For Mental Health Awareness Week (9-15 May 2022) around the theme of loneliness, we’re sharing a series of poems about loneliness written by members of our Creative Writing Groups.
This poem called “And the doorbell rang…” is written by Clare and talks about feeling lonely and fragile, and how we might push people away for fear of judgement despite wanting the company, making it hard to break the loneliness cycle.
“Footsteps stomped up to the door past the front window. She sank down in her chair in the front room hoping no one could see her. Maybe it was the postman with letters to drop through the letterbox. She hoped it was, she couldn’t go to the door not right now. She wasn’t dressed properly, her hair wasn’t brushed. What would they think, would they think she couldn’t cope. But what it if wasn’t the postman, what if it was someone else, and as that thought struck her the doorbell rang. Oh no, who can it be? She couldn’t see from her chair and daren’t go upstairs, walk past the front door, what if they heard her, then they would know she was in. If she didn’t answer would they peer through the window and see her sitting there frozen in place? Cold sweat began to prick on her face as the anxiety rose.
Maybe it was Annie from down the road, she said she might call in for a chat and it would be nice to talk. Annie is a good listener and she liked her, but she wasn’t ready, couldn’t let Annie see her like this. Is there a comb within reach? Straining her eyes left and right hardly daring to move she scanned the bookshelf and coffee table in vain. Lazy fool, she thought to herself, it was her own fault if it was Annie and she went away again. She wished she had tidied up a bit, the place was a mess again. Maybe she could quickly gather up enough for it to pass for OK? She should then apologise for the mess and that she hadn’t cleaned that week. Yes that might work. She really wanted to talk to someone, for someone to listen and to be a friend. But she was so afraid of what they might think or say when they went away. What if it all went wrong again.”
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