John Green

I do not feel represented by John Green and his ideas and representations of what depression as a teenager is like. I do not feel represented by the many other authors who write about depression, from the throne of one who has never truly experienced it. 

I like him as a person, but his novels do not represent me, and they do not help me, and I do not find solace in them. Some people might, and that is alright for them but I do not find Augustus an accurate or attractive representation, I do not find his perfection and pretentious quotes to be ideal. He can keep his cigarettes and his bullshit. I get, yeah, that some teenagers subscribe to that sort of pretentious quote bull and go through phases of spouting Bukowski and such – heck, I went through it myself, but I do not identify with it and I feel there’s a more insidious agenda to these sorts of characters. The idea that depression can make you something more, can mould you as a person, can make you beautiful and tragic. I am not here to be pitied, I am not here to be objectified either. 

It does not turn me into a tragic soul with scars creeping, ivy up my arms. It does not turn me into an insomniac who lingers in cafes after dark, sipping at black coffee, dragging on a fag, with bags under my eyes, still beautiful. I am not deep and artistic because of my depression, I was artistic before but now all I can write, all I can draw, is the ugly stains in my head: page after page of scar studies, pictures of open wounds, poems about wishing I existed, at 4 AM. I don’t eat for days because I lost interest, and my hips show through but I am still beautiful, I bruise too easily inside and out but I am still beautiful, I cry for four hours, for no reason, till my face is red and my lips are bloody and I am still beautiful.

Always echoed, this ideal that I am still beautiful. Despite my depression, despite the fact I suffer from a very, very ugly disease that eats away at me slowly, a slow death; a slow existence; a death rattle that creeps in and chokes me, fingers down my throat. Depression is a succession of doctor’s lounges, being swapped from medication to medication before being taken off entirely because nothing works, depression is sitting in bed staring at a wall for days on end because your head is screaming at you and there’s static, so much static. It’s desperation, not quotes and fictitious characters falling in love despite. Despite, always despite, as if I am unworthy of love unless I am fully okay, as if it is a blessing that anyone would love me – I do feel this way, quite often, I do not need it reiterated.

Still beautiful, still beautiful, still beautiful – as if the only thing my self worth can be justified by is my physical attractiveness, echoed by doctors as I lay in bed after my first attempt; “you cannot be depressed, you’re so beautiful”. As if its that simple. I spent that November in a coach, in Norfolk, listening to Amanda Palmer as the sky was grey, and the trees were grey and the rain was grey, and the world was static. Empty noise, unnecessary. 

I do not want to be beautiful because of my depression. Nothing about my depression is beautiful, it does not turn me into a deep soul with dark eyes and a sad smile, it does not turn me into a manic pixie dream girl a la Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine, drinking on a train and trying to forget.

It turns me into a wra

I do not feel represented by John Green and his ideas and representations of what depression as a teenager is like. I do not feel represented by the many other authors who write about depression, from the throne of one who has never truly experienced it. 

I like him as a person, but his novels do not represent me, and they do not help me, and I do not find solace in them. Some people might, and that is alright for them but I do not find Augustus an accurate or attractive representation, I do not find his perfection and pretentious quotes to be ideal. He can keep his cigarettes and his bullshit. I get, yeah, that some teenagers subscribe to that sort of pretentious quote bull and go through phases of spouting Bukowski and such – heck, I went through it myself, but I do not identify with it and I feel there’s a more insidious agenda to these sorts of characters. The idea that depression can make you something more, can mould you as a person, can make you beautiful and tragic. I am not here to be pitied, I am not here to be objectified either. 

It does not turn me into a tragic soul with scars creeping, ivy up my arms. It does not turn me into an insomniac who lingers in cafes after dark, sipping at black coffee, dragging on a fag, with bags under my eyes, still beautiful. I am not deep and artistic because of my depression, I was artistic before but now all I can write, all I can draw, is the ugly stains in my head: page after page of scar studies, pictures of open wounds, poems about wishing I existed, at 4 AM. I don’t eat for days because I lost interest, and my hips show through but I am still beautiful, I bruise too easily inside and out but I am still beautiful, I cry for four hours, for no reason, till my face is red and my lips are bloody and I am still beautiful.

Always echoed, this ideal that I am still beautiful. Despite my depression, despite the fact I suffer from a very, very ugly disease that eats away at me slowly, a slow death; a slow existence; a death rattle that creeps in and chokes me, fingers down my throat. Depression is a succession of doctor’s lounges, being swapped from medication to medication before being taken off entirely because nothing works, depression is sitting in bed staring at a wall for days on end because your head is screaming at you and there’s static, so much static. It’s desperation, not quotes and fictitious characters falling in love despite. Despite, always despite, as if I am unworthy of love unless I am fully okay, as if it is a blessing that anyone would love me – I do feel this way, quite often, I do not need it reiterated.

Still beautiful, still beautiful, still beautiful – as if the only thing my self worth can be justified by is my physical attractiveness, echoed by doctors as I lay in bed after my first attempt; “you cannot be depressed, you’re so beautiful”. As if its that simple. I spent that November in a coach, in Norfolk, listening to Amanda Palmer as the sky was grey, and the trees were grey and the rain was grey, and the world was static. Empty noise, unnecessary. 

I do not want to be beautiful because of my depression. Nothing about my depression is beautiful, it does not turn me into a deep soul with dark eyes and a sad smile, it does not turn me into a manic pixie dream girl a la Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine, drinking on a train and trying to forget.

It turns me into a wraith. Do not turn the ugliness of depression into prose or beautiful characters, or that poem about how you understand the beauty of the girl who doesn’t know she’s beautiful. I know I am beautiful, it doesn’t change shit. I’m still depressed.

I stalk the rooms of my house at 5 AM, restlessly baking and picking at my arms because I don’t know what else to do. I set alarms on my phone because otherwise I forget to take my meds. My head throbs with constant headaches and side effects like jitters, meds that strip me of my sharpness, my intelligence, my ability to communicate.

Depression silences me. Do not write about a silence you do not understand.

ith. Do not turn the ugliness of depression into prose or beautiful characters, or that poem about how you understand the beauty of the girl who doesn’t know she’s beautiful. I know I am beautiful, it doesn’t change shit. I’m still depressed.

I stalk the rooms of my house at 5 AM, restlessly baking and picking at my arms because I don’t know what else to do. I set alarms on my phone because otherwise I forget to take my meds. My head throbs with constant headaches and side effects like jitters, meds that strip me of my sharpness, my intelligence, my ability to communicate.

Depression silences me. Do not write about a silence you do not understand.