Depression, my friend – Original Poem

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By Mark A. Leon

Through the words of Vedder and Cohen a melancholy journey follows in this endless pursuit of solitary confinement

Depression, my friend

Like the warm embrace of these straps and padded walls, you never leave my side
Faithful, obedient, piercing

Even in beauty, I am ugly in your eyes
A failure destined for eternal void

With the temper of a band of ravens you stare through the emptiness in my eyes

Tired
Pathetic

I hear Buckley screaming “Hallelujah” as he floats upstream
A leader falls in the blood of his dream

Darkness is the only happiness
Without sight, everything is so clear
Picture it, perfect clarity
A diamond in the violent cloud of coal

Intellect dulls the knives and feeds rationality
Yet, is life rational with chaos all around?

Sometimes it is hard to hate when hate is so easy

Once again, I lay alone questioning an existence written in a book without answers

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A Comforting Thought – Original Poem

drownCan you hear me?
Do you still think fondly of me?

Every night I set time aside for internal mediation surrounding my aura with memories of our time together

A potion to my anxiety
A calmness to a storm brewing deep in the ocean of my mind

I do not know my plan
A manifestation from a deep belief in a faith larger than existence
A warm thought
Scripted by suggestive prophets and edited by jesters in courtyards of solitude

Swimming now
Keeping my head above the water imagining being six feet under feeling the ocean water and my inner body pool become one
Crushing my lungs squeezing my claustrophobia like a squid out to play
Soon a million memories will drown in an instant leaving behind a lifeless corpse

A comforting thought
Piercing this fragile shield of plastic
Are we all plastic?
Coated from emotion
A paradox
Betrayed of emotion; abandoned

drown2A synthesis of sound, now flat lining in one harmonious buzz
A frequency so high, life is unable to hear

A comforting thought
Deaf from the light
Blind from the symphony of love songs

This is what has become
Footsteps washed away
Clean particles of sand fused for all eternity

Friends To Avoid on Facebook

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Facebook has become a wonderful tool for global social interaction without actually having to interact. We can check the local weather from friends posting on their drive to work, get the most recent viral videos about crazy cats or dancing old ladies and of course endless online game requests. It clearly is the next stage in our evolutionary development.

There are also key indicators and behavior that give us a better understanding of the types of friends we interact with and there are some “friends” you want to avoid.

Here are a few clear signs of Facebook friends you want to avoid in “real” life.

  • The friend that does daily affirmation posts about what they are thankful for. This is a very strong indicator of low self-esteem and an individual yearning for acceptance, even in a virtual community.
  • The constant self portrait taker. First, this person has a lot of time to themselves. That could be a big red flag and they continuously post pictures of themselves in the mirror, car, beach or sitting at home. If they need to be their own personal paparazzi for attention, this is an indicator of someone that needs attention constantly.
  • The Constant Game Requester – Just plain annoying. We went through the Atari, Gameboy, Playstation, Xbox and Wii addiction already. It is old and boring.
  • The Foodie – If you feel the obsessive need to take a picture of every meal and describe every ingredient, start a food blog unless you are too lazy to actually put effort into writing.
  • The Check-In Person – The one who checks in to every place they go including but not limited to laundry mats, bakeries, restaurants, work, bus stops, beach, bathrooms, rest stops, airports and grocery stores.  Is there a reason we need to know everywhere you go on a given day?  Does this make your life more important than ours?  Inquiring minds want to know.
  • The “What is everyone doing today” Person – Yes, there are those that have 1000 Facebook friends but need to reach out to everyone to find someone to have brunch with or hang out with.  This could be a big blinking light of “panic”.
  • The Political Activist – Political activism is a good thing.  It is a healthy part of our democratic process.  Facebook gives us the option to write quick and candid posts without thinking through the logic and consequences of the comment.  Sometimes a little too radical can go a long way in the wrong direction.
  • The Bad Mouther – The person that takes every little wrong in life and blames someone publicly on Facebook and typically with a rated “R” dialogue.  That doesn’t need much more explanation.
  • The Facebook Stalker – They are a little harder to detect, but they are constantly checking your status updates.  A few signs you have a Facebook are are 1.  They comment or “like” on most of your posts, 2. Show up randomly at places you have checked into or 3. They start liking things you like on Facebook or adding friends that you are friends with.
  • Pet Profile – This is the person that creates a profile for their pet cat, dog, hamster, gerbil or other little furry creature.  Some give them human characteristics and some disguise it as their own profile to avoid others knowing about their deviant lifestyle.  Either way, a little weird.

There you have it.

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Your personal guide to the people you should avoid on Facebook.

Print it out.

Bookmark it,

Put it in your wallet and use it often as a reference.

Goodbye Apathy, Hello Life – Original Life

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I want to wake up from this dream and live again.
The closer I get to the light, the more darkness fills my soul
I have been filling my days halfway between existence and this black hole of unanswered questions
Millions and billions lingering in the glimmer of the stars
Close enough to touch, but too far to feel

All I see is a window with my own reflection and a backdrop of white walls cut up by life’s cruel joke
bleeding blackness

Am I gone?
Am I hanging on to a purpose?
Have I passed the test?
Do I even belong?

All these questions screaming in my head, every night
I drown them in the pity of a clear glass of numbness
It helps with the pain

Each day a thousand years pass
Each moment, endless and still

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I want to feel the blood dripping from my damaged wrists
Someday I hope this one prayer finds an ear and is returned with a blessing

I want to love this life again
I want to watch a clock tick and feel the sound of my heartbeat

Insecurity – Original Poem

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You laugh in the mirror as you cry inside

A double edged sword piercing you from every angle

Your pain, a permanent tattoo etched in your skin as a reminder of the marriage of depression and soul

Tortured, battered, weakened by the warriors of darkness

Every morning a countdown to another night

Every glimmer of hope buried before it can grow

Smiles hurt

So much pain now

So much screaming internalized

The screeching noise inside your head never stops; it only gets louder and more penetrating

All you want is to silence the pain

Just stop now

Make it end

Make it go away

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You don’t want to die but it feels right

There is no direction to turn; no place to call home; no beating heart to love you back

Close your eyes and pray; pray for a day of quiet peace

Breathe In, Breathe Out – Original Poem

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Breathe in; Breathe out
We all fall down
We all bleed

Time is a journey fueled by the desire for life

Lying in bed, I hear the trains pass in the night
Cheers of excitement resonate from the cars as a new adventure begins over the horizon with a new sunrise peeking from the valley

I, alone, lie in the darkness and wonder
Wonder what went right; reap in sadness over decisions soaked in the blood of regret

I breathe in deeper
The body aches from a lifetime of anxiety penetrating deeper and deeper with each passing day

I’m drowning in a pool of concrete pressured from the heat of the rising sun
I, in a moment of desperation retract

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Resist the calls of friends near and far
Avoid the risk of a better life

I let the blood drip from my pores covering the floors with a bath of my own sorrow

It hurts
Not the bones, nor muscles but the thinking

It hurts so much now
I want the voices to stop.
Voices of childhood; voices of elderly now clashing

Time is taking over with power of eternal strength in its corner
The bell rings and the fight begins

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Are we missing the signs of depression on Facebook

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“That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end. The fog is like a cage without a key.” – Elizabeth Wurtzel

Depression is all around us. It does not discriminate by gender, age or lifestyle. In infects us and spreads like a cancer and takes over our lives. For some, the signs are very clear while others hide it very well through their actions or lack of actions. With the world being brought at our finger tips are we missing the clear signs of depression or choosing to turn a blind eye to them?

Facebook is populated by over one-sixth of the human population. It has bridged our worlds and put the idea of voyeurism and stalking into every day activities. There are so many common indicators of depression and so many of us need to be aware and take action to help.

After all, these are our “friends”.

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What are these signs that a person may be suffering from some level of depression?:

  • Aggressive use of language on the social networks (Facebook, Google+, Twitter)
  • Constant uploading of self portraits.  When someone is constantly putting up pictures of themselves or re-issuing their favorites looking for reinforcement of their “beauty”, that can be a clear indicator
  • Constant quotes about seeking a better place, a better life, a true utopia
  • Constantly checking in to reinforce to their circle how socially active they are
  • Posing a number of “what if” questions or commentary on society
  • Not having any pictures of yourself but friends and family only.  Perhaps a sign of hiding behind unfriendly aging
  • Showing many pictures of drinking or many check ins to bars
  • Late night random thoughts out of character
  • Adding many new friends often.  Needing to be surrounded by strangers and constant attention can be an indicator as well

This is just the tip of the iceberg.   We can list off another ten or fifteen behavioral indicators on Facebook that could be a silent scream for help.

How many of these have you seen?

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How often have you reached out to try and help or even ask if someone needed help?

I am going to lean on a small percentage that have taken on the task of question number two.

I have witnessed these signs and later learned of depression, rehab, loneliness, sadness and rejection from these same people.

Maybe Facebook is the great savior for avoidance of responsibility since it is a virtual tool or maybe we have a higher responsibility to help.

Next time you witness behavior that is unorthodox, it doesn’t hurt to ask and just maybe you might be saving a life.