Voices: “Close”

Here is the second poem in this month’s series. It’s closely related to the first; an intimate description of major depression, though this piece actually brings it to the point of suicidality. This describes a time when I was so desperately despondent, so hopeless and alone, that I was almost detached from reality. Cutting was the only thing that reminded me I was still alive, jolted me back to the present moment. I wanted someone to notice those screaming red wounds, but at the same time I just wanted to be left alone to die. You get to a point where it really doesn’t matter either way; save me or don’t, I don’t care. It’s difficult to imagine this kind of depression if you’ve never experienced it. I hope this poem goes a little way toward explaining it.




Inside these walls, a perpetual night

I live in the darkness to stay out of sight

I flinch around others, can’t handle the light

It’s all so intrusive, too loud and too bright

At the threshold of hell I hover so close

Deeply disturbed, tormented, morose

Spiraling down, to this pain I succumb

Breaking the point at which I will turn numb

Chillingly silent, nightmarishly black

Blood’s the one thing to which I react

I use the cool blades to keep me alive

The physical sting on which I thrive

By turns sobbing wildly, then hardening to stone

In mercurial madness I suffer alone

Planning the moment at which all this will end

Towards my departure I slowly descend

Time starts to melt, twist in on itself

I’m beginning to think that I might need some help

They’ll get one last chance to see I’m still here

Though dwindling faster than they ever feared

I step out at the close, my last chance to survive

I dare someone to notice that I’m still alive

For if no one does, then I’ll know what to do

The shadow will fall, and I will be through

© Sarah Ann Henderson


About writingforrecovery

Sarah is a writer and poet who speaks out about issues that make people uncomfortable. Sarah advocates for causes such a sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, and mental illness, and often speaks openly about her own experiences. She is determined to abolish the stigma associated with these issues and believes that it starts with people telling their stories, so she started a blog called Writing for Recovery where people can do just that. She is the author of three volumes of poetry and is currently at work on her fourth. She is convinced that there's a novel somewhere in her, and occasionally picks at the chapters so far. View all posts by writingforrecovery

5 responses to “Voices: “Close”

  • writingforrecovery

    Chilling. Moving. Illuminating. Amazing.

  • Dusty Cress

    Yes I’ve been my choice of weapons was broken glass,I needed to know I could still feel something. Then I just spiralled down toother forms. putting greater weights on me that evan I could’t carry. But things are changing, can’t do that and write, at the same time. My greater joy is found in the writing. Rest Gently Please.

  • Leslie Neshama

    Sarah — I am getting ready for my day, it is a bit after 7 in the morning here. I am doing a thousand things – reading emails, quotidian tasks….Your poem here is very recognizable to me. It is very sad – very sad…..I recently was hospitalized, and felt myself slipping away…and I could not nothing more….and I did not care….Thank you, Sarah. Please, please know that there are others who understand. I weep for us. I weep for those of us ‘who bleed’…..I send love. Onward, Sarah, onward……

    • writingforrecovery

      I am glad that you are out of the hospital now and getting on with the business of life. It is not an easy thing to do. The reason I am publishing these poems now is because I want to show people that there are others out there who have experienced this type of depression and come through it. It has fortunately been several years for me since I’ve had a depressive episode, let alone one this bad. I want to give people hope that there is life on the other side of a depression like that.

      Keep pushing forward on your own journey. Best wishes; be well. Sarah

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