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Cold-A Poem

Kari spends much of her time thinking about the meaning of life and time. She has concluded love is the meaning and time doesn't exist.

Cold and Alone


A Poetry Challenge

I was reading some of Genna East's work and came across a poetry challenge she had published 10 months ago. In this article she had two videos. One was called "The Grey" and the other, "The Shadow".

Both of these videos were about humans, lost in a wilderness, and wolves. They are poignant video shorts. The endings are different, but the need to survive is shown in both. I do not want to say too much about these videos. I want you to have a fresh look if you, also, accept this challenge.

Here is my poem:


I’m cold and forgotten,

So tired...and worn.

I cannot stir.

The fire is out,

The matches are gone.

I just want to rest

In this dark freeze,

And dream of your warmth

Surrounding me.

Cold, So Cold


Depression and Grey Days

We all get depressed sometimes. That day we just do not want to get out of bed, thinking, "why?". But, what about those people to whom this feeling is just an everyday occurrence. Everyday, cold and alone, trying to stand firm and find hope.

Depression actually makes your days gray. A study done by Dr Ludger Tebartz van Elst at the University of Freiburg shows that there is an organic reason. The retina of depressed people have a significant decrease in the ability to notice contrast, as opposed to people without depression. The world really is "gray" for people with depression.


Emotions that should be free flowing are frozen like this waterfall.

Emotions that should be free flowing are frozen like this waterfall.

Emotions are Frozen

Many depressed people have emotions that are frozen. These emotions become frozen in childhood because we were taught they were not acceptable. Maybe you were told, "If you want to cry, I'll give you something to cry about!" Now you find it is almost impossible to cry. Even when you want to cry, you can not.

Maybe you think you must always be strong and never show weakness. Have you ever heard the saying, "God helps those who help themselves"? Have you ever heard your parents complain about people less fortunate, calling them lazy? These seem like simple things, but continued exposure to these attitudes as a child can lead to repressed emotion.

The Struggle

I struggle with depression every day. I am also one of those people who can not cry. Part of my depression comes from how my body hurts every day. I am not as strong as I once was and this upsets me greatly. I struggle with my physical weaknesses and it causes fear. I was always very strong physically, even for a woman. Now I am not.

I worked as an operating room nurse. I moved around the country often. I love going new places. As an operating room nurse, I could work anywhere. I would often become a travel nurse until I found a place I liked. Now that is gone. I have lost my independence.

I have also lost much respect. As a nurse, people respect you. Now that I am not a nurse, I do not get that automatic respect. Plus you cannot see my injuries. I worry now that people will group me in that "lazy" category. This and the loss of my independence hurt the worst.

At times I do not want to get out of bed. This is especially true when I am having a good dream. Why come back to reality if I can be so happy in my dreams. Why wake up to the hurt. Other days I have to get out of bed when my pain wakes me up. I much prefer waking up to my dreams.


Hope frees us from our chains.

Hope frees us from our chains.

"In life, No matter what you are going through, have faith, and believe your sorrows won't last forever because what time does not heal God will."

— Rashida Rowe


I think many depressed people have lost, or are losing, hope. Hope is the thing that makes the world seem brighter. It is the emotion that tells you everything will get better. Hope is the antithesis of depression. Life without hope is dim and dark.

I know, I almost lost all hope this past year. But, I am slowly fighting to regain it. No one ever said life would be easy. To regain hope, it helps to notice the small, insignificant wonders in the world. A flower (even if it is a dandelion), a sunrise or sunset, the laughter of small children, these are small pleasures to be thankful for. I think the more we are thankful, the more hope lives in our heart.

Depression is a deep dark pit. It is hard work to climb out. Even to climb out far enough to see a light. And once you can see a light, a dim, pinprick of light, the climb does not get much easier. Some days it is all you can do to hang on and not fall deeper into the pit.

Hope is that dim light. After much fighting with myself, I finally found it again. This doesn't mean that I have hope everyday, it just means that on the days without hope, I can remember what it is. This is a giant step in getting out of the pit.

I am a fighter and survivor, if nothing else. I plan to find my way out. I will win. I get impatient at times, and feel like it is a useless fight. But, I know in my heart that I must, or I will be gone. I will not lose the fearless person I once was.

© 2017 Kari Poulsen


Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 11, 2019:

I, too, fear to stop moving. I find that sometimes I need to make myself start projects. After starting them, interest often follows.

Thank you, Brenda, for reading and commenting!

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on December 10, 2019:


I totally understand this feeling of losing hope. It is so hard sometimes to manage one's day...wanting to be like we once were but now we have a new reality.

It does upset me when people think i can do things i cannot do...i dont like anyone judging me or believing I am lazy because it is far from the truth.

I take the good with the bad and try pushing forward. There are days i would love to stay in bed...but i fear if i stop moving I might not make it.

Great write. Stay strong.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 07, 2019:

Dr Kulsum Mehmood, that is true, and he is healing me now.

Dr Kulsum Mehmood from Nagpur, India on December 05, 2019:

Yes Kari, what time doesn't heal ... God heals ...

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 05, 2019:

Thank you Luis G. Asuncian, for reading this multiple times. I hope it helps you!

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 05, 2019:

Patricia Scott, depression is scary and I am glad you found help. You were able to find a way out, but many people get caught in its web and cannot find their way through. Thank you for taking time to read and comment!

Luis G Asuncion from City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, Philippines on December 03, 2019:

Good to know that despite of my slow internet connection right now, I can still read your poem. Although, I already read this, however, poem can be read several times to enlighten.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on December 03, 2019:

Depression is scary and the waters are difficult to navigate. My world was not gray when I was depressed. Colors and other sensory experiences were magnified as strange as it seems. I was clinically depressed about 39 years ago now. It was the most frightening experience and it seemed endless. I did have seek help and found my way out of the abyss I was in. I have never allowed myself to go there again. When I have been close to feeling any of those feelings I addressed it and have moved on. Thank you for sharing this. Angels once again are headed your way ps

Luis G Asuncion from City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, Philippines on November 26, 2019:

You're welcome Kari.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on November 26, 2019:

Thank you very much, Luis! I appreciate you reading and commenting.

Luis G Asuncion from City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, Philippines on November 26, 2019:

This one is great. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward for the success of this challenge.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on November 12, 2019:

Thank you very much manatita! I try to remain upbeat almost every day (some days I just can't). Most of the time it's an act. But, as they say, fake it till you make it. Depression is a disability just like a bad back. You just have to try and do as much as you can, and forgive yourself for what you can't.

manatita44 from london on November 11, 2019:

A very honest and positive article to me, even though I know you touch on despair and darkness. Adversity does help us and I think your open approach to the struggle in us is very noteworthy and helpful. Peace.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on January 20, 2018:

I never had a full understanding of depression either. I think one of the best quotes I have read was on Facebook. Depression and anxiety doesn't mean you aren't strong. It just means you were strong too long. I think this is what I allowed to happen to me.

I may be on this path, also, because I did not have a full understanding. Now I will be able to have more empathy with the people who do. My greatest wishes are to understand others and love them.

DREAM ON on January 18, 2018:

I don't have a full understanding of depression. I love your writings and you give great examples of what it is like. I have a tough time thinking why don't your feelings change after thinking differently. When you search for a different outcome you come up with many choices. I know what it is like to go without or not to succeed. I could get depressed instead I turn my focus on another interest that captivates my mind until that is either solved or turns into a problem then I move on. I would love to talk more about this if your are interested. What works for me can work for you. I think I developed it over time as a real choice to be happy with every outcome. Thank you for your gift and your wonderful hubs. I hope you have a peaceful day.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on January 06, 2018:

Thank you, Shyron, for your kind words. I am getting better, but some days are better than others. I am trusting in God to get me out of this. Blessings to you also.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on January 05, 2018:

Kari, I loved your poem. I hope that you are better and no longer depressed, I don't know what to say that would help, but, trust in God that everything will turn out alright.


Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 29, 2017:

Thank you, DREAM ON, for your comment. I would rather focus on the happy, but some days the sun is shining but the day is dark. I am getting better, with the help of God. I get so mad at myself because I know I have nothing to be depressed about. Still, it is the truth and I hate it, but I will get better. I am bound and determined. I do believe that what we are determined to do happens. Maybe not right away, but it does. I think maybe I needed to go through depression to have a greater understanding and empathy to people who experience it. I am remembering what makes me happy. Funny, that I could forget that, lol. Life often makes no sense, but I am sure I will look back on this time and find meaning. It is just hard to find meaning in the moment at times. Thanks again. :)

DREAM ON on December 28, 2017:

When I read your hubs I am always moved in one direction or another. Reading all about being an operating room nurse for years and having such a passion to cook. Only made me crave for more. I didn't see the other side of the coin. The struggles you have and are still going through. Not having the skills and the abilities you have I wondered what a gift to share only if ??? I see the abilities and talents in so many other people who worked so hard to get where they are and one day don't have what they once enjoyed and loved so much. What about the people that maybe dreamed of your talents and skills and never could achieve your success. Do to lack of ability not lack of ambition. They may only be a factory worker or a clerk in a store. They would do anything to walk one day in your shoes. I injured my left eye at the age of eleven. With an eye injury many things that are easy for everyone else becomes a very difficult challenge for me. Driving a car can be a very difficult task. So I not only appreciate all I can do but all other people do with great skill. I found I have no time to spend what I can't do but I see what other people do and appreciate and understand their talent even more deeply. If I am down I get something small that I like a really lot. A juicy apple to eat slice by slice. A sunny day that warms me up from the outside in. It carries my thoughts to a higher level. I have never dealt with depression but I do understand how hard it must be. I enjoyed your poem and once again you show the willingness to find something better. Praying and thinking of you doing different things that bring you the joy you have had in the past and much, much more. Thanks for sharing your personal story.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 19, 2017:

Thank you, Peg! Know that you have said something magical, and my day is brighter because of you! I, too, imagine my life is beginning every day. I have to or I will fall back into despair. I hope I will never go there again, now that I finally am starting to wake up again. Thank you for your encouragement!

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on December 19, 2017:

Kari, My heart goes out to you at this time of the year when it is so difficult for anyone battling the sadness that sometimes arises. I wish there was something magical I could say to make everything bright and beautiful for you.

Remembering back to a very dark time of my life, the only way I made it through was to imagine that my life started anew, fresh with no past, no issues, no history. I was Jane Doe. I moved 1200 miles away from the reminders of things that held me back and I recreated my life from scratch. It was tough at times, making new friends, starting over, leaving everything behind, including my precious dog. It took me nearly two years to go back and get her and drive her up here where we lived together until she was 16 years old. She truly saved me and gave me a reason to keep going.

I will keep you in my prayers and hope for you a happier time ahead wherever life leads you. Love and hugs.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 18, 2017:

Thanks Natalie! I do find that having the HP and FB friends help. Blessings to you!

Natalie Frank from Chicago, IL on December 18, 2017:

I am so glad to hear you say that. Know that there are those of us out there to rely on even if we are only HP or FB friends. I have found a great deal of inspiration in seeing how much online friends can make a difference in my own life and others lives as well. All the best always.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 18, 2017:

Thank you so much, Natalie. I agree, depression comes from a lack hope. I always called myself a terminal optimist, saying I would be optimistic until the day I died. Luckily for me, I have found hope again. My optimism is returning and I feel as if I am going to get through this. This is so much better than when all I could think is the world would be better off without me. Thanks again!

Natalie Frank from Chicago, IL on December 18, 2017:

Lovely poem and important information about depression. Thanks for your courage in presenting personal information. I think often people can become depressed when they have nothing to work towards and nothing in their life they find particularly meaningful. It seems everyone else has things or people that are important, they have jobs, are younger, have children and families, aspirations etc. When people become depressed and lose hope they compare themselves to what they believe about others which may or may not be accurate an figure nothing is going to change because they don't deserve it. They self sabotage to fulfill the prophecy and isolate so there is no one who can provide support or give feedback to the contrary. Thanks for a well written and important article.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 11, 2017:

Thank you, Peg, for letting me know that you found a way out. I try to be strong. I was strong and fearless, buy somehow I lost my fearlessness. I really want it back, lol. I am fighting it, and I have good days and bad days. Much better than when it was all bad days. Thank you again for your words of hope. Hugs back.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on December 10, 2017:

Kari, You sound like you're still a very strong woman who faces adversity with a willingness to overcome the obstacles. Depression is something we all battle, but debilitating illness is a tougher road to walk. I remember a situation in my life where everything was gray and I couldn't see my way out of it. But, thankfully, I managed to find happiness again. I wish for you all the strength you need to overcome the daily pain and see yourself for the true worth of the beautiful person your are inside. Hugs.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 07, 2017:

Toni, Thank you for the suggestion. I like his work very much! :)

Toni on December 07, 2017:

Perhaps it would help you to watch a few videos from Ralph Smart. He's on youtube under Infinite Waters. I find him very practical, engaging, and inspiring. He's helping me to make sense of this crazy world.

All my best to you & yours.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 06, 2017:

Thank you very much, Hari. I am happy you liked it. :)

Hari Prasad S from Bangalore on December 06, 2017:

Beautifully expressed emotions. Liked this hub in totality. Thanks kari.

- hari

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 06, 2017:

Thank you, Catherine. I'm so glad you liked the poem. I know when I'm having a bad day, the day is actually darker. It was nice finding out that there is a physical reason for this. :)

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 06, 2017:

Thank you so much, Dora! Changing how our mind thinks takes living in the moment to notice when it's taking a bad turn. Living in the moment helps the ability to notice the small miracles of life.

Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on December 06, 2017:

I loved your poem. "I just want to rest in this dark freeze." That is exactly what depression can feel like. Plus yo taught me a lot about the physical manifestations of depressions. For instance, changes in the retina make things literally look grey. That explains a lot.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on December 05, 2017:

Your expressions in this article are very touching and consequently, very helpful. You not only share the problem, but also the solution. "It helps to notice the small, insignificant wonders in the world. . . on the days without hope, I can remember what it is." Powerful!

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 04, 2017:

Thank you Nikki! It is true that we need to have hope. If you have ever lost hope, you know that it is an awful feeling. I'm very thankful that my parents raised me to be a fighter. :)

Nikki Khan from London on December 04, 2017:

Hi Kari,,

An outstanding effort of hope and will power.Of course,we should never lose hope,no matter what happens because only hope and firm determination can get us through to good times.

Many Blessings.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 04, 2017:

Thank you, Eric! I know exactly what it is like to be in a room filled with family and friends and feeling like I am all alone. Like I don't fit in. Luckily, I have a wonderful, loving family. I really don't know what I would do without them.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 04, 2017:

Kim, Thank you for your blessings! I am glad you enjoyed the poem. Thanks again! :)

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 04, 2017:

Stella, Thank you so much! I am a fighter, and I will continue to fight this until I overcome it. Being on HubPages has helped me greatly. It gives me something to focus on and everyone is so nice! I wish you all the best! :)

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 04, 2017:

Dr Kulsum Mehmood, Thank the Lord your son is in remission. I know how hard it is to deal with mental illnesses. I lived with a schizophrenic for about 5 years. You and your son will be in my prayers. God bless you also! :)

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 04, 2017:

Linda, Thank you so much! I am very determined. This is not me and I know that. Now I just need to feel it I guess. I would love if this helps others. Helping others is one of my favorite things. :)

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on December 04, 2017:

Very well done Kari. Those tough unseen illnesses are a bad deal. I think each well done description of the unseen pain is a big help to everyone.

Depression is the loneliest illness. I try to remember those folks who are alone in a room full of people and give them my prayers.

Thanks for a look behind the curtain.

ocfireflies from North Carolina on December 04, 2017:


I enjoyed your poem and your willingness to share your battles with depression.

Blessings Always,


Stella Aligizaki from Greece on December 04, 2017:

Thank you so much, Kari for revealing your thoughts and emotions. This year was a bad year for me too! I agree that hope keeps us alive. Latins used to say "Dum spiro spero", "While I breathe, I hope". I like to hear you are a fighter and survivor. This is the key to human life. I also believe only good human relations make us happy. I wish you the best.

Dr Kulsum Mehmood from Nagpur, India on December 03, 2017:

Thank you Kari for sharing. I would like to tell you that you are not alone in this. I am an eye doctor doing full time duty after retirement age, because I need to do it, I am a single parent and I have many medical problems leave aside caring for my only son who is having bipolar disorder. Thank God he is in remission at the moment. Still God is great. And God bless you Kari dear.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on December 03, 2017:

As Genna says, this is a beautiful response to her challenge. I'm sorry about the difficulties that you're experiencing, but I love your determination. I'm sure that you've helped other people by publishing this article. Best wishes to you, Kari.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 03, 2017:

Thanks Verlie, I had posted this with just the poem, then went back and edited it to include the parts about depression and the music. My power went out last night, just as I was about to put in the music, lol.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 03, 2017:

Bill, Thank you, that really means a lot to me coming from you! Thanks for stopping by. :)

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 03, 2017:

Thank you so much, Genna! I am honored that you include me. Thankfulness is everything in life. It helps me greatly. :)

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 03, 2017:

Thank you, Jo! Concentrating on the beauty of the world does help. Some days are less grey than others. I really think counting your blessings when it's bad helps. Thanks again. :)

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 03, 2017:

Venkatachari M, Thank you for your best wishes! I will overcome this. I have overcome many things in life and I am determined to beat this. All the determination in the world would mean little without the love of my family and friends. :)

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on December 03, 2017:

Kari, love the music you've added, beautiful. :)

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 03, 2017:

LInda, I bet you understand the pain of following that love of cooking! I crushed my right hand and it has never recovered. I have pain everyday in it. If I'm going to cook I have to plan 3 days. One to do nothing, so I can move it the next, one to cook, and one to recover. I hate that I cannot cook like I used to.

Thank the Lord for children!! This is the reason I keep going also. I thank God several times a day for my loving children and my daughter who supports me. Thanks for the prayers. They help!

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 03, 2017:

FlourishAnyway, Thank you. I am on antidepressants, I have been for about 3 years now. The antidepressants really were not helping much. This year they started me on a new med, and it seems to help with the anxiety. Such a relief!!

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 03, 2017:

Thank you, Verlie. I understand the depression of the winter. Growing up in NJ, February was grey. The skies were grey, the snow was grey and it seemed spring would never arrive. But it did, lol, every year. Now I make myself spend time outside, no matter how cold. It helps. Sharing my own experience is important for myself and others. Mental illness should not be a bad word. :)

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 03, 2017:

You said a great deal with few words in your poem, something I admire in poets. Great description of depression....well done my friend.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on December 03, 2017:

Kari, this a beautiful response to the challenge, and addresses what the "Shadow and The Gray" represent. Lovely work.

"I think the more we are thankful, the more hope lives in our heart." Absolutely, and your words of hope do homage to this so well. I am honored to add a link to this hub in the original challenge. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Jo Miller from Tennessee on December 03, 2017:

Thank you for sharing this, Kari. I think you are right that concentrating on the positive and beautiful in life helps us through all situations. Sometimes, though, life is more difficult than others. Sending best wishes to you early this Sunday morning.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on December 02, 2017:

Very nice to see you sharing your experiences and thereby helping others with similar circumstances. Even though I had gone through some similar circumstances many many years ago during my prime age, I overcame them by witnessing many other people with more pains and sufferings. Even my wife had passed through many wretched conditions throughout her life but always tried to overcome those troubles and pains.

Wish you all the best in your endeavors.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on December 02, 2017:

Oh dear Kari, thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. You are not alone. I too am plagued with chronic pain. I have osteoarthritis in my hands and feet--parts of our bodies that we are forced to use all day long. Sleep is a blessing but too infrequent.

I was not aware of the studies on depression, but what you have written certainly rings true. I have been in an abusive relationship and if not for my children I would have given up long ago. They are the only reason I carry on.

Thank you for sharing. I'm sure it was painful. I will pray for you, for your journey to find light again.

FlourishAnyway from USA on December 02, 2017:

Thank you for your candor in sharing your own experience. Although the events and reasons may vary, many people experience the same feelings that you describe. Know that you’re not alone. There may be a chemical imbalance in play. Keep writing and sharing.

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on December 02, 2017:

Kari, Good to see your poetic response to to the 'Shadow and the Grey' challenge. You've taken it to a place I had not considered. I appreciate how you connect the shadow, and the grey with the darkness and hopelessness a person would feel suffering from depression. Where I live some people are dramatically affected by the winter darkness. I know I am. It is tough to get through. There's different names for it. Cabin fever, seasonal affective disorder, with symptoms similar to depression. Thanks for shedding some light on the subject. I think it's important for people to realize they are not alone, and there may be ways to cope. Appreciate you sharing your personal experience. That takes guts.

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