I’d like to tell you a story about depression today. It’s something that I struggle with on a daily basis and have for quite some time. In fact, I went over half a year without writing a blog due to a major struggle with the illness.
It seems cliché to be talking about this given that everyone seems to be talking about mental health and the need for awareness to grow. I know my own struggle seems trite in comparison to others. I personally know people that suffer from it far more than I do, but I don’t think it’s fair to discount my own experience with it.
My way of coping with depression involved a lot of reading and a lot of sleeping. At the time I was unemployed due to the tumultuous Alberta economy and I had really hoped I would be able to use my time to work on my writing and maybe get somewhere with it. That was not the case at all.
As many with depression have experienced, the illness attacked my self-confidence and eventually my desire to do the things I enjoyed. As a result, even the necessary things I don’t enjoy doing, like housework, were unattended to.
I was lucky, though, in that I had tremendous support around me. The Mr. and my kids, as well as my friends and family really helped me out.
While I was depressed I lacked a way of truly expressing myself. A few years ago I began following Tyler Knott Gregson on Twitter and Facebook. When I was going through any reading sprints I would sometimes turn to his poetry. I found that his Typewriter Series and daily haikus helped me feel less alone.
I would like to share one of the poems that was particularly poignant to me at one point over the past year:
I am so tired
of feeling like
a shattered vase
and I am so tired
of watching you
tip toe around
the pieces so you
do not cut
So many times I wanted to show this poem to the Mr. and all of those around me, but I didn’t because it felt selfish. I felt Gregson understood me in a way that I couldn’t share with anyone else. This poem spoke to me and expressed my feelings so perfectly and it helped me start thinking in a different way. It was a poem about giving up and reading it made me realize how much I wanted to keep going.
Now, this poem is not a full representation of Gregson’s work. He has beautiful work, mostly about love, gratefulness and appreciating life. He is a Romantic with a capital R.
Not only does he write wonderful poetry that speaks on a level I admire, he’s also a photographer. His book Chasers of the Light was wonderful because, not only was it full of his poems, written on random scraps of paper, but also with his pictures.
Poetry, to me, used to be annoying. Something I couldn’t understand and was uninterested in. Gregson was the poet that helped me to see things differently. It’s his work that made me realize I was missing out on a huge chunk of literature.
I owe hours of entertainment and feelings of peace to Gregson. I hope others will find his work and enjoy it as well.
The Beguiled Bibliophile