The Symptoms: Fiction Based on a True Depression

“Why do I ignore the messages my body is trying to communicate to me? Does it feel dangerous to listen? I deny, suppress, and minimize so many unpleasant emotions. No wonder I am often so exhausted and in excruciating pain. So long as I carry misplaced shame nothing can ever change.”

– Anastasia Cosima

“The Symptoms”

Fiction. Based on a True Depression That Will Eat You Alive.

by Viviany

This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character, or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.

Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255.

The crack of dawn,

eyes wide awake,

but the two hours of sleep prominent

under your eyes

and on your body.

No desire to get up,

what is there to do?

An hour in bed,

looking at the ceiling,

with the devil on your shoulders.

Call in sick.

Nobody cares if you don’t go to work.

Nobody will even notice.

Why not?

The phone in your shaky hands,

calling the person who can give you a free day.

But it feels nothing like free.


The day spent on a bed,

accompanied by tears and silence.

The silence that makes you

pull the root of your hair

scratch your thighs

scream at nothing.

Your body frail,

ready to crumble at the first

sign of weakness you show.

It’s time to listen.

But you’re not ready.

How can someone ever be ready

to be forced to talk about the most awful thing of their lives?

How can someone ever be ready

to relive the most painful thing they’ve endured?

How can someone ever be ready

to face all the pain and trauma repressed for so long?

I don’t know.

But the day has ended and gone,

and you didn’t even notice.

You didn’t eat,

you didn’t talk,

you didn’t bathe,

you didn’t do anything other than





and mindlessly stare at the wall in exhaustion.

But even exhausted, you can’t sleep.

Yet another fucking symptom.

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