,

No one understands, no one to talk to.

I have no energy to reach out, no reason to try,

Why is this happening to me, why oh why.

I’m not good at anything, have no skill to my name,

Nothing good will happen to me, ill never get fame.

I’m completely hopeless and also helpless,

Bottom line is i’m totally worthless.

No matter how many hours i sleep,

To function is no easy feat.

My concentration is extremely poor,

I have negative thoughts that don’t exit the door.

I need to diet, i’m so very fat,

If i stop i don’t know what my weight will be at.

I have no interest in any daily activity,

Or when anyone says “come with me”.

There’s nothing worth living for in life,

 But don’t worry i’m not using a knife.

Everyday i always feel so ill,

It doesn’t work to take any pill.

There’s so much stress and anxiety too,

I cant work, don’t know what to do.

I feel guilty about everything that happens,

If i get over it, always depends.

Of things that happen i always get a scare,

I cant be calm, there’s always a fear.

I’m nauseous and also very dizzy,

Who knows what will be with me.

I hate to be with other people,

They are always so judgmental.

I lay in bed constantly thinking,

Trying to sleep, twisting and turning.

I guess i have to take initiative,

To call a therapist if i want to live.

This is a very stressful first step to take,

To think about it gives me a headache.

I finally got the courage to make the call,

And let me tell you it was not a ball.

But now that i started therapy,

Some changes im seeing very slowly.

I finally started my medicine,

Not to take it will be a sin.

One day maybe ill get to a support group,

To get there ill have to go through a big loop.

Eventually ill act and function normally,

Which will be great for you and for me.

Ill be able to go places alone,

Without constantly checking my phone.

Within myself ill feel comfortable,

I wont feel so alone and dull.

Ill be able to laugh and also to cry,

It will be natural, i wont have to try.

For all this to happen i really cant wait,

Because i’m definitely not in a good state.

All this will happen and some more,

I don’t even know what there is in store.

Ill have friends and people will like me,

It will be good, just wait and see.

Ill be able to daven and be a better jew,

And be zoche to Mashiach bemiheirah biyameinu!

The last few stanzas in which she expresses her hope is a testament to progress she has made in therapy. These would not have been there a few weeks ago.

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