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Abby Broadhurst

AP Literature
Mrs. Flather
January 29, 2014

I Am Alone

I can feel it rising within me, oppressing me, weighing me down.


I had thought I had lost it. I had thought I was free.
And yet, here it is again. Relentless. Unyielding.

I sit at the worn wooden desk in the corner of my room, anxiously rotating on the stool, my bare
feet pressing painfully against the dark metal crossbars.
I know what is to come.
It’s come many times before.

First, it’s the thoughts.


Feelings of being overwhelmed, hopeless, and alone surge to the forefront of my mind.
I cannot think. I can no longer feel.
My hand begins to shake violently as the tears drip silently down my face,
Splashing the psychology papers laid out before me.
Work ruined, I angrily brush the tears away, the tears smearing the careful writing as they trace
wet lines of colored ink through the blocks of dark text.
I know it is a lost cause.

I am defenseless, my body’s guards quickly failing as my thoughts spiral out of control.


I begin to shut down, my eyes glazing over.
I stare unseeingly at the white wainscoting lining my room.
My body convulses, shaking as I struggle to hold back the heart wrenching sobs.
I can feel my heart breaking, shattering as I lose what little hope remained.
I know I have lost.

I move to the ottoman before the window, curling up in the fetal position.
My eyes now rest listlessly on the snow steadily falling, falling, endlessly.
As I stare out the window, I pull the blanket tighter around my shoulders, the blanket a
Christmas present from my sister.
Usually a comfort, I now feel nothing.
I am alone.

No one could possibly understand what is on my heart, in my mind.


I am overcome by thoughts of my own worthlessness, my lips curling in scorn at my own self-
deprecation.
I hate this. I can do this no more.
I no longer see the world as others do, but rather as a dark, empty, fathomless pit.
There is no hope. There is no light. There is no love.
I am alone.

I reach out desperately for any source of comfort, but there is none.
Lengthy messages to friends, busy with their own lives, are returned with five word texts.
They do not care. They do not understand.
I am alone.

I simply lie there, the sudden attack of depression and anxiety meeting its fourteenth long hour.
Denied the pills prescribed to me, I give up.
There is nothing left but to give in.
So I do nothing but lie there and cry.

I know I am alone and I am terrified.


But all the same, I know that this is best.
Alone, I cannot hurt others, I cannot bring them down.
It’s best to leave the light to them and simply accept the darkness which surrounds me.
It will pass, they say. I guess it will.
But never soon enough.

Never soon enough.


Supplement Questions

What literally happens in your creative piece?


The speaker, trying to complete her homework while sitting at the corner desk in her
room, finds herself becoming overwhelmed by the darkening of her thoughts. Eventually
realizing that she will not be able to get any work done in this state, she gives up. Moving over
to the ottoman before the window, she lies down, staring unfeelingly at the snow falling silently
outside. Alone and hopeless, she gives in and simply accepts the sudden surge of anxiety and
depression.

What emotion(s) is evident or evoked? (Who feels what?)


The speaker’s emotions of hopelessness and despair are clearly evident. These emotions
are conveyed through the despondent tone and language incorporated throughout the poem.

What is the most significant word or phrase? Why?


The most significant phrase in this poem is likely “never soon enough.” This phrase,
which concludes the poem, encompasses the idea of hopelessness, highlighting the speaker’s
belief that these dark thoughts will never leave her. For the speaker, who is completely
debilitated and is despairing in her misery, only wishes to be happy but recognizes the fact that
these ‘attacks’ are rarely fleeting. This phrase also extends to the idea of depression overall and
the idea that, oftentimes, it feels as though one will never be rid of it.

What is the most significant image? Why?


The most significant image in this poem is conveyed in the line, “My eyes now rest
listlessly on the snow steadily falling, falling, endlessly.” Once again, this image evokes a
feeling of hopelessness, most directly evident in the word “listlessly.” The image of the snow
“steadily falling, falling, endlessly” reinforces the concluding idea that depression can never end
soon enough. Also, the structure of this line and the repetition of the word “falling” mimic the
image that the line is intended to convey.

What opposition or contrast did you incorporate in your piece? What is its significance?
Opposition is incorporated via the speaker’s conflicting thoughts and her hope for
happiness versus her recognition of the much darker reality. Her attempts to continue working as
normal and to reach out to friends for comfort contrast with her overwhelming despair and her
failed attempts to maintain a calm façade. Contrasting images, such as that of the beautiful snow
falling outside to the figure curled up in the fetal position, reinforce this opposition. Opposition
is extremely significant in this poem as it highlights one of the most painful aspects of
depression: that while one may hope desperately for happiness, it is often difficult to maintain
any semblance of hope as one’s perspective is overwhelmed by anguish and despair.