I hurt myself today
To see if I’d still feel.
I focus on the pain,
The only thing that’s real.

Sometimes it feels like I am watching the world through my front window.

The world–mostly my friends–is having fun and doing great things.  All with each other.

While I sit in my living room amongst the toys and the whining toddler and the waves of nausea and smell of toddler poop.

I feel forgotten.

Maybe not completely forgotten, but avoided.  Avoided long enough that I have been forgotten.

Nobody wants to invite the downer.

Nobody wants to try to “have fun” with someone who is going through a “phase”.  Again.

What have I become,
my sweetest friend?
Everyone I know
Goes away in the end.
You could have it all,
My empire of dirt.
I will let you down,
I will make you hurt.

My jokes fall short.

I break plans and then wallow when no one invites us around anymore.

I tell myself that I am a terrible friend, wife, daughter, mother.

But I want people to like me.

I am a ball of contradictions.

I don’t make sense.  To you or myself.

I let myself down by not accomplishing my goals.

I let my loved ones down by not doing what I say I will do.

I am unreliable.

I am unstable.

I have done this to myself.

I wear this crown of shit,
Upon my liar’s chair.
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair.
Beneath the stains of time
The feelings disappear.
You are someone else,
I am still right here.

My friends and family move on and live without me.

I am still here.  Behind my window.

And when I feel better?  When I snap out of it?

Everyone has changed.

There is no trust.

There is no laughter.

There are eye rolls and polite nods.

And an empty inbox.

And a quiet cell phone.

If I could start again
A million miles away,
I would keep myself.
I would find a way.

I wish I knew when this began.

I wish I could go back and keep Katie the way she was.

I wish my friends would treat my like they always did.

I wish “depression” wasn’t a deal breaker.

*”Hurt” is by Nine Inch Nails, but I chose to use the Johnny Cash version because it is hauntingly beautiful.
About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. yes ma’am.
    thats just about exactly how it is on the inside. With the internal dialogue and the soundtrack that resonates deep inside.

    Took courage to post it and own it, but you know I understand. *HUG*

  2. My heart hurts for you as I read this, because I know, because so many of us out there know. ((HUGS)) Here for you friend. Anytime.

  3. You make total sense to me. I’ve been held by depression, doing what I don’t want to do, not doing what I want to do… is a spiral.

    I hope you find your way out soon, beyond the window. And that your friends see the real you hiding beneath the depression and morning sickness and pain. Because you are still there, still Katie, still you.

    Sending love and hugs your way.

    That song is hauntingly beautiful.

  4. Still loving you…still having fun with you….still looking forward to the next time I get to see you (which I have a fun plan for by the way) and still enjoying being around you whenever I get the chance! We’ve all had lots of changes the past few years but one thing has remained the same….We’re friends! Sending you hugs and hugs and more hugs!

  5. I haven’t known you long, but I wouldn’t avoid or eye roll you – depressed or not. A friend is a friend, no matter what. If people avoid you because you’re depressed, you don’t need them. Honest.

  6. Thank you for having the courage to post how you feel. Please know you are not alone. You can open the window and climb to the other side. Just have faith that you deserve to be there, deserve the happy life becauae you do. The song is definitely hauntingly beautiful. Hugs Mama.

  7. Yes. A million times yes. I find that when I stand up and look around, there’s just no one there any more… not on the phone, not on twitter, not anywhere.

    Just no one.

  8. Oh K! I have been there…more times than I would like I am still there. The friend left out…most likely because I have flaked out so many times before. Not because I don’t want to be having fun but because sometimes fun is an impossible idea. Major hugs Momma.

  9. Oh Katie, I wish I had a magic wand to wave and make the hurt evaporate. Once in a while I feel what you described, but I couldn’t imagine having to feel like that all the time.
    I send hugs and love for you.

  10. I feel your pain. The stark loneliness of depression leaves such a gaping hole it is often hard to put it into words, but you have captured it perfectly.

  11. I am sorry you feel like this and hope you can find one or two people who are forever-friends. People who understand that maybe it’s a phase and maybe it’s part of you and who will be there for you. Friendship isn’t only about the fun times and the light times; it’s about the darkness and the spaces and silences, too. Thinking about you.

  12. I don’t know you well, nor do I have any words that can fix it. I am also someone who has been there, and nodded along with your words. Just know that you’ve made it through this before and although the Katie you miss may be hard to find right now, she’s there. You’ll find your way back.

  13. I feel your pain – I’ve lived it. You have so accurately described depression here, Katie, except for one thing – you have not done this to yourself. None of us have. We do not “choose” to be depressed. When that fog descends, we cannot “pull ourselves up by the bootstraps” or “think ourselves happy.” We simply have a chemical imbalance in our brain make-up, and that is not our fault.

    You didn’t do this to yourself, Katie, and you should in no way shoulder the blame.

  14. i hate the pain you are going through. i wish there was an easy way to make it end, but there isn’t. it’s just one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. I know you can do it. hang in there.

  15. I wish I didn’t understand this but sadly I do. Thanks for expressing it so well and many good thoughts being sent your way.

  16. From inside, I know that’s how it feels, but I promise, you’re not forgotten. And so fucking what if you can’t be the life of the party right now, babe. You’re creating a new life to party with and it’s sapping your energy. Understandable. The people who matter will still reach out and be here when you do.

    Still. Take care of yourself. Okay?

  17. Oh sweetie! I’m so very sorry you are going through this. I’ve got nothing by hugs and thoughts coming your way. You are not alone…know that. You. Are. Not. Alone!

  18. Your words really struck a chord with me…and make me want to reach out and hug you!!! Please remember that you are doing your best and take care of yourself when you can and have the energy.

  19. You are beautiful. I hope you find your way out from behind your window.

  20. Oh, Katie.
    I was there then.
    And I am here now.
    Nope, not going anywhere.
    I love you and I’m just a call, DM, email, or text away.
    I wouldn’t even rule out a cross country drive if you need me.

  21. No! Don’t go in there! Shut the window. Let us pull you out! We know what it’s like on the other side and you don’t have to be in there, Katie. YOU belong outside of it. Nobody here will roll their eyes. SO many of us have been where you are. Your inbox will NEVER be empty. EVER. And shoot, the phone call would come right now if I had your number, but you can always call me. We need to dance with love and joy for the connections and support. You can beat this thing to a pulp. Kick a$$ like the strong mama you are. Much love. xoxo

  22. Katie,

    Get out of my head.

    I am in the same place. I am sorry you are there. I know it sucks. But you are not alone. And you are brave and all kinds of awesome for sharing this.


  23. Sending you so much love. So many people are here for you. In the same place, next to you, and haven’t gone anywhere. You’re not alone. Never. xoxo

  24. Love NIN. I understand. If I can help, let me know. I havent forgotten you.

  25. Sending you prayers. xo

    I’ve been there. Very recently. Hang in there.

  26. I have been there. I know exactly what you are feeling right now. I have actually been going through some of these feelings again. I hope that you can find your way out. You are quite an amazing person and I know that you are strong. XOXO

  27. Understanding can be so hard to come by. Good luck to you…big hug.

  28. Wow, this is me. I thought I was the only one. Thank you for sharing this. Just knowing that someone else feels this way (which im so sorry that you do) doesn’t make me feel so alone.

  29. Hi, friend. I am sorry to hear you’re in a dark place. Know that you always have friends who stand by you no matter what. count me as one of them. You’ve got my #.


  30. God I can so relate to this….

  31. While I can’t relate to the addition of children into the mix, I can relate to the addition of depression and exactly what you’ve described above. (I wrote a “She Will” post about this a couple months ago.)

    What I find most difficult is the pull to connect conflicting with the pull to simply withdraw into my own head, my own space, my own black cloud. While it seems you are alone–either by choice or by change–you’re not if you don’t want to be.

    You are not forgotten, you are stuck, you are not alone. Although virtual, sending positive vibes your way.

  32. Oh Katie, hang tough girl. You’ve got this. You have more support and love than you even realize! Just hold on, keep talking, keep putting one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. It’s going to get better. xo

  33. I can really relate to this. So sorry you’re having a hard time.

  34. My thoughts are with you.

    You are not alone.

  35. What raw feelings that are so well shared! I hope things look up soon!

  36. Thank you so much for sharing. I have struggled with depression and anxiety for so long. It feels like no one gets it but after reading this, and the resulting comments, I know that some do get it. I haven’t talked much about my depression on my own blog yet but I have been feeling that lately I am almost ready to do so. Thank you so much for showing that people do have these feelings. Love your words. And I am here for you.

  37. Hang in their Katie! I am so sorry you are struggling right now. Just remember that true friends will by your friend no matter what. :big hugs:

  38. You’re speaking the words out from inside so many of our heads, and that’s a brave thing to do, beautiful lady. Keep writing; people are listening.

  39. sending you a lot of love. love and hugs friend.

  40. I am ALWAYS here. No matter how fugly it gets around here. I’m in for the long haul whether you like it or not…hint you better facken like it 😉
    Email me. Call me. Skype me. Please friend. Love your pukey face.

  41. Katie:

    *deep sigh* I can relate to this as well. I was beyond down when my son was born. And it went on and on. I am really concerned, though, because you sound really down today.

    Have you called your doctor? You need to talk to someone — today.


    I know where those dark thoughts can lead people.

    If I had your phone number, I would call you right now and drag you there myself. Because you aren’t seeing your shine. Your hormones are out of kilter.

    “What have I become?”

    You have become a mother, a fabulous writer who makes us feel. And you are going to be a mother again: soon to be even fabulous-er. (I’m an English teacher. I’m allowed to make up words.) You are busy becoming and you don’t even know it!

    Please, please call the doctor. I am scared about you today.

  42. Email me and I’ll give you my number! 😉

  43. I’ve totally been there (recently, in fact). You are not alone. I’ve struggled with depression since high school, so I can honestly say I know exactly how you feel.

    Sending lots of love and hugs.

  44. The courage it takes to write any of this is very commendable. I have dealt with anxiety and depression ever since I can remember yet those around would probably never even know. It is a hard thing to admit because those who have never dealt with it will probably never understand.

    The loneliness is sometimes quite unbearable but it sounds like you have a great group of ladies here. That is the most important thing. Not everyone has that. Be strong. This is a life long battle and one that cannot be done alone.

  45. I know this pain. I’m experiencing it myself right now. It’s a never ending cycle. You want something, it comes along and then you don’t want it anymore, without realizing you wanted it to begin with.

  46. I’m another one of your readers who understands depression, and I struggle with it, to various degrees, all the time.

    It looks like, from reading these responses, that a lot of people still care about you, even though you are depressed. That’s because the real you is still alive under those dark feelings.

    Thank you for writing about your depression and helping people to understand it, especially those who rarely experience it.

    And what Kristin wrote above is true: this is NOT your fault. Believing that it is will just add to your depression unnecessarily. It’s about faulty brain function – not enough serotonin production. Please don’t blame yourself.

  47. I’m so sorry you are in this space right now. I can relate. I have been there before. Sending thoughts your way of hope.

  48. Katie, I have lost so many friends due to my struggle with bipolar II disorder. It took me a long time to get over the pain of all the people who I thought abandoned me. I finally realized that not all people are built to have a long-lasting friendship with someone who gets depressed. For whatever reason, it’s just not something they can do. I decided not to be angry. Not to hold grudges. I finally let them go.

    The ones left standing? They are the best people I have ever known. They are THERE no matter what I am going through. They may be few and far between but when you’re a depressed person it is about quality vs quantity, ya know?

    You’ll be okay. This is a rough time for everyone. But you’ve come through it before. You’ll come through it again.

    And the people who matter will be there to greet you when you do.

  49. I wanted to leave you some words that would make you feel better, but I just feel I can’t say the right thing. I know where you are, but I also know where you’ve been and where you are going. Stay strong, and see how many people love and care about you. They are all here for you. We are all here for you. Sending you virtual hugs. I am here, as much as I can be, for you if you need me.

  50. Katie – I have stumbled onto your post through my good friend, Erin Margolin. I hope you can FEEL how many people are affected by your words. I, too, have & still do suffer from depression. My father took his own life 2 years ago last month. He loved Johnny Cash. My father was so amazing, but he also did not FEEL it. He COULD feel hurt, sadness, failure, but for whatever reason, was NOT able to tune into all the love, respect & acceptance people had for him. He doubted himself so much, but if he could have only felt about himself the way I (and the 700 other people who came to his funeral – seriously – a loved & respected man) felt about him, he would still be here today.

    I love your words, but I hate that you (and so many others, including my father & myself) feel this way. We are ALL important, relevant & needed. We ALL (either at some point in our lives or unfortunately, more often than not) have felt like we have failed others & ourselves. I do not know you, but I AM you. I have never met you, but I FEEL you. I have never spoken to you, but I UNDERSTAND you. You write beautifully, you have touched me in a way that I can never explain. I am not one to reply to posts, I am a “lurker” by nature and on the web. I am not one to talk about my dad to random strangers, but your post along with the song (a favorite of mine for many years), compelled me to respond. You have WAY more impact than you give yourself credit for… if you just did that for me, a complete stranger, I KNOW you have such an amazing impact on your family & friends. You have a new fan in me… thank you.

  51. I read your Facebook post today after your first day back with students. I can only hope that those kids were a FRESH reminder (because, after all, your friends and family are around you constantly and therefore not catalysts for a new spark!) of how important you are; that you are a PART of something bigger; that you have been and will continue to be “more than.”

    I know being a teacher isn’t the MOST critical job in your life. But it connects you to a part of who you are that is worthy, that is valuable; that makes a difference for so many.

    Just thought I’d add this since I have no other words of comfort.

    You are loved. You matter.

  52. You are not alone. Your blog has really helped me as I struggle with depression and anxiety after the birth of my second. Looking back I probably was struggling with anxiety during the pregnancy. Reach out for help and comfort now. Sending you virtual hugs!

  53. Kate,

    Still love you, still love spending time with you.

  54. Hang in there honey!! Sending you lots of love and hugs!

  55. Sending you love, Katie. Nothing but love. xoxo

  56. Katie I’m sorry you are going through all these emotions but I just want you to know that I think you are one of the sweetest, caring person I have ever met online. Big big hugs for you!

  57. It’s so rare that I like a cover better than the original, but the Johnny Cash version of this song rings especially “true” to me – like Trent Reznor wrote it for the man in black to sing it.

    We’ve all been numb.

    We’ve all hurt so much that we long for numb.

    We all have people who will listen to us when needed.

    Hang in there Katie – there’s just as much beauty in a stormcloud as there is in a rainbow – it’s just how you look at it.

  58. HUGS! Just hugs! I really have no words of wisdom to dole out. Sorry bout that. Hang in there your sunny day is coming!

  59. Depression.

    Living with depression.

    I don’t know what to do or tell you:

    All I can say, is that we share this.

    Always feeling misunderstood, misread: but having a heart of gold inside

    That no one gets to see.

    All I can say, is I am here, to talk, and listen, and understand, and walk this road with you.

    People think they know us, but they can never understand the struggle, the feelings, the inner talk: never.

    We are misunderstood misunderstood misunderstood.

  60. Oh honey. I didn’t realize you were going through this right now. That part where you say you don’t make sense? You make sense to me. I understand those contradictions. I feel all the same things you feel. Yes a good part of the world doesn’t understand, but look at all these comments and how many people really DO get it.

    I hope this gets better for you very soon. Hugs.

  61. I just want to reach through the Internet and give you a hug. No polite eye rolls here, I’d like to sit across from you at an lunch and listen. And nod. Not politely but because I understand.
    You’re wonderful.

  62. You do make sense, to so many people. I completely understand, as I am starting to feel this way again. Hang in there. It does get better. It may not seem like it now, but it does. It’s not always good, but it can get better. ((hug))

  63. I can’t say anything that so many other wonderful commenters haven’t already said before me. I’m so sorry things are so hard right now, and I just hope they are better for you soon.

  64. First, I love “Hurt” (both versions). Second, I love you (both versions). 🙂 I have a good friend and a husband who have battled depression and anxiety at times. It is really hard to know how to help them. I try to just be there, but it can be so frustrating. Hang in there, my friend.

  65. I am so sorry you are in this place. And this: “I break plans and then wallow when no one invites us around anymore”–that is me. I had been feeling good for a period of time but realized in the last few weeks that I feel the slippery slope approaching, and feel like I am clawing my way through muddy dirt to try to keep myself out of it. Wishing you an easier day— and much affection.

  66. Ack, what a terrible state of mind to find yourself in. I dabble in depression myself, and I know the hopeless feeling is often impossible to shake. I am sorry, Katie. I hope this blog, and the support of your readers, is therapeutic for you.

  67. Loves ya momma! I feel that in my head too. it sucks the ways our mind can work against us and make us think the worst of ourselves, and others thoughts, real or imaginary. BIG HUGS! xoxo

  68. I look at life now, and friends from before my first episode ever hit, and I feel like it should be just the way it was before. Like, life for me stopped those years ago, while everyone else’s moved forward. It is a strange feeling. & I still haven’t gotten over the friendships I lost. Part of me feels guilty and sad. Part of me feels like they might not have been worth it if they didn’t stick it out with me. Either way, I don’t like it.

  69. I’ve struggled with this so many times. Every time I have a Crohn’s flare, I feel trapped at home, watching the world go on without me. It is very lonely. But you are not alone. It’s just that many people don’t know how to help. So they stay away instead.

    It will get better. But you have to fight for it.


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