7.1 Editor's Pick
June 11, 2019

Everything Grows when you Go Missing: a Letter to my Depression. ~ Ryan K. Russell


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Hey, I haven’t seen you for awhile…
Which means you’re coming back soon.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our time apart
As much as I have.
I think about you all the time though
And it scares me how I’ve grown
Accustomed to having you in my life.
I’ve been in love since you’ve gone
But I know only you and I will last
Yoga and meditation,
Yes that’s a new thing.
Maybe I’ll find the time for it
When you’re here.
I know you can be pretty demanding, but please.
I’ve been writing a lot also.
Different stuff than before
About life, love, and family.
Maybe that will ease you someday.
I don’t know if you can read at all.
I read in the gardens sometime;
Everything grows when you go missing.
I grow before you come to shrivel me up.
Food actually tastes good
When I can keep it down.
Why do you smell of stale tequila
And rotting meat?
Why do you leave just to
Come back?
Why are you the only one
Who comes back?
Okay well,
I’ll see you soon.


P.S. Don’t bring the razor blades this time. The scars are getting harder and harder to hide.


author: Ryan K. Russell

Image: Author's own/Instagram

Editor: Nicole Cameron

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tardifshelby Jul 8, 2019 2:34pm

This is so so amazing! I have tears steaming down my face.

Courtney Owens Jun 18, 2019 9:23pm

Yes. All of this ❤️ Meditation and mindfulness have helped me, my depression visits don’t last as long and I don’t make them worse.. but man it’s hard. Thank you for writing words I know and live

J David Griswold Jun 18, 2019 8:48am

Thank you for your courage and clarity. It is difficult for those who haven’t experienced depression to understand the relationship we develop with it. It’s that “oh, it’s you again” feeling that comes up when nobody’s paying attention. “How long are you staying this time? Not sure?” How do you explain to others you are not your depression, and yet you also can’t wish him away with New Age aphorisms? What I want to say is this: you are not alone. WE are not alone. Big love to all of us who know.

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Ryan K. Russell

Ryan K. Russell is a professional football player in the NFL, a published poet, author, and artist. He began writing around the age of seven when he lost his stepfather in a motorcycle accident. He then realized just how little his biological father was truly in his life. Ryan’s mother relocated him from Buffalo, New York to Dallas, Texas where Russell then fell in love with football. Though his love for football was well known and well celebrated he kept embracing, improving, and exploring his first love of writing. Russell graduated from the prestigious Purdue University and was drafted to the Dallas Cowboys. He saw most of his success with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is excited to apply the same handwork and dedication to his writing. Russell is now a a published poet with Jack Wild publishing, a contributing editor of Barren Magazine, a fiction author, screenwriter, and NFL free agent. Connect with him on Instagram.