In honour of World Mental Health Awareness Day, because so many people suffer, yet are brave enough to acknowledge they are in the fight. And because it’s time I did the same.
I yearn for the time there was just you.
Not that I like you,
have ever embraced you.
Not that you’ve gone away.
You never go away.
I see you in every puddle left by this dizzying rain.
You tell me things I want to hear.
Things I don’t.
I know I should feel privileged to have you.
Every possible, conceivable reality exists because you tell me it does.
You tell me I’m a king and lavish me in gifts of hubris…
And then you tell me that every dish I am served at this banquet is poisoned.
And I believe it.
I believe everything you say. The good.
The monstrous ugliness of it all.
Sometimes I can push you far enough away
so that all I hear is the fulfilling noise of life.
I forget you are there–
and I am neither king, nor clown, nor fool–
I am simply me.
But you always come back.
In the form of some false memory,
A promise I don’t remember making,
A vow you keep me bound to.
Until I yearn just for you.
Not because I enjoy this hollow existence,
because I don’t.
You pollute my thoughts with fear, jealousy and paranoia,
you lie about futures that will never be,
turn me against those I love.
And yet you’ve filled my past and present with people who care about me.
And for that I am grateful.
No, I yearn for that time it was just you and me,
because that was my chance to obliterate you.
Dig the weeds from my garden.
So I say to you now. Welcome back.
Old friend, old foe.
Make the most of our acquaintance,
for soon it will just be me.
(c) Darren Hawbrook 2020