In Its Shadow

“But why are you unhappy?”
She asks, sounding snappy,
Face creased in a frown,
As you simply stare down
At your feet.
You consider, as she forces confession,
On all things depression
That, judging by her expression,
She’s drawing on resources
That simply aren’t there.
It’s not that she doesn’t care.
She just doesn’t know
What happens when you go
To the emptiest parts of yourself;
That battle for mental health,
Which hasn’t left her reeling,
Detached from all feeling,
And you hope it never will.
But still …
You wish she’d understand,
And shut up, take your hand,
Just be with you
And tell you
That all will be well.
But, for now, you both dwell,
In its shadow.

Hidden illnesses are nightmarish because they’re just that: hidden. One of the things that hurt the most when I suffered with depression was the way it impacted on my relationships with friends and family; those who were ordinarily so loving and supportive couldn’t understand what was happening to me. Neither could I! We all suffered in the shadow of depression.

I find that writing helps me out of dark spaces and was very moved by Kayla Ann’s poem, Invisible Illness. It inspired me to pick up my pen. Thanks for the inspiration, Kayla Ann! Click the link below to see her post:

Invisible Illness – Kayla Ann

Kayla Anna is hosting a poetry competition on her blog and, because of the way I felt when reading her Invisible Illness poem, it felt appropriate to submit In Its Shadow. Do check out her blog at: Kayla Ann – Author

I dedicate this poem to anyone and everyone suffering with a hidden illness. Remember: it’s ok to not be ok. Written with love and understanding xxx

26 thoughts on “In Its Shadow

  1. Brenda Davis Harsham says:

    It’s hard when the inner you is different than the outer you. Outside, you smile, tell everyone you’re fine, but inside, you feel heavy as death. Ugh. I know that burden well. Cats are a great comfort. They know when you need to be loved. Just loved.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ivors20 says:

    A very brave and insightful poem, and yes I’m already following Kayla’s site, and I shall now follow yours. Thank you for following my blog/website, muchly appreciated, and I hope you enjoy reading my humble writings, and I’m from Geelong, Australia. Cheers . Ivor

    Liked by 1 person

  3. delphini510 says:

    Thank you for your follow which led me to this heartfelt and emotive poem.
    Wonderfully done and I love how you don’t condemn those who don’t understand;
    I guess they have never suffered that inner agony.

    Let me just say, I hold your hand albeit via this forum. There are many who do understand
    but also are hidden.
    Shall we go for a walk along a canal

    Liked by 1 person

  4. anxiousmousepoetry says:

    Hi there, I have read this a few times now and have to say I have thoroughly enjoyed it.

    “She’s drawing on resources
    That simply aren’t there.”

    This hit me particularly hard because over my years grappling with mental illness I have often found myself unable to find understanding from many of those close to me. Not because they don’t want to understand, but because they have no frame of reference to make my feelings concrete and real to them.

    I enjoy this so much because it shows the frustration of not having others understand, but also that I’m not angry at others for this. It’s not their fault, and I would never like them to visit the places I have been… and sometimes I just need someone to be there with me as the flood passes by.

    Beautiful poem.

    Thank you for sharing.
    Anxious Mouse x

    Liked by 2 people

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