Manic Depression

Stimulants one day...
Tranquillisers next.

Today you are lying on the bed,
Unwashed, unshaved, unfed,
The hunger pangs gnaw inside you,
Torment you,
But still you lay entranced,
The ceiling a blurred white
And the world without the window
A light year away.

For how long can you stay
Wrapped up in numbness,
And cerebral oblivion?
Stirrings within,
The shadows fade from your limbo world,
An urge inside forces you
Out of your catalepsy,
You want to urinate,
You rise and stagger to the bathroom.

Later you scratch a meal,
Toast and cereal,
Another cold can straight from the refrigerator;
Too much cold,
But tea is too much bother
And bitter is better.

Why are you crying,
Staring at the ceiling again,
Mesmerised by the sixty watt lamp?
Enters your legs,
Pins and needles prick your right arm.

Another day gone,
The glass turns black
And a stranger’s tortured face stares back
In two dimensions.
Are you really that superficial?

You turn from the window
Unnerved by the ugliness
Reflected there,
And suddenly you become aware:
“This is me”.

You look at the dirty nails,
Feel the matted hair,
The stubbled chin,
And for the first time you realise you smell,
The smell of uncleanliness,
The smell of neglect,
The smell of disease,
The smell reminiscent
Of some old dosser
You once stood next to in a bus shelter,
And you think with disgust,
And, paradoxically, with apathy:
“This is me”.

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