Jagged Depression
(A Report)

Coming in like steel-tipped waves
of crushing immobility
I come up to breathe after each
assault, weaker by each turn
With each crash leaving me
not knowing how to fend them off

Or how to undo what they
leave as they retreat

At last I cry - I whimper
"Leave me alone"
Let me be, let me sleep
Let me go.

Stop this assault before I drown
before I bleed to death


When depression comes on not as
a soft, grey fog
numbing with cold fingers,
But as a series of sharp, hard kicks
in the back of the head
knocking me down each time
I try to get back up

Until I have to give up and lie
here in pain,
unable to do or think
anything at all

Not numb, but writhing

"Why did you write this down?"
"I didn't want to forget it."

12/7/17 7:30 AM

Postscript, 3/15/18: Some background on what gave rise to this "report":

Apparently I wrote this early in the morning - of my birthday. My notes say it was about something I experienced on 12/5, the Tuesday of that week. This is slightly surprising, as I would have thought I wrote it the day after, not two days later.

Anyway, here are the basics of the situation. It was early afternoon - the beginning of the workday for me - and I had a half-dozen things to work on. Each time I turned to one, I got this overloading sense that I should focus on another. When I turned to do so, I get another overwhelming sense that I have to do something else. This is a gross oversimplification.

And each time that "sense" kicked in, it kicked hard and I felt weaker. I started feeling like I was trying to do two things at once, but two others were more important. Next thing you know I was just standing there, immobilized.

This process really unfolded over the better part of an hour or two, with my getting virtually nothing done. I could barely think by then.

I wrote this down because the experience was unique and very jarring and I wanted to document it as best I could. While it looks like I was trying to write a poem or something, from the structure and line breaks, really I just started a new line each time I had to pause and think of what came next.

The "question and answer" at the end arose later in the evening of the seventh. She referred to it as "agitated depression", a phrase I can never remember when I want to..

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printed 30 January 2023
© Huw Powell