Unhealthy Obsessions

By Divya Mondal

I have obsessed over death
Like one obsesses over a lover,
Thought of all the ways
I could get close, close enough.
Suicide is not a 50 word article
In the fourth page of a newspaper
But countless internet searches
After midnight—
Sylvia Plath put her head in an oven,
Virginia Woolf drowned herself
Filling her pockets with stones,
Hemmingway fired a shotgun into his mouth—
The question I keep asking myself is
What were they thinking?
Were they happy to let go?
Were they afraid?
Because I am—
I’m afraid of looking at the lines on my wrists
They’re not battle scars
But lashes for unnamed sins,
I’m afraid of nights
Where darkness is not confined to the sky
But becomes a default setting
And sleep refuses to obey the alarm clock,
I’m afraid of a room full of people
Anxiety is an uninvited guest at a social gathering
And I would rather be anti-social
Than face my fears.
I read Emily Dickinson to myself at night
And it is then I realize
Letting go has never been the hard part you see
It is life I'm afraid of.


  • You explain the very real aspect of “letting go” so easily. You give it a dual meaning through your poem. Thank you for creating such a tangible experience for the reader. You give voice to a feeling and fears that most have felt, but hardly found the voice to express.

    Sanya Goyal
  • Death dreams of a life fulfilled; life believes death has all the answers. It’s cruel to live under death’s oath ‘to dread.’ It’s wasteful to draw light to dark’s pledge. Life distills the paranoia from the death. Death can only smile because that should keep one away.

  • Life is tough because death is the end, it’s often the journey that’s a struggle.. I like that you have explained this so well.

  • The obsession with death is a deep feeling to express, being scared Not of death but of the idea of it.
    You have painted a brutally good word picture. (Y)

    Rishabh Mehta

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published