Friday 11 November 2022


Artemis's poem draws on her experience influenced by anxiety, working through her feelings, and ending with a hope for self-acceptance and coexistence with anxiety.

- Artemis Lam

mediocrity is my illness
a two-day-old coffee
              drink it –
and leftover instant noodle soup
              save it –
i could not bear to throw out
i could not bear myself
want aching and straining out of me
i am fervidly unwell

i am in a closed room
there is no window, no door
much easier to spatter myself
on wall and on floor
yes, i am embedded now
a shrine for myself now
and i am on all fours begging
curled up and shrivelling
who am i calling for?
the moon is my deity
cold-swollen milk-mother

i am used to edges, always on the brink
pressed into the flat outline of a yellow wildflower –
the sun will not rise.
so i must learn to love grey skies
and wanton clouds reflected off the window opposite mine
and me, reflected off the window opposite mine

Find out more about anxiety and how to support someone.

Artemis Lam is a third-year English Literature student at Durham University. She is an advocate for open and honest conversations on mental health, as well as a literary representation of such experiences. When she is not reading or writing poetry, she can usually be found in the gym or indulging in her mildly worrying addiction to coffee.

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