I’m sitting on a single bed

with pounding heart and aching head.

My memory’s stuck – it won’t rewind.

I haven’t lost my mind.


The décor’s apple-green and chrome.

Wherever I am, it isn’t home.

They say I’m free but I feel confined.

I haven’t lost my mind.


The pills they make me take are brown.

The nurses have to hold me down,

but first they close the roller blind.

I haven’t lost my mind.


The girl next door to me is nuts –

her arms a mess of razor cuts.

I don’t belong here, with her kind.

I haven’t lost my mind.


And all the other women here

are tainted with the smell of fear

and search for things they cannot find.

I haven’t lost my mind.


Respect’s a quality they lack.

They whisper things behind my back.

The words they say are so unkind.

I haven’t lost my mind.


The doctor says when he is through

I’ll see the world like others do –

I’m not sure I’m that way inclined.

I haven’t lost my mind.


The things he says are just not right –

that black’s not black and white’s not white,

and every cloud is silver-lined.

I haven’t lost my mind.


The doctor smiles but I do not.

He wants to know what I forgot.

He makes my tangled thoughts unwind.

I haven’t lost my mind.


The doctor says I’m almost there;

I’ll start to heal if I can bear

to drop the mask I hide behind.

I haven’t lost my mind.


Oh God, did I do something wrong?

I can’t forget for nine months long

my blood and hers were intertwined.

I haven’t lost my mind.


For eighteen hours on the trot

she cried and cried and wouldn’t stop.

A swirling redness made me blind.

Perhaps I’ve lost my mind.


For hers was such a little life

it only took a pocket knife

to cut away the ties that bind.

I think I’ve lost my mind.


(c) Helen Lewis 2006


2 responses to “Forgotten

    • helenmlewis

      Thank you very much, Ferg. I’ve just visited your blog and read your post about depression.

      Having been through severe depression myself (and come out the other side), there are three very, very important things I need to tell you.

      1. You are not alone.
      You may feel like everyone else is breezing through life and no-one will understand what you’re going through, but a remarkably large proportion of people struggle with depression at some point in their life.
      You are also not alone in another way. There are people in the world who love you, and who would do anything for you. Reach out to one of them – a family member or a friend. If you can’t do that for whatever reason, join a support group.

      2. Depression can be cured.
      There are three treatments available for depression that have been proven to work: cognitive behavioural therapy, meditation and anti-depressant drugs such as Prozac.

      3. This too shall pass.
      Everything changes. It may feel like you will always feel the way you do now, but you won’t. I promise you. Be assured that ‘this too, shall pass.’ It really will.

      Much love,

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