Sometimes being around people is the last thing I need when I am feeling suicidal or even just mildly depressed. In these times, I often turn to art for catharsis. Here are some of my favorites:
1. “Resume” by Dorothy Parker
Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Gas smell awful;
You might as well live.
I first encountered this poem in college when I was going through a particularly extended bout of depression. By that time, I’d analyzed all kinds of ways to commit suicide. I still do in dark moments. But I remember this poem, and with it recall that life is absurd, satire can be cleansing, and it is often better to laugh than to cry. Parker attempted suicide at least three times. She wrote this poem during an extended period of depression.
2. “I Don’t Want to Go” by Shannon Stephens
I have never come across a song that so perfectly captures in words and sounds how I feel when depression drags me down. The opening lines are perfect:
I don’t want to exercise tonight;
I just want to sit in the bath and cry.
I just want to put my gray socks on.
I just want to lie as still as a stone.
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