Penned by Debbie Leads in 2003, this poem encapsulates the pain, confusion, and loneliness that result from comorbid diagnoses like depression and anxiety. The author’s words evoke a powerful image of isolation that severe mental illness often creates and the difficulty that sufferers have maintaining a functional lifestyle.
Days of endless struggle
More hopeful pills today
Trying to appear ‘normal’
In some sort of way.
It seems that the struggle
Is always here with me
And I wouldn’t be here now
If guilt would leave me be
I know there’s been many
Who’ve had it worse than I
But that doesn’t always mean
That I wouldn’t say good-bye
People say I have a lot going for me
I’m sorry, but I just can’t see
I can’t see because my worst enemy
Is not my life, but inside of me.
Always on a roller coaster,
Not much consistency
I’m nothing if I’m not up or down
I’m nothing if just ‘me.’
Very little energy
Wanting to stay in bed
Wishing to be enthusiastic
Instead of feeling like I’m made of lead.
Wanting to be excited
Wanting to care for more
But when nothing makes sense
It’s hard to focus on the poor.
Cluttered mind, cluttered thinking
It’s hard to keep in touch
With what is happening around me
And not to worry too much.
I feel that everybody is better than me
And that I can’t do anything right.
This is how I’ve felt my whole dang life
It didn’t just start last night.
No confidence, no self-esteem
Everybody else is right
To speak my mind is to be a fool
So I just try to ‘sit tight.’
Any one of these problems
Would be a heavy vice
But when you have them ALL
Living seems like a roll of the dice.
– Debbie Leads (2003)