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Friday January 25th 2019


If Only I was Struck In A Day

Post Published: 10 April 2012
Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
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I woke up one mornin’

with an anchor on my head and a blurrin’

I was slurring my speech, like a drunk,

‘cept I’ll give up on talking. It’s not funny, it’s boring.

Where am I going? What was I saying? Did you tap me on the shoulder?

Oh, you’ve already gone.


I’m learning for school,

revising for fun,

passing exams for work, or interviewing a gun*

I’ll sit here for hours, over and over, flash cards and scribbles, papers and practices but

it seems my brain pretty much sucks

and is leaking old memories to make room for my musings,

well Fuck.

I might as well be an astronaut, lost out in space, floating, with the pieces of my brain lurking

just outta’ my reach (hard luck).


‘Cos I woke up one mornin’ as

The Zombie a’walkin’

fourteen hours of sleepin’

oh I can walk, oh I can run, until I come back home, and off I’ve gone.

But it’s more obvious than that, more sudden. ‘Cos I woke up one mornin’ and you said I’m a zombie a’walkin’,

a robot in talking

I’ll laugh rather late, smile to show I’ve acknowledged

an entire room laughing

I’ve lost track of what you’re sayin’; I must be so borin’


And ain’t the media noticed those with strange incomplete sentences,

and ain’t the schools paid attention, ‘cos ain’t it so obvious, that


I can’t digest anything

and the world is a bubble where the sounds seem to echo and everything moves at the pace of a mellow

but I can only step back, observe, at which point I see that you’re all running in front of me.

Slow down. Slow down. Can we start over? I lost track of what you said at the start of your answer.

If I wasn’t struck with that anchor after 14-hours of sleeping I’d not know. If I knew I’d look back and see a slow-motioned track,

I’d know to call out but I think my voice-box broke, or became otherwise retained,

for hibernation purposes So thank goodness I was struck in a day so I know


I am the essence of shadows,

the wide-eyed alien who’s forgotten your name

‘cos I’m tired.

I am the Joker of life,

the one still alive and standing

when my insides are starving

If I wasn’t struck by that anchor and deemed too slow for laughter until an hour


I’d not know I’m the Joker; The Thing; the mark of human failure –

how we’re reliant on not our chest-pressed centres but our necks –

I’d not know I’m the Joker: the cheat of human life, able to function like a half-

functioning robot, basically alive If I wasn’t struck by that anchor and deemed too slow for laughter until an hour later, I’d not know


I’d not know for ages, that really all I’m doing is sleeping or dozing or day-dreaming, and you wouldn’t notice

and my doctor would open up the pharmacy, shower me

with things that will not cure me

until eventually

I’d learn about the TSH and the T4 and the T3, and all my hormonal aches and I’d say

‘If Only I was struck in a day, if only I woke up one morning

with an anchor on my head and a blurring,

and I spoke like a drunk or someone whose speech had gone unnoticed by educational therapists

‘cos it’s such an effort to finish my sentences well ha!

you might just have known it, and I might have been diagnosed

before I could Flickr through my Facebook pages and spot the – I’ve forgotten the word – pictures

‘Prat’ I am, for how blurred that memory seems’.


*Please note that this is a serious reference to the sheer number of thyroid patients who are said to be misdiagnosed for depression and other emotional disorders, as opposed to a personal reference, or one which suggests that all thyroid patients are depressed – they are not. Additionally, not all depressed are suicidal, or think about suicide. The category is actually quite open. The reference to depression appears again, but more subtly, and along with the understanding of other misdiagnoses, later in the piece (‘and my doctor would open up the pharmacy, shower me/with things that will not cure me’)

Written by, Louise Sopher

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