About ten years ago, I found myself in a very low place. Much later, I was diagnosed with depression & anxiety, and these days I have it mostly in check, through a combination of mild medication, lifestyle choices, and attitude. Back then, however, I was not only suffering the anguish caused by the black dogs, but also dealing with the confusion of not knowing what the problem was, or even that there was a definable problem. I just thought “I’m a bit mental” and went about being miserable and inflicting misery on other people as well. I have made some truly stupid directional choices in my life, and I don’t avoid responsibility for them, but I now know why some decisions I thought were good ones were actually anything but. A lot of my issues are rooted in low self-esteem and insecurity, and so I took a lot of steps to overcompensate and validate myself in the eyes of the world, a habit which I guess may have started in childhood.
Anyways, as I say, it all came crashing down on me about a decade ago and I went to see a counsellor. This was not a process I enjoyed, and I only went twice. I think one leg of the journey I hadn’t made then was the realisation that I need to reach out and open up, instead of bluffing my way through, and so I didn’t get as much out of the process as I might have, I dunno. Water under the bridge now, in any event, but one of the things I did take away from counselling was the need to be more honest WITH myself, even if I couldn’t (at that stage) be totally honest ABOUT myself to the rest of the world.
Long story short, here’s a poem I wrote as a cathartic exercise during that period.

Letter To The World

I want to blow your mind,
And make you gasp in awe at me.
I want you to find
That I’m what you want to see.
I want to be adored,
Admired and respected.
I want not to be ignored
And not to be rejected.
I want to know that you feel great
‘Coz I was in your day.
I want to have you as my mate
Because you like my way.
I want you to sigh and swoon,
To go weak at the knees,
Whenever I am in the room,
And keep your eyes on me.
I want to be the Pivot,
The Centre and the King –
Attention? You can give it
And love every little thing.
I want to be the first
One that you notice in all cases.
I want to make you want to burst
And leave wonder on your faces.
I want you to pine for me
When I’m doing something else.
I want you to want my company
Just because I am myself.
I want to take your breath away.
I want you to think I’m wise.
I want to see your lust for me
Shining in your eyes.
I want to be the guy who says
What everybody thinks.
I want to be the very best
And for you to buy me drinks.
I want to be the brightest
So that you all need my glory.
I want there to be quietness
When I’m telling a story.
I want you to think I’m cool
And witty and so clever.
I want to make you stare and drool,
To win at each endeavour.
I want to know you’re feeling
Whenever I’m around,
That I’ve set your senses reeling.
I want to astound.
I know, down deep, I’m not the man
Who’ll make you feel this way.
I should just deal with what I am –
But I WANT IT! anyway.

© Darryn Roberts 2002