YOUR STORY: Poem brings mental health issues into focus

THERE has been lots of talk in the paper recently about people dealing with mental health issues, which of course can cause all sorts of hurt and anguish to the people themselves and friends and family around them.

This poem is about an older man who reflects on his life and wishes he had the help when he needed it that people have now.

It is good that mental health and depression problems are more spoken about, and understood better, and people are respected more for coming forward in order to help both themselves and other people in similar situations.


Black Dog

by Jo Theyers



I'm old now and set in my ways

People pass me in a daze

They see me from the corner of their eye

They just shrug and walk on by

Most of my life I have lived this way

It became easier, so I continued to stay

I am happy to live where I want to be

But don't like when people start to hassle me

They don't know the road I've walked to get here

I see it in their eyes, they just don't care

I once had a wife, a job and a car

Seems a life time ago, I have fallen so far

See the "Black Dog" entered my life

And took away my job, my car, and my wife

I took up my drinking

As my world around me was sinking

I wish I had of sought help in the early stages

Before I lost my job and wages.

No one would employ me then, so I couldn't make a living

So had to survive on the charity that the people were giving

The "Black Dog" took control of my head

Some days I couldn't even get out of my bed

I tried everything to make him go away

But all he would do was sit and stay

He was chained to me, he controlled my life

My family couldn't take it, and I lost my wife

I lost it all, I lost my home

Home is here on the streets now, all alone

The "Black Dog" will always be tethered to my mind

I try to shake him, but he returns every time

On my emotions, he has been well fed

I see other people's pain and I know he has bred

In earlier days, the "Black Dog" was never allowed on show

I only wish I knew then what people now know

That talking about it and sharing a smile

Can lift you up for a while

But you do have to continue to try and persevere

Cause that "Black Dog" will always be near.

Topics:  mental health poetry your story

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