Bell Canada makes this remark on their website today:

“Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day. For every share this post receives, we’ll donate 5¢ to mental health initiatives across Canada. We’ll also donate 5¢ for every tweet using the official #BellLetsTalk hashtag and for every text and long-distance call made by a Bell customer. Today’s the day! Let’s share, let’s talk and let’s make a difference.”

I don’t even own a cell phone, but I would like to show my support for this initiative by posting this poem about depression that I wrote a few years ago.

In his book “The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn spoke of how prison changed him for the better in the kind of man he became. He makes this comment:

I nourished my soul there, and I say without hesitation: “Bless you, prison, for having been in my life!”

That comment by him led me to write this about depression:


“Bless you prison” Solzhenitsyn said,
For all the good he learned.
And out he came a better man
with godlessness fully burned.

But there are those whose prison is
a sentence that’s lifelong
where no one but themselves do keep
the keys that steal their song

and they go through life in their prison dark
and they cry and scream and wail
and no one hears a thing they say
because its hidden ‘neath a smile

and no one cares to inquire if
life is good as it seems to be
for that would mean looking beyond
the self that rules “in me”

and the prisoners suffer in their cells of flesh
and they go about so fine
and they act and sound like all the rest
and prove a power divine

and they long for a day when they can read
the Gulag’s author deep
and rejoice with him in his words of praise
to a prison that could not keep

but for now the sentence is still in force
there’s no parole in sight
and those with faith look forward to day
the others to endless night

real prisons are not made of steel
they aren’t for lawless men
they’re made inside the sharpened minds
of those who see and ken

and cry at what they make in there
and cry at how they make it
and cry because they don’t want out
even as they plan to leave it

and these ones would gladly surrender up
their prison and its pain
if they were offered a concrete cell
to never come out again

but that won’t happen, for that would mean
that others would have to know
about the agonies endured
and there they just can’t go

but some of these really know God well
and the joys that knowing brings
and they know their prison is for their good
for it’s not beyond “all things”

and the joy is real and the smile’s of heart
and the testimony true
even though the old foe shows up at times
with the gift of darkest blue

and so they live and enjoy the times
when the gloom forgets to call
and they carry on like that’s the norm
and the happiness is all

and when it returns they knowingly nod
and put their armour on
and wrestle and fight and cry inside
until once more he’s gone

and just like Solzhenitsyn
they know a lesson will be
but unlike him they know this too:
it’s but the next life sets them free.