How Did My Depression Feel? A Poem About Wanting to Escape

In this post I share a poem I wrote about some of my experience with depression and dreams of escaping to a new life.

How Did My Depression Feel? A Poem About Wanting to Escape
Photo by frappo / Unsplash

I’ve shared some of my story in this video Why I think it’s important to talk about mental health, which touches on how my depression felt. It’s a topic that I will be exploring more on this website, as I believe that talking about this can help recognise the feelings in ourselves, understand that we are not alone and that there is help and support.

It isn’t easy sometimes to put into words. One aspect of my experience that sticks in my head is how I would feel most mornings going to work. My mind would race back and forth through time, picking apart things I’d said, done, not done or worrying about the future. I used to imagine running away and wanting to escape from it all and never coming back.

I’ve not written poems since school (a long time ago...), but as I thought about how I felt at the time, this poem came to life. I believe that it’s been a helpful way of expressing my feelings.


I glance from my phone
people on the move
I head for the doors
getting into position to
shave seconds from the commute

I emerge from the depths
to bright morning light
the City has come to life
after a sleepy weekend
but I barely notice

I'm reliving yesterday's conversation
I talked too much
didn't listen
didn't say what I should have said
what a terrible friend

the big meeting ahead
imagine how it plays out
haven't prepared enough
don't know what I'm doing
don't belong; I'll be found out

I'm back in the distant past
picking the bones of things
I can no longer change
opportunities missed
can't let them go

this is my groundhog day
each day the same
attacking myself
from past, present and future
tears welling, but staying hidden

the office beckons
another working day
I don't want to go in
does anyone know how I'm feeling?
I'm tired of pretending

I press on in a trance
weaving past commuters
my plan forming
today I escape

back on the tube
heart racing
I'm at the airport
ticket in hand
ready to go

what am I doing?
this is crazy
as the London skyline fades
my spirits soar
I'm leaving it all behind

nobody knows me here
an open road of possibilities
I feel free
but then a voice pulls me back
"Morning Andy, how was your weekend?"

I am in a better place today, having sought help and been on a journey of recovery through both medication and therapy. The therapy uncovered all the unhelpful thinking styles I had developed, some of which are in the poem.

In future posts, I’ll explore what therapy was like for me and look deeper into these unhelpful thinking styles.

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