I would like to speak
candidly if I may
about those destructive
demons of doubt
that have dogged me
throughout my life.
Critical inner voices
they are sometimes called.
Nattering nabobs of negativity
screaming inside a cacophonous
and chattering monkey brain.
By the look on your face
I understand I am not alone
in harboring such voices.
Many of us suffer the same plight,
unheard but listened to lectures
about what we do wrong or right.
Is it a mistake to call them demons?
Perhaps too religious for those
who do not believe in spiritual beings.
They seem more than simple memories,
though, more than collectivized recordings
of past chastisements and pain.
They seem somehow evil, consciously
intent upon tearing me down.
Intervening. Interfering. Frantically
obsessed with preventing me from
attaining the peace of mind that comes
from loving myself as a blessed child of god.
Psychologists and psychiatrists
call it depression,
a term that stigmatizes the patient
and empowers the doctor.
Their answer is simple,
all you need is to take a pill
Psyche is the Greek word for soul.
Psychology then is the study of the soul.
Why is it they forget that?
When did they become focused almost
exclusively on pharmacology,
and faltering chemistry of the brain?
For me to perceive them as personal
plaguing and baleful demons of doubt
rings more truly to the experience.
And in so naming them,
I gain power over them.
I call them for what they are,
inner assholes that I no longer
chose to allow inside my brain space.
Thus they are banished from me
for a moment, or for days at a time.
Vanquished, they shriek in their leaving,
and go in search
of an accommodating herd of swine.