Weekly Writing Challenge: Memoir Madness

The latest DP Writing Challenge is to write a memoir, in any form you choose. One of the options given is to write about the worst of times – my absolute worst time in life was being seriously depressed and surviving an overdose at the age of 24. Due to the never-ending guilt and shame it was something I struggled with talking about for a couple of decades, but wrote this prose poem while taking part in a creative writing course four years ago. So this may not be a brand new piece of writing, but it is nevertheless a one-off, straight from the heart, never to be repeated exercise that fits the remit so well I just wanted to share it with you all… thank you for reading 🙂

Life sentence…

Death is not necessarily the ultimate destination on this crazy day, but neither is continuing life. What you desire in this exact moment is oblivion, potent and pure – you want the pain of daily living to disappear, to vanish you along with it into the unbroken night. The finer details remain insignificant. Overwhelmed yet emotionally numb, already you are far beyond the reach of rationality.

Infinity beckons, drawing you in. Wretched and retching, you let the black hole envelop you; swallow you up as you swallow down the pills, one by one, on and on. Your entrails wrench from the heart of you as your world tilts violently on its axis, spinning out of control. As consciousness fades and the light dies you cling tight to the knowledge that life as you know it is ending at last.

From tumbling headlong into the spiralling void you emerge semi-conscious two days later. Poisoned and poisonous, you feel like a dark disoriented Alice deposited on the other side of your distorted looking glass. There is no going back. Fate is on your side – or is it against? You are saved; your stomach is pumped out. You survive, after a fashion. You bury your dead deep, and carry on…

Another journey through time and space, and your life flows forward twenty years. Then one day an empty, expectant silence elongates into sound as re-awakening emotions expose and express. Enraged, they come screaming raw into your tube-raped throat, no longer stripped of voice. You stay with them awhile, re-living, releasing. Such a strong response after decades of denying. ‘You survive, after a fashion’. One sentence; your life sentence. It says everything yet says nothing. It is your history, your present, your future. So much shame, so much guilt – so much distress. So much wasted time. You swallow hard and blink back lost tears, remembering.


4 thoughts on “Weekly Writing Challenge: Memoir Madness

  1. Beautiful and harrowing. This poem feels like a journey through time, through suffering and healing. It was brave of you to put that experience into words and I hope It has proven cathartic. Thank you for sending me the link.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Holding it all inside all the time took up so much wasted energy, and letting it go helped immensely – it was a really difficult time, and even now it is a really difficult memory to negotiate around, but I’m still here and I feel like I owe it to myself never to forget where I was in order to truly appreciate where I am now 🙂


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