(Nomination for Rethink Mental Illness’s Bill Pringle Award in 2011)
Sometimes a problem can be really tough,
We don’t know how to solve it
It makes us all feel really rough
There’s no hope we can dissolve it.
My depression’s been like that
I suffered from it for years
I tried to work out where I was at
And just collapsed in tears.
The subtle fact about such things
Is that they weave a shield of glass.
The film of dust upon it brings
A vision that will not pass.
The cloud gets thick; it’s full of grime.
I was frantic to scrub it clean.
The darkness increasing all the time
Made me feel the world was mean.
What was I doing to myself?
What was this ghastly vision.
That I had to struggle with my health,
That it really took precision!
The more you put in, the more you get out
That’s what they used to say.
But when a man is filled with doubt
He can’t see the light of day.
It was hard to cope with real depression.
The root of it was fear.
It was a smoke-screen, a real obsession
Whose cloud would never clear.
So I worked and worked, there was no cure.
The dust switched off my sight.
There was hardly a picture that was less pure.
I grew angry as the night.
Yet one day a thought just came to me
I needn’t go through pain.
I suddenly grasped the magic key
to remove the window-frame.
It was when I decided to drop the past
to make a fresh start now.
I began to fear it would not last,
But such things I don’t allow.
I had depression for all those years
I suffered behind dark glass
In the gloom I had those fears
That none of it would pass.
Then suddenly the key was there
Gleaming as the smoke-screen shattered
Rays of light danced everywhere
As the clouds of dust were scattered.
The way things are – is really bright
Until we let the cloud fall down.
The reality is there’s joy and light;
We do not need a sombre frown.
Now there’s happiness I feel each day
And it’s growing by the hour.
The darkest cloud that fell away
Leaves a serene and tranquil shower.
The vision of life is one of gold
It’s beautiful everywhere.
It really is, when you behold
Freedom from despair.
I know there’s truth in what they say
That you get out what you put in
But sometimes it’s not how much you pay,
but just how you feel within.
And if you can see beyond the glass,
have hope that it will shatter.
That depression can lift, that it will pass.
No suffering at all will matter.
What is the nature of true depression?
I sometimes felt alone
Sometimes it seemed a dark obsession
It could not be overthrown.
What is the nature of true despair
When you’ve suffered for years and years.
When you cannot find peace anywhere
And you still collapse in tears.
The hardest thing is to hear the rain;
to see the sunlight smile.
It’s not easy to walk the country lane
And feel the warmth beguile.
It’s not easy to feel the hand of love
grasp yours with deep devotion,
Or be overwhelmed by skies above
And be filled with bright emotion.
The hardest thing is never tougher
I did not know how to cope.
The storm it seemed was getting rougher;
I felt the joy they all call “Hope!”
January 29 2011