No, it’s not sadness

As part of our series on mental health, “Neither pathologization nor romanticization,” people who struggle with their mental health are invited to share pieces of writing, whether in the form of prose, poems, or in between, and pieces of art and that come out of these experiences.

No, it’s not sadness,
not really.

Sadness is palpable
It aches your body
Your heart
Salty tears seep into your parted lips
A cathartic cleansing of the soul

There’s beauty in sadness
there’s no beauty in this.

this is…different

It’s having your insides scooped out
and your sides scraped for any lingering shred of hope

Words drag themselves up your throat
and expire on your tongue

Mouths open and shut but you can’t hear
Lights blur and fade
like a badly focused photograph

Smiles never reach your eyes
You wipe sawdust from your mouth
after every meal

You wake to sleep
and sleep to escape
the darkness closing in,
leering from every angle
A claustrophobe’s nightmare

I see the hand you extend
I want to take it
I do
But I’m tired.
Too tired.
Too tired. Too tired. Tired. Too tired tired tired tired
Too tired to reach up and take it.

Nermeen Hegazi 

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