Sabrina Benaim – “Explaining My Depression to My Mother”


explaining my depression to my mother (a conversation) mom, my depression is a shape shifter. one day it is as small as a firefly in the
palm of a bear, the next it’s the bear. on those days i play dead until the bear leaves
me alone. i call the bad days the dark days. mom says: try lighting candles. when i see a candle i see the flesh of a church, the flicker of a flame sparks of a memory younger than noon; i am standing beside her open casket, it is the moment i learn every person i ever come to know will someday
die. besides, mom, i’m not afraid of the dark. perhaps that’s part of the problem. mom says: i thought the problem was that you
can’t get out of bed. i can’t. anxiety holds me a hostage inside of my house,
inside of my head. mom says: where did anxiety come from? anxiety is the cousin visiting from out of
town depression felt obligated to bring to the
party. mom, i am the party. only i am a party I don’t want to be at. mom says: why don’t you try going to actual
parties. see your friends. sure, i make plans. i make plans, but I don’t wanna go. i make plans because i know i should want
to go. i know sometimes i would have wanted to go. it’s just not that much fun having fun when
you don’t wanna have fun, mom. you see, mom, each night, insomnia sweeps me up in it’s
arms, dips me in the kitchen in the small glow of
the stove light. insomnia has this romantic way of making the
moon feel like perfect company. mom says: try counting sheep. but my mind can only count reasons to stay
awake. so I go for walks but my stuttering kneecaps clank like silver spoons held in strong arms with
loose wrists, they ring in my ears like clumsy church bells,
reminding me i am sleepwalking on an ocean of happiness
i cannot baptize myself in. mom says: happy is a decision. my happy is a high fever that will break. my happy is as hollow as a pin-pricked egg. mom says i am so good at making something
out of nothing and then flat out asks me if I am afraid of
dying. no, i am afraid of living. mom, i am lonely. i think i learnt it when dad left; how to turn the anger into lonely, the lonely into busy. so when i tell you i’ve been super busy
lately, i mean i’ve been falling asleep watching sportscentre on the couch to avoid confronting the empty side of my
bed. but my depression always drags me back to
my bed, until my bones are the forgotten fossils of
a skeleton sunken city, my mouth a bone yard of teeth broken from
biting down on themselves. the hollow auditorium of my chest swoons with
echoes of a heartbeat, but i am a careless tourist here; i will never truly know everywhere i have
been mom still doesn’t understand. mom, can’t you see? neither do i.

100 thoughts on “Sabrina Benaim – “Explaining My Depression to My Mother”

  1. Gives me chills EVERY SINGLE TIME I HEAR IT.
    Is there ever an end to it? It's like on some days I happen to forget about it, and then go back to being sad. Feeling worthless.
    I thought it was a phase at first. But one year… two year… there seems to be no end! I'm so tired of living.
    But I can't die too. For all the people who…
    Uh.

  2. I have her book she wrote, it contains her poems, her feelings and I read so I don't feel lonely like I'm the only one with these feelings, she wrote depression & other magic tricks. And I can't stop reading.
    I got it for my birthday from my friend and she's been there with me since I was in 3rd grade
    I'm almost in 7th
    She got me this cause she knows me better than I know myself and she's been through this too, and we've been together for forever.

    We've been together and I'll continue fighting life with her

  3. I told my mother how I feel but she treated me like a joke like I wasn't serious like my emotions weren't valid as if she needed to see me have a mental breakdown to truly believe

  4. I’ve listened to this so many times I could get up on that stage and recite it myself.

    It’s just so truthful.

  5. I’m so crippled by anxiety and depression, I would never be able to stand in front of people like you. At least your mom doesn’t get it mine thinks I’m possessed or have had some black magic on me…

  6. When i explained my anxiety to my parents they just say, ”all teenagers feel this way”. How does that help me…. I still feel just as much anxiety it doeS NOT matter how common it is.

  7. Heh…

    I told my mother..

    Why I shouldn’t live..

    Why I wanted to die so bad..

    Why I can’t be the same..

    Why my emotions keep shifting..

    Why my facial expression changes from extremely happy- to lifeless..

    Why I like writing fantasy stories..

    Why my grades slipped from Bs to As..

    And all she said was…

    “Ok”

    She goes back to watching her phone….

    Then looks up after a little, at my sobbing face and says.

    “ I’ll teach you how to kill yourself. I’ll teach you how to hang yourself.”

    My reason to not live is because in my eyes, the world doesn’t need me. And would even be better with out me. And those facts.. are facts I can’t proclaim as FALSE.

    Why I can’t be the same?!
    That’s cause you’re telling me to be more like people that I’m not. Why I can’t be the same?! Well that’s cause I learned that you are the step mother that my father cheated on with a wife with my sisters that I do dearly love and care about..

    I was on the side that hated the people I loved the most….

    Why my emotions keep shifting?
    That’s cause I can’t find stable ground, I can’t keep friends that I want to be friends with. But I’m EXTREMELY good at keeping the people who bring me down to a pile of dirt and gravel.

    My facial expressions change so drastically is because I’m faking my laughter and smiles. I don’t find your shopping and purse jokes funny. I don’t find anything funny. Why I’m so loud?! CAUSE YOU IGNORED ME ALL MY LIFE AND I WANT TO BE HEARD. But it doesn’t matter.. cause I’m just an entity that doesn’t matter enough to be heard.

    Why I like fantasy stories????
    CAUSE IT PUSHES ME AWAY FROM REALITY! CAUSE I DONT WANNA BE IN A WORLD WHERE I WOULD BE BETTER OFF DEAD.

    Why my grades are better?!

    CAUSE IM TRYING TO KEEP ME BUSY, PUSH MY BRAIN INTO THINKING ABOUT EQUATIONS RATHER THAN ALL THE REASONS TO DIE. AND MAYBE ILL GET OVER WORKED AND DIE.

    And all you say…

    Is…..

    Ill help you kill yourself.

  8. ok anybody know the poem pork chops or whatever well i read that infront of my school and it changed some people 🙂

  9. This should go viral, so that everyone, even the ones who aren’t even CLOSE to depression, will hear it, so if they even come CLOSE to depression, they get reminded, they’re not alone. EVERYONE should be happy even if they don’t deserve it, because NO ONE should ever be at the point that they don’t like the thought of living.

  10. "I am sleepwalking on an ocean of happiness I cannot baptize myself in." I gasped when she said that. Most accurate thing I've ever heard about depression.

  11. My doctor arranged for me to go start seeing a psychiatrist because I show clear signs of depression and anxiety…
    When I showed my mom the papers her response was "huh what a bunch of crap…. You dont need this…." and threw away the papers…. Thanks mom….

  12. "Explaining My Depression to My Mother, a Conversation"

    Mom, my depression is a shape shifter

    One day it is as small as a firefly in the palm of a bear

    The next it's the bear

    On those days I play dead until the bear leaves me alone

    I call the bad days "The Dark Days"

    Mom says, "Try lighting candles"

    When I see a candle I see the flesh of a church

    The flicker of a flame

    Sparks of a memory younger than noon

    I am standing beside her open casket

    It is the moment I learn every person I ever come to know will someday die

    Besides Mom

    I'm not afraid of the dark

    Perhaps that's part of the problem

    om says, "I thought the problem was that you can't get out of bed"

    I can't

    Anxiety holds me a hostage inside of my house

    Inside of my head

    Mom says, "Where did Anxiety come from?"

    Anxiety is the cousin visiting from out of town depression felt obligated to bring to the party

    Mom, I am the party

    Only I am a party I don't want to be at

    Mom says, "Why don't you try going to actual parties, see your friends?"

    Sure, I make plans

    I make plans but I don't want to go

    I make plans because I know I should want to go

    I know sometimes I would have wanted to go

    It's just, not that much having fun when you don't want to have fun, Mom



    You see, Mom

    Each night, Insomnia sweeps me up in his arms and dips me in the kitchen in the small glow of the stove-light

    Insomnia, has this romantic way of making the moon feel like perfect company

    Mom says, "Try counting sheep"

    But my mind can only count reasons to stay awake

    So I go for walks

    But my stuttering kneecaps clank like silver spoons held in strong arms with loose wrists

    They ring in my ears like clumsy church bells

    Reminding me I am sleepwalking on an ocean of happiness I cannot baptize myself in

    Mom says, "Happy is a decision"

    But my happy is as hollow as a pin-pricked egg

    My happy is a high fever that will break

    Mom says I am so good at making something out of nothing, and then flat out asks if I am afraid of dying

    No, I am afraid of living

    Mom, I am lonely

    I think I learned that when Dad left how to turn the anger into lonely

    The lonely into busy

    So when I tell you I've been super busy lately

    I mean I've been falling asleep watching SportCenter on the couch

    To avoid confronting the empty side of my bed

    But my depression always drags me back to my bed

    Until my bones are the forgotten fossils of a skeleton sunken city

    My mouth a boneyard of teeth, broken from biting down on themselves

    The hollow auditorium of my chest swoons with the echoes of a heartbeat

    But I am just a careless tourist here

    I will never truly know everywhere I have been

    Mom still doesn't understand

    Mom!

    Can't you see?

    That neither can I

  13. I know how she feels, I know depression, I’m 15 minutes clean from making myself throw up and 5 days clean from cutting

  14. “I make plans but I don’t want to go, I makes plans because I know I should want to go. I know sometimes I would’ve wanted to go, it’s just not that much fun having fun when you don’t want to have fun” wow. That’s all I need to say.. just.. wow.

  15. My depression tells me to kill myself, but my anxiety tells me the what ifs. So I'm stuck in a hell I can't escape.

  16. My friends when bullies bully me: They are a misplace
    My mind: I’m a misplace
    Friends: Ignore it
    My mind: Maybe the bullies say the truth and my friends tell the lies
    Friends: You are perfect
    My mind: You are worthless

    The only way we all truly self harm is with words in or out of your mind

  17. I never thought depression and anxiety could be described by a person with depression and anxiety. Because it’s hard to explain

  18. "Mom it's just not that much fun, having fun, when you don't want to have fun"
    Wow she actually put that into words

  19. i remember when i first tried to tell my mom about my anxiety and low self esteem and i started off by telling her that I'm feeling the signs of both i told her how i felt and she blamed it on me saying " see it's because you aren't eating" or " see this is your fault it's because you aren't sleeping" the thing is both of those things stop me from doing those things they stop me from eating and stop me from sleeping i wish i knew how to tell her but she will always find a way to blame it on me it's always my fault

  20. I’ve been trying to explain depressing to my mum over 2 years now. She don’t understand at all and most likely doesn’t care.

  21. The first time I came out about my depression, I instantly realised that nobody understands what it’s like other than someone that is depressed themselves and eventually I just stop sharing whenever I’m depressed.

    Family or friends, nobody gets you unless they are depressed themselves because in the end everybody gets annoyed or pissed at you for being depressed like it’s your fault, my mum would hurl insults at me calling me crazy and shit which would trigger my anxiety into anger and I start doing crazy shit like cutting myself or whatever and it just becomes worse from there until I calm down. But my mum still take me as a psycho

    Don’t get me wrong. She’s a great mum but only if it’s not regarding me being depressed etc.

  22. Hey can I please give you a hug? I understand and I think you really need a hug x-x You can say no it's okay but like, it'll be a cyber hug anyway.

  23. How do i always end up watching these depressing videos… Everybody else feeling like shit, just know you arent alone and even though its hard, trust me, so many people care. And i know thats hard to realize sometimes, trust me i have felt that way too. There will always be people caring about you and your health, show your depression, anxiety, insomnia or whatever mental illness you have that YOU are stronger and NEVER give up fighting the illness, because eventually we will all win ❤️

  24. She’s put into words what we’ve tried so hard to explain, and did it in a beautiful way…

    Most is is would be afraid to whisper this, and this lady has put so much faith into me. Someday I will tell them. Someday…

  25. Mom always takes away my phone for having no motivation to do anything and going nowhere and not getting out of my room. She’s lucky I can get off my bed. She doesn’t even know one bit what it’s like. I wish she’d understand. If I showed her this, she’d just say “Well i don’t know why you feel like this” and other stupid stuff that makes me wanna cry for how much she’ll never understand me. I write songs over this shit. They bring me as much happiness as I can get. I am now 13…I hate depression. If it was a person, I’d be in jail for murdering the bastard.

  26. Today I showed this to my dad. He have lived with depression for most of his life. He sad in his chair with my phone in his hand and I was sitting on the other side of the table with my eyes closed as I always do when I watch this. Then I looked up at my dad and for the first time in 15 years I saw a tear in his eyes.. for the first time in his life someone put his depression and thought in to words he said.. now I am home again, scared once again that it was the last time I saw him..

  27. My mom is the reason for my depression, and if I showed her this video, this comment would have never existed.

  28. i sent this to my mom and she told me "stop acting up you don't have depression you're just imagining it"
    and that's how my life fell apart 👍

  29. I run a YouTube channel where I talk a lot about my experience with overcoming depression, anxiety, and self hatred as a woman with autism.

  30. I wish my mom understood english so i can show her this
    Ive been trying to explain but my words cant really transfer the feelings
    Sabrina thank u for putting this into words 💜💜💜💜

  31. Turning lonely into busy.. wow
    Funny isn’t it?
    Having someone explain something you can’t put into words yourself.
    Lonely into busy.

  32. I will never get over how accurate this is. I just spent 2 days (yeah that's how long I lasted) in a mental hospital and my mum couldn't get it any less.

  33. Just a side note:
    If your medically diagnosed with depression, seek help. I see so many young people today be depressed but don’t know how to help themselves. A lot of where this modern depression comes from is social media, technologies in general, and pressure to perform. You unfortunately need to learn to cope with something our parents didn’t have to. A couple tips:

    1. Meditation. This is especially good if you have anxiety. Meditation helps calm your mind and body. (You can also use aromas and sounds while meditating if that’s your thing.)

    2. Limit social media/screen time.
    When we use our phones, we are accessing the reward centers of the brain. When this happens, we get addicted and rely on it for happiness. But phones are not a substitute for happiness. You need a life outside technology. “But I have to much anxiety!” You have anxiety because of this. You just need to learn to cope with it. (I know, easier said than done.)

    3. Stop over pressuring yourself. Nowadays we live in a very stressful environment. School adds lots of pressure on us to perform. If you can’t handle a lot of stress, cut back on activities or look into therapy/meditation.

    4. Eat healthy. Eating bad foods can affect our long term moods. This works similarly to technology, as it gets us addicted by accessing our neural reward centers. Make sure to eat a balance diet.

    Remember, complaining about your depression/anxiety does nothing to help it. Recognize your situation and improve on it and things will get better.

    Good luck.

  34. I started crying listening to this because all of it was true for me I relate to this so much and it breaks my heart that I can't help it

  35. This hit me, I mean…
    No one should be going through this…
    She's going put it into words so everyone can understand what she's going through depression…
    😭😭😭😭

  36. My family doesn’t comfort me. These amazing random strangers on the internet who know exactly how I feel, just comforts me because I am not alone.

    My friends don’t make me feel better. These amazing people speaking out and telling me what those who aren’t like me can’t tell me. She told me in words of my feelings that I myself couldn’t explain or understand.

    Honestly, why does these strangers on the internet understand, but the people in my life can’t?

  37. My parents think my DIAGNOSED bipolar disorder is me being a prick and doing it for attention.
    Anxiety puts me into a chokehold preventing me from saying anything.

  38. how can I explain my depression to my mom she doesn't even know it and will not understand it

  39. Ow.

    Right at the beginning.
    "One day it is as small as a firefly in the palm of a bear.
    The next, it's the bear."
    Yeah that hits really hard.

  40. I've always had anxiety and my mom died when I was only 7. In 6tn grade, I started getting bullied because I was openly bisexual. I cut my hair and got comments saying it was horrible and it looked better long. I still can't really explain anything to anyone but my one really close friend and he convinces me to text him instead of cutting and I really wish I could explain it to my dad. I was put into therapy but taken out after about 8 sessions (my dad probably didn't have enough money since therapy isn't cheap) but when I asked if I could go back into therapy for the summer for extra help, my dad said I was fine. If you actually read all of this, props to you and have a great day.

  41. I am 44 years old and my mom is an imbecile that I hope one day I can blow up her head with a baseball bat. BUT the truth is….
    1. Parents are not perfect, and "not perfect" means that they are fucked up. They are as reliable as living your cute 13 year old daughter in the hands of a convicted pedophile to take care of her for a month.
    2. Parents had and parenting. My mother was beaten to the floor by my grandma, I found out that after 40 years.
    3. Parents are blocked, that is how they see life.
    4. Parents can do so much, the rest of the answers we have to find them ourselves. Imagine you are traveling and the highway finished in a jungle and you are halfway… ok, that is life, grab a machete and now you are on your own.
    5. In life… you are on your own, if you have a perfect family, have your own.
    6. If you start to see everybody else's family, you may end up keeping your own. I have seen perfect families and years later I find out the hell they have been true, coping with dead children who were murdered by mistake by another sibling, things like that.
    7. Everybody has the same problem, people just deal with them differently. Again, time to cut the rope and live life on your own.

  42. Absolutely heart wrenching, beautifully written and the preformance only added to the message. It's a shame that pain is what brought this beauty into the world, but hopefully getting the message out there can help herself and others start healing ❤️

  43. A year ago, I would listen this in my bed crying. Now I am so happy. Things change. Time changes everything. You can do this 😁

  44. I’ve been considering suicide for years and a lot lately but when I listen to her putting my depression into words I feel validated… when will I be ok and free from this

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