15 June 2016

My own private war

The thing about depression is that it is an agony without an externally visible cause. There is no scraped knee or spasming muscle or laceration of tissues to explain the pain of the existential crisis, and this is why it is so hard to believe it should be (and can be) acknowledged and parleyed with like any other hurt of the physical body.

I have this pain, you see,
(no, you cannot see--
there is nothing to see,
no broken bone,
nor grievous wound,
nor fever, nor spasming
muscle: not even a scratch)
this agony inside me.

No visible cause,
nothing to bind,
no obvious need
to splint or salve,
nothing to say,
‘This is why I hurt.’

And even when it lies
quiescent below
the surface of thought
it aches in the most
tender and secret
parts of my mind.

And I have no choice
in the matter: I must
rise each day to do
battle against
an unseen, unknowable,
intractable foe: crafty,
devious, cunning,
deceptive and deadly.

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