The Morning Hour

The Morning Hour - Dao Than

Artist: Dao Than, 29

Littleton, CO

Ethnicity: Vietnamese

For many years, I would cry myself to sleep in the closet. Thinking back to those times, I cannot remember all of the reasons why, but I do remember all of the feelings. I was sad. I was hurt. I was angry. And I would cry and cry and cry. I could not stop, so I would crawl into the closet so that my crying would not wake anyone up. Hours would go by, but the tears would not stop and the pain would not go away. I would clutch onto my chest, begging to some higher power: “I don’t want to feel this anymore. I don’t want to be here anymore.” At some point, I would fall asleep. Every time I would wake up from the bright sunlight beaming through the bottom of the door. THE MORNING HOUR. My photograph portrays those times in my past. I did not realize it then, but the sunlight was like a reminder of another day, another chance at life. My mental health journey has never been easy, but it has been much easier since I have learned to deal with my depression rather than ignoring it completely or trying to cure it altogether. I have accepted that my depression is a part of me and I’m slowly finding ways to make it manageable.


To the people who are crying themselves to sleep and to the people wishing that their pain will go away, I know you are sad. I know you are hurt. I know you are angry. And I know you are tired, but I hope you know that you are not alone. There are a lot of us—a lot of us to shine the light into your darkest days.