After the Visit: my poem about Social Overload

My friend has gone

I feel exhausted
by smiles that have no depth
by words that have no meaning

things to say
to while away
the hours
minutes
seconds
of her stay

relieved to say
my friend can’t stay

but who can clear
the fall-out, the fear
and stay quite near

now that my friend has gone.

Note about the poem:
• it was written when I was an in-patient on an Acute Ward at the local Mental Hospital; I can’t recall now whether it was written after an actual visit – I suspect it was – nor who had visited
• the dichotomy I had – always have – is that I want distraction but don’t have the stamina to sustain companionship; a further problem is that, even on really good days, I find small talk exhausting as it’s all about giving out trivial ideas/thoughts and getting nothing back but more trivia to fill the void (it could be argued that you should be glad you got rid of it and don’t want any of the same back)

Published by Marilyn

Diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder after fifty years in the mental health system I decided to share my experiences and consider the impact my health has had on my well-being. Being creative is the mainstay of my life and it's how I express my deepest emotions. Photography, writing, and design challenge me and help keep me rooted in the present.

2 thoughts on “After the Visit: my poem about Social Overload

  1. I can find small talk, well, any kind of communication really, quite exhausting too, and I wonder if some of that is because I’m more of an introvert. This is quite a bittersweet piece, given the circumstances when you know when/where this was written. Thank you for sharing it with us.
    Caz xx

  2. Thanks Caz for your comments. Yes, conversations are no way easy at the best of times. The biggest problem is that many people just don’t understand and think you’re plain rude – or anti-social. I have a card that explains, quite simply, that I may need time out.
    I like to share my feelings/thoughts, especially through poetry as I find it can elicit responses from people who wouldn’t usually find it easy to open up.
    Take care, enjoy this wonderful weather, and keep being yourself.
    Maz xx

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