I am so tense the back of my neck aches

Sinew twisting & turning

Tightening like a fast creeping ivy

Strangling its host tree

Crushing it slowly in its vice-like grip

I feel two enormous hands surrounding my skull

Squeezing & pushing down my head into my shoulders

Pressing their clawed thumbs into my forehead

As its bony fingers shove themselves roughly

Into the nape of my neck

Heavy weights hang off my shoulders

Pulling me downwards

I can barely lift my head

I have aged 40 years in an hour

My eyelids try to force themselves closed

They don’t want to see the damage

Scared to see the look of fear

& terrible bone-weariness of their owner in a reflection

Depression smacks me in the brain

I drag my gravity bound body to my bed

I don’t even take my shoes off

I insinuate my aching bulk under the covers

Pulling them over my head drowning out the terrible light

There I lie foetal & damaged I am lost in the blackness

That gnaws at my soul & spits out my gristle

My bed – a safe place for oblivious & dark thoughts

Until the tension starts to ease

I see in my mind’s eye – a slight chink of sky blue

I become less afraid of the light

The ‘hands’ pull away & the ivy rots back

The shoulder weights drop off & I can think again

Think of the things of the light

Bright things, a walk outside, a new book

The smell of fresh, scented flowers comes back to me again

This time I just lost a day

I am frightened for the next time

That this happens & it may not lift

To be permanently in a state

Of dread & fear & hopelessness simply cannot be borne

But this time I put the kettle on open a window – and breathe


(c) Kate McClelland 2016


Picture by Pixabay




96 thoughts on “Depression

    1. Thanks very much Shehanne.
      Luckily I don’t suffer from it very often and I am very good at hiding it. I know I can ‘ride it out’, so my practical side comes out and I go into automatic mode and let it take it’s course (can’t curl up in bed all day with a job and kids). :0)

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Hello Andrew. Gosh thanks very much for that. It is true isn’t it? For some reason being in bed feels safe, like you can shut out the whole world from your divan! Luckily I don’t suffer from it often and I can’t always take to my bed as I have kids and a job. But the feeling is there that it’s where I want to go and where I feel safe. Thanks again :0)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The overwhelming weight of physical and mental pain appear to be the same to me. I’m not sure why the medical industry tries to make them so separate. And pain also ages you, whether it’s physical or mental. Every day seems like a week. Everything is such an effort. Captured beautifully in your words. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so true for me as well Kate. Sometimes life is perfect and I get to kick the blackness in the arse, today was one of those days. I hope you too can kick it in the arse like all bullies it`s a coward.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Adele. Really glad it’s been a good day for you. It most definitely is, it creeps up behind you and grabs you when you’re not paying attention and wedgie’s your brain – it and it’s sly companion Anxiety work together as a mini pack, killing the happiness. We won’t let them win. :0)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Gosh thank you so much for your comments! Thankfully I don’t suffer from it as often as I used to, but I was asked to explain what it felt like to me, so I wrote what I felt.. Thanks again, Kate


  5. Wow this is such an amazing piece of writing, so powerful and well written.

    Our aim at Let The Stigma Slide is to raise awareness and educate society about mental health, especially regarding depression and suicide. We want to show how common mental health conditions are to make people realise there’s nothing so foreign about it, and there’s really nothing to be ashamed of. We want to help abolish the stigma surrounding mental illness to increasingly create conversations around what’s perceived as such a “taboo” topic.

    In a #stigmafreesociety, those who suffer from depression will no longer suffer in silence. Would love your support! Here are links to our Facebook and Twitter.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is one of the main topics I love to touch on because its probably the most swept under the rug and avoided. I struggle with depression often but I too have learned to cope with the highs and lows. This piece was beautiful. Thank for this. Peace and love to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. It’s been a while since I was swept down that river, Kate. But I remember it so well. The heaviness is bad enough. Anticipatory anxiety can overwhelm and blot out the sun. Being able to post about it is a blessing. So many kindred spirits can be found in the blogosphere. Then we know we are not alone… ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you Tina, that is so kind. This is a post (of mine for a change :0)) that has had the most responses and comments by a long way. When you are depressed, you always think you are alone and that no-one else has ever felt as bad as you do – but then you read the comments and see that lots of people go through this, some on a daily basis and some just when they have really bad times in their lives. But it seems to effect so many people. I am so glad I posted this as it seems to have helped some people and it’s also helped me. Thanks again Tina xx

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s interesting, because they both work for me. I’m a bit of a Luddite myself, so I understand 😊 Try copying and pasting each link into your browser and see if the page will pull up for you that way. If you’re on FB, just send me a friend request by clicking on the “Add Friend” button, and if you’re on Google+, type my name into the search bar at the top of the page and then click on Follow under my photo. If you’re not on either one, you would have to join in order for us to connect. Either way, I’ll share this but would prefer to tag you. Don’t hesitate to ask further questions if need be, Kate. I’ve been down the Luddite road so many times myself that I have great compassion for others traveling it with me 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  9. When you wrote “I am frightened for the next time” That is what makes these bouts so incredibly terrifying…sometimes it seems like this round is worse than the last and you wonder when and if you’ll ever be able to come out of it. For people who don’t understand, I’ve always described it as a tunnel or pit you’ve fallen into. With the light so far above, you don’t know if you’ll be able to crawl out. When you DO rise out it’s such a relief…but not knowing when it’ll return for you. It’s a short-lived relief that leaves you crippled. So, I feel your pain…thank you for writing this. It’s so comforting to find others who understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your reply. The ‘light’ thing – I do that. I close my eyes and try to imagine the sky. If it’s all black, I know that’s bad. If I see a sliver of blue then I know I’m coming out of it. The more positive I feel, the more blue I see.
      Thanks again for your comments Kate.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is well done and beautifully written. To be able to channel that feeling of depression into a form of art. In this battle against depression and sometimes with anxiety. I hope that this poetry can send a message to those people who are not suffering from our condition, to be able to get a better grasp and understanding of our day to day struggle. Let us help each and every one of us so that we may be able to find peace for ourselves. Keep up at your work and continue to encourage others.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Indeed! Thanks very much for your kind comments, really appreciate it. I’ve had more comments about this post than any other I’ve done. It has amazed me how many people have the same feelings, it’s sort of comforting in a strange way.


  11. That is such an excellent poem about depression. It truly is. As someone who has gone through and come out of several major depressive episodes, you really never know if you are going to make it out, and when you do, you start to be afraid of the next one. check out and some of the articles I have about bipolar/depression/anxiety 🙂 Love it!! Thanks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is really beautiful, i love the way that you write 🙂
    I feel like us people who suffer from depression really need to know that we aren’t alone in that feeling that you so beautifully described above.
    I’m actually currently writing a book about a young girl who was hospitalized and learns how to cope through meeting new people like her.
    You can check out my blog if you’d like to learn more about it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It may be exhausting but you can put on Oscar worthy acting performances for days, weeks or even months at a time, pretending to be okay with people and things that are actually stressing you out & driving you crazy. You’re basically a super dedicated, unpaid method actor. Giving attitude here and there is a survival mechanism you use to avoid exploding. It’s a way of slightly sedating a potential blow up temporarily. Thinking that your feelings are foreign to everyone else. When you see yourself as somewhat of a Martian, it’s easy to refrain from expressing what’s inside because you’re fairly certain nobody wouldn’t understand anyway. Eventually you’ll blows up. It’s inevitable. Probably randomly, all of those feelings will come out at once, and you’ll have the friendliness of a possessed person in the midst of an exorcism. When you’re in a relationship and don’t want to hurt your partner’s feelings, you’ll hold things in as an unspoken favor, saving them from your potentially upsetting honest thoughts. A common way to validate your holding things in is by telling yourself that they’ll slowly expire or you can last bottling ’em up until the cause of them passes. Innocent bystanders and undeserving individuals are at risk when you finally reach your boiling point. They aren’t the cause of your frustration, but get the brunt of the punishment. Those rare instances where you do pour your heart out to someone had better go well, otherwise you’ll be devastated and further convinced that it’s just easier to say absolutely nothing about how you feel for the foreseeable future. You understand how different opinions & feelings are. You may speak your mind and share your views, but when it comes to feelings you’ll hold off. After spending so much time biting your tongue and holding back for the sake of others that you’re a mess inside, when someone finally asks you, “How are things going?” or “Is everything okay?” you’re overcome with all of the feels and want to burst in tears. You’ve bottled up an abundance of emotions and they just unscrewed the cap. You might be able to muster up a trembling voiced “I’m fine” and escape before the waterworks begin, but this only ends with you crying, whether it be on their shoulder or in private. Deep down you understand that life is too short to not tell people how you feel, and there’s a constant battle within to improve on it. New Year’s resolution? I’m going to be more open with people. Randomly motivated to change? I’m going to be more open with people. It’s something you strive for, but ironically it’s much easier for you to say than do.


    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh my you have quite a following!
    I just wanted to touch base on the the black dog as i call it ! I have wrestled it for years will my trip from hell (quadrapleagic slab of meet i was )
    I have have been places that others could never believe!

    For me music and trying to move my body was my focus obviously!
    Through my obsession i managed to push the peddles on the rehab bike in the physio room .
    As the the months roled on the meters became ks then so on , on this i started to realize the endorphins being released
    I was becoming more determined and more positive by the day !
    Then as i learned to eat i found bananas
    To witch i still eat a kilo a week .
    With out going in to a lecture (sorry)
    I realized the food and exercises i was doing was not only changing my mind frame
    But i was proving professionals wrong in my verdict.
    I only drink water these days no smoking drinking, the right foods and exercise
    Afew times cardio too as thats the best .

    People who i used to hang around with think because i live my way i am different
    But i sware to god i am stronger in the mind
    And more positive than i have ever been in my life !
    I battled Hodgkins lymphoma cancer
    Had radiotherapy, Chemotherapy, lost my speach when i woke from my coma
    Including total paralyzes.
    So yes i have battled the black dog
    I suffered bullying for years in my upbringing and some in the military.

    I am well qualified to comment and i hope my words have helped someone
    I am pete author of” IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE ” should anyone not believe my story

    Keep fighting out there dont let life set the dog on ya 👊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Pete
      Don’t worry about typos :0)
      Someone has seen your post on my blog and wanted to go read your blog, but they can’t access it without permission from you.
      If you want to change your blog to public at any point, send me a link and I will re-blog it.
      BW Kate


    1. Thank you so much for that. I am fine. I just wanted to write about what it feels like when depression hits. Luckily for me it is now a lot less as time goes on, but thank you kindly :0)


  15. It is because it’s every day. But you do your best and you carry on until it passes.
    Write abut how you feel and try and figure out what sets it off. When you read your notes back when you are in a better frame of mind, you can read them with more clarity :0)


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