My Black Dog- A poem about depression

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Art by Matthew Johnstone

Hello there, friend, please do come in.
I’ll go get you a chair.
Tell me about your trip to Greece–
I hear it’s gorgeous there.

Oh, please meet my pet. I call him Jack.
He’s always here with me.
I know you haven’t met him yet,
often I’m the only one who sees.

Yes, I’ve had him many years now.
When I was twelve he just showed up.
Most people don’t even know I own him-
he’s a stealthy kind of pup.

Jack is my black dog.
He can sometimes hold me back.
He’s very slow and rather shy,
and some days won’t let us go outside.

Many people treat me
as if Jack does not exist.
They say, “It’s not that hard to be happy!
You need to try harder and persist!”

They must not realize how heavy
Jack feels on my chest.
He’s been with me so long now, yet
it’s still such an effort to resist.

Sometimes Jack is warm and soft.
Sometimes he’s rough and mean.
Today he’s being needy and loud-
see how he separates us and sits between?

I’m glad that now you’ve met him.
You might start to notice Jack around.
I can leave him home some days,
so I’m starting to gain ground.

Thank you, friend, for listening
and learning about Jack.
For I often fear when others meet him,
they’ll decide never to come back.

You’ve shown care and loyalty by staying
here with Jack and me. I hope
when someone else mentions their black dog,
you’ll find it easier to believe.

More about the black dog

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6 thoughts on “My Black Dog- A poem about depression

  1. Beautifully articulated. My black dog fell in love with it! Paw-Five!
    I too wish that people would notice what seems so obvious to the sufferer. But they tend to ignore and often disregard our condition as momentary phases. I wish you all the best with your black dog! I hope he doesn’t cause much trouble. Take care! šŸ™‚

    • Paw-five! Love it.
      I know what you mean. I’ve gotten so much “That sucks, it’ll pass though.” Pretty hard to hear that when it never passes or always comes back.
      Good luck with your black dog as well. Gotta keep them leashed up…

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