A Poem for World Poetry Day 2020

The Dread

(A poem about living with depression)

Each day when I wake in the morning

The Dread’s lying there by my side

With its arms wrapped tightly around me

Squeezing all of my air from inside

The Dread looks at my day laid before me

And whispers that I’ll never cope

Its heavy fingers slide round my throat

My breath’s shallow, I feel I could choke

The Dread brings up all of my old mistakes

Reminisces about each time I’ve failed

Reminds me of all opportunities missed

Sucks the wind from out of my sails

It urges me never to take a risk

But to stay where it’s easy and safe

Tells me that I’ll never cope with a change

That I should just stay in one place

At mealtimes The Dread holds both of my wrists

Stops me lifting the Food to my lips

Takes the flavour away from all that I eat

Wrings my stomach in its vice-like grip

In the mirror, it leers over my shoulder

And mocks that I’m ugly and fat

Whispers to me that I should be ashamed

To have features as grotesque as that

But listen here Dread, there’s one thing you should know

I’m afraid that you don’t have me beat

I’m stronger than you give me credit for

This fight won’t end in my defeat

So each morning I’ll fight a fresh battle

To banish The Dread from my day

But I’ll never give up or surrender

Until I finally can send it away

Rob Simpson

My name is Rob and I’m aware of all the wonderful work that you do and know that you have helped several of my friends over the years.

I have had struggles with my mental health over the years and part of this has been a lot of issues with food and eating.

I love to write poetry in my spare time and recently decided to write something about my experiences in this area.  

I thought it might be useful to share my experiences in the hope that it might help someone else who uses your wonderful service.

I strongly believe that talking about mental health issues is the best way to banish the stigma that surrounds them.

I hope you like the poem.

Keep up the great work.

Sign up for our newsletter

If you would like to receive updates from First Steps Derbyshire about the services we provide for people affected by eating disorders, please sign up here. You can find out more about how we handle your data here.