Darkness; I am asleep. I wake slowly, half-heartedly At a sound you make. Quiet early exit, not wanting For me to wake. Light Creeps through My window. The sun rests itself awhile On my wall. Instant joy, No longer does my skin crawl. My eyes light up When I realise The sun has graced me With its company, And with its light And warmth Has filled up My cup. No longer do I want to: Gauge my eyes out. Pull my hair out. Toss myself about. Scream in desperation. Take medication, Or else a permanent ‘vacation’. You could have traced The smile on my face. But instead you left. I understand, and Honestly, it’s grand. I just want to ask one thing Before I go back to sleep: Take my sunlight with you, But don’t take it away from me.
"I have struggled with depression and social anxiety for over ten years. Last year was the first time I began to open up about my issues after a friend convinced me to do so. I sought help in the form of counselling, which helped for a while, but when things got bad again this year, I tried medication, which I ended up withdrawing from suddenly. The withdrawal brought about a number of side effects to my mental health, and my resulting behaviour caused many long-term friends to distance themselves from me. I attempted suicide. Obviously it wasn't successful, otherwise I wouldn't be typing this, but in the aftermath I took a month off of work and was struggling pretty badly with my mental health and acute loneliness, and it was around this time that I tried my hand at some poetry, which actually did wonders to improve my mental state. 'Sunlight' was the first poem in which I achieved a state of flow. I didn't need to think about what I was writing, it was like my mind and my hand were directly connected, and the words just came out. It's by far the poem that I'm most proud of, and while I haven't written many since returning to work, I'm happy to say my mental health has improved and I'm hoping to write more poems next year." See more on Mark's Instagram.