You are here

Chapter 5: Depression and Despair


These passages you've shared from Christine Mulvihill's poems delve into her deep emotional struggles, particularly around depression, despair, and the overwhelming challenges she faced as a childhood cancer survivor. Her words vividly portray the intensity of her emotions and the ways in which she coped with her pain.

"No Escape": This poem captures a sense of confinement and emotional turmoil within Christine's soul. The description of her soul as a "dark and gloomy place" reflects her emotional state and the feeling of being trapped within her own thoughts and emotions.

"I Can Only Take So Much": This poem expresses the overwhelming pain and the emotional toll that Christine experienced. The lines convey a sense of desperation, feeling overwhelmed by the challenges and searching for relief from the pain.

"CoNfuSeD": This poem reflects Christine's struggle with self-identity and confusion about her place in the world. The imagery of being as "lonely as the old book on the top shelf" speaks to her feelings of isolation and uncertainty about her own identity.

These poems provide a raw and unfiltered glimpse into the emotional turmoil that Christine faced during her journey. They highlight her attempts to cope with her pain, her search for understanding, and her expression of emotions through poetry. The depth and intensity of her writing offer insight into the complexity of emotions that childhood cancer survivors can experience, shedding light on the profound impact of such challenges on mental and emotional well-being.

Depression and Despair

My depression made me do insane things to try and find a way out. One weekend as my mom and I were cleaning out my bedroom my antique lamp was knocked over and the shattered glass lay on the floor in front of me. Looking at the broken lamp made me feel how broken my life was, how shattered I felt inside and I lay on the floor crying. I didn’t know what to do to help myself so in a dire search to relieve my pain I reached for the shattered glass and began to cut my hands until they bled. The blood felt like it was my anger and frustration coming out. I began to do it more often to relieve my pain. After each time I would cry because I knew inside that it was not getting me anywhere.

During my never-ending search to find myself, I hit rock bottom emotionally. I became extremely depressed and drove people away. I became so alone, shut off in my own world of insanity, I became so desperate for a way out I became suicidal. My world became a dark place and the only way I could get out my emotions was with poetry. I wrote many poems, some about misery, depression, pain, life and poems about death.

No Escape

A Childhood Cancer Survivor Poem
© 2016 Christine Mulvihill

My soul is a dark and gloomy place
It lacks all sense of beauty & grace
A room with an entrance but no escape
It takes on a small and lifeless shape.

I Can Only Take So Much

A Childhood Cancer Survivor Poem
© 2016 Christine Mulvihill

With all these bombs that are dropping on me
The light in the dark I can not see,
It’s hard to have faith when the light goes out
It’s hard not to have thoughts of doubt.

There’s so much pain I can’t take it no more
I’m curled up crying on the floor,
I’m begging for mercy to that God of mine
Please relive my pain and make the sun shine.

How can I live day to day
If it’s all unfair this way.
The rich stay rich and the poor stay how they are
If you ain’t savage like that then you don’t get far,
Out there in the world it’s everyone on their own
It’s all just a game you find out when you’ve grown.

Marriage is no longer I do ‘till I die
No one goes to high school, they go to school high,
If you watch yourself then you’ll do fine
But if not you’ll wind up pregnant or working the streets for a dime.

The innocent lives are claimed to tragedy
Life isn’t so fair, it’s quite sad ya see,
Nothing will have to go your way
It has no pity if you’re having a bad day.

It can’t get worse the sun will shine
The pain I have it’s all mine,
But I’ll wake up and it will still be there
Blankly to the sky I stare.

Is there no mercy for one who follows?
I know the answer my pride I swallow,
There is no mercy for anyone
It’s not over if you think you’ve won
It doesn’t stop, not now not ever
It will follow my path, be my shadow forever.


A Childhood Cancer Survivor Poem
© 2016 Christine Mulvihill

14 years but I still don't know myself
I'm as lonely as the old book on the top shelf
I'm not dusty but my pages are stiff and torn
I'm as confused as I was when I was born.

I don't know who I am or where I'm going
I'm still amazed at the beauty of autumn leaves blowing
No one really knows who I am not even me
Life is more difficult than I ever thought it would be.

I wish I could go back to when I first opened my eyes
I would take it all back and be more wise
Maybe then it wouldn't hurt so bad
Maybe I'd have the guy I always wished I had.

People say change is just part of life
They forgot to mention it can stab like a knife
It can trash your image and ruin your dreams
It can loosen your screws and rip your seams
It can trash a party and tear lives apart
But most of all it can break your heart.

My vision is blurred from the tears in my eyes
I know once in a while everyone cries
But not like I cry myself to sleep at night
Every day I have to put up a fight
A fight to find out why I'm here
A fight to find out why it's myself I fear.

It's hard to live just one day without pain
I just give in knowing I have nothing to gain
I just can't live like this anymore
Yet there is no doctor that can cure this sore.

I'm stuck in a dark room with no way out
I have nothing to do but live in doubt
No matter what I do this just won't go away
There's nothing to stop me from being this way
No one can save me I'm forever frowning
It's too late, I'm already drowning.

Other poems of interest for Depression and Despair

Depression          I Live a Lie          To Be Anyone But Me

Navigation:   Table of Contents          Chapter 6: Radiation