10 things you learn in treatment By Naima Hirsch

10 things you learn in treatment

1. you deserve better than what you’ve been giving yourself.
2. taking your medication does not make you weak. taking your medication does not make
you a failure. taking your medication makes you strong. taking your medication makes
you a functional human being.
3. just because you are depressed now does not mean you will always be depressed. your
bedroom might be wallpapered with drafts of your suicide note, but there is a world out
there that is painted with the color of a loved one’s smile.
4. getting better takes work.
5. a lot of work.
6. getting better fills both your binder and hours of conversation in group and the
lunchroom. getting better is being afraid of heights and climbing Masada at noon–
terrifying, draining, and sweaty. getting better is a choice. getting better takes up every
single second of your day. getting better is a journey, not a destination.
7. there are many different types of beautiful here, all cut-and-pasted from their lives into
this alternate reality: the enthusiastic English teacher with whom you share a love for
words and Kimmy Schmidt; the short, muscular police officer who talks in a quiet voice
about watching his kids play sports; the mother who makes you laugh or passes you the
tissues, depending on the day; the fellow college students with their sarcastic comments,
graffitied converse, and illicit trips to Target.
8. in order to find your type of beautiful, you need to find your type of ugly and confront it
9. give yourself a fighting chance.
10. you are not hurricanes, you are sunshine. you are not the sum of your parts, you are
exponential. you are not broken, you are irreplaceable. you are not a period, you are a
semicolon. you are not your illness. you are you.

By Naima Hirsch


Naima Hirsch is a student at Hunter College in New York City. She has been writing poetry for roughly half her life, and in 2014, received recognition for her work from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Crab Fat Magazine and The Stray Branch. When not writing poetry, Naima can be found defending intersectional feminism, reading, watching 30 Rock, or cooing at babies.

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