“Because it’s Mental Health Awareness Week I wanted to share a poem I wrote that reflects how I feel when my depression surfaces. I’m very passionate about mental health awareness and removing the stigma attached to it. Mental illness can affect anyone and it can be an isolating experience. Please speak to someone you trust if you think you’re experiencing mental health problems. You and your mind are worth taking care of! “

By Moxie McMurder
Photo Tracy S. Sydor

Drink deep of my misery
Thick and deep
Staining my throat
Hard to remove
But it makes the bitterness easy to swallow
It tastes too familiar
I’ve been on a diet of darkness
For too long
I’m heavy with doubt
I made a coat of my shame
To wear on my worst days
And shoes that hurt my feet
But they match the colour of lipstick
I use to hide the insecurity
A painted smile
No one would ever know

But sometimes the smile is not enough
They can see it in your eyes
Please, leave me be
I’ve been here before and I know the way

A head full of pain
Poisoned from the inside
By an old friend
One who stops by unannounced
Demanding attention
And dark affection
I build a church on a foundation of sin
Ready to crumble
But still standing tall
Despite it all