by Hannah Nicholson
A popular term for depression
Is ‘the black dog’, and sufferers
Are described as ‘dancing with it’.
While that comparison works well,
I find it to be more like a leech,
And a particularly greedy one.
It sucks away at my energy
And my memory
And my motivation to do things.
My flat remains filthy,
My dishes piled in the sink unwashed,
My books unread,
My writing unwritten,
My instruments unplayed,
My crochet unmade
As I lie in bed under my duvet
Cocooned in my despair
And drowning in the cesspit
Of self-doubt and impostor syndrome.
I am no good to the people I love
Or work with, I think to myself.
I struggle to remember the most basic things,
Like that I need to buy bin bags
Or my mam’s lemon tuna recipe
Or even super basic maths.
At some point the leech’s appetite is satiated,
And when it decides to take a break from guzzling
I am given a temporary reprieve.
My flat gets a good thorough blitzing,
I read voraciously and write enthusiastically.
I sing at the top of my voice
And I venture out of the building.
I take pleasure in small things
Like nature and fresh air
And for a time I am unstoppable.
Finally the leech reawakens,
And with its small but powerful jaws
It latches on to me again
And devours my energy, will
And self confidence.
I am once again defeated,
And retire to bed to recuperate.