Despair Parts I & II - Joanna Marx


Despair - Part I

they say despair’s something to fall in

in my case, i’ve plucked a way there

one by one, hair by hair

keratin strands blow through the air

as i sit at the table

and tear and tear.

they say that some people recover

but that it’s incredibly rare

one by one, hair by hair

keratin strands blow through the air

as i sit at the table

and tear and tear.

they say growth is always a journey

in my case, from here to nowhere

one by one, hair by hair

keratin strands blow through the air

as i sit at the table

and tear and tear.

they say bareness can be a respite

in my case, i’m hardly aware

one by one, hair by hair

keratin strands blow through the air

as i sit at the table

and tear and tear.

they say that i just need to stop it

but this sadness is so much to bear

one by one, hair by hair

keratin strands blow through the air

as i sit at the table

and tear and tear.

they say that they love me regardless

but their kindness is too hard to hear

one by one, hair by hair

keratin strands blow through the air

as i sit at the table

and weep with despair.


Despair – Part II

sitting in this chair

i learned to despair.

sitting in this chair

i looked God in the eye

and told Him that i

didn’t care

if i were to live or die.

i learned to despair

sitting in this chair

no word of a lie.

"Trichotillomania is an obscure word to describe a common condition: the compulsion to pull out one’s hair. It manifests itself as an overwhelming array of urges, impulses, anxieties, relapses, defeats and (occasional) triumphs.

In this poem, trichotillomania is a disorder of tangled lines and obsessive rhymes. Trichotillomania resists cliché and good advice. Trichotillomania repeats and repeats. It cannot be resolved through words alone.

The poem opens with a series of jangling, repetitive refrains (evoking the habitual act of pulling) but becomes raw and stark, reflecting the misery of a particularly bad hair day. Feelings are more important than actions here. The poem does not close with wrecked follicles or fraught bald patches, but instead focuses on the emotional fallout of this disorder.

Trichotillomania requires people to exercise their willpower on a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute basis. It forces people to make difficult choices. And at the core of trichotillomania is a relentless dance between despair and acceptance. Which makes it a fascinating condition to live with, and write about."


#Trichotillomania

  • LinkedIn - Black Circle
  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Instagram - Black Circle
  • Twitter - Black Circle

Perspective Project is a trading name of Perspective Mental Health Ltd, a social enterprise tackling mental health stigma through creativity.

Registered in England & Wales, company number 12899764