Depression and Back: Poet Susan Polis Schutz' Journey

Schutz, a renowned poet, author, activist and filmmaker, has some words of comfort and advice for the millions of people suffering with depression.

Depression and Back: A Poetic Journey Through Depression and Recovery is the end result of a very special journal Susan Polis Schutz kept by her bedside and wrote in faithfully during her own three-year struggle with depression. Susan's poems were written on both her darkest days and at those times when she felt she was finally headed the right way on the long road to recovery.

The free-verse poetry and bits of narration are honest, soul-baring and inspirational, meant to get at the heart of the matter and encourage those going through any of the stages of depression. The book mirrors the four stages Susan went through: Depression, Pills and Therapy, Start of Recovery, and Recovery. Susan begins each section with a short introduction, then shares the poems she wrote during that time, not holding anything back.

Susan kindly gave us permission to reprint a few excerpts, below, from the book, published by Blue Mountain Arts. She also produced and directed a documentary on the subject, “The Misunderstood Epidemic: Depression,” which is available on DVD.

Depression

“When I first became depressed, I stayed in bed for three months…I didn’t care about anything. Sometimes I was able to write how I felt.”

From the brain

to the stomach

sinking into nothingness

I love life

so why am I so

lifeless?

Pills and Therapy

“I wanted so desperately to get better…I was willing to do anything that would help me, and I worked hard to overcome this misery.”

Rather than give into this

I’ll use what I learned in therapy

to figure out

what is making me feel this way

I’ll try as hard as I can

to examine my feelings

And I hope to

win the game

Start of Recovery

“As I started the process of beginning to recover from my depression, I wrote poems about how I felt while undergoing behavioral and other types of therapy…I constantly thought about what was going on inside my mind and continued to discuss my feelings with my wise psychologist while slowly getting stronger.”

I woke up

gazing at the

sun

fighting to

dissipate the

mist

over the ocean

and I wondered

if the

sun

would win today’s battle

against the

mist

in my head

Recovery

“Though it seemed like forever, after three years, I finally reached a point where I was usually not depressed anymore…I now look forward to most days and appreciate life’s beauty.”

Good morning

to me

a person that I am just getting to know

awakened to a new life of thunderstorms

as well as sunshine

who sees

with an understanding eye

full of tears for

sadness and difficulties

as well as for

joy and passion

Depression and Back

Excerpts from Depression and Back: A Poetic Journey Through Depression and Recovery by Susan Polis Schutz are reprinted by permission of Blue Mountain Arts, Inc. Copyright © 2010 by Stephen Schutz and Susan Polis Schutz. All rights reserved.

Susan Polis Schutz

Poet Susan Polis Schutz and her husband, Stephen Schutz, founded Blue Mountain Arts, a greeting card company, in 1971.


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