Churchill called it his black dog.
But mine is a cat-like criminal—
stealthy, on padded paws it sidles in.
It has an uncanny knack of entering unnoticed
and things start disappearing.
It siphons hours of sleep—just a few
off the end and the beginning of the night,
so that at first you don’t realize
what is happening.
Then your smiles start vanishing.
Your allotment of laughter per day
Diminishes, and you alone are aware
that, vaguely, something has changed.
It takes and takes, like an artful pickpocket,
until one day you realize as you
stumble around that a piece of your brain
has been heisted
a chunk of your heart has been
hollowed out with a spoon.
“Choose happiness,” people say
And you can only gaze blankly at them
and their lack of understanding.
No one would choose this illness—this
invasive thief that permeates your being.
You know your eyes look haunted
but it is too tiring to explain to people
the pain of it, the worry.
And so you hang on, and repeat
a mantra to yourself:
“This too shall pass,
this too shall pass.”
Author: Keeley Milne
Editor: Toby Israel
Photo: Kari Hak/Flickr