the monster within

It was uncontrolled.


It lashed out at random, attacking haphazardly.

A misunderstood glance or a comment taken out of context could cause it to flare.

Bags of chips thrown, doors slammed, obscenities flooded the room.


A small, orange pill taken before bedtime put the monster in the cage.

It was identified.

It was locked up.

It was contained.

Then I started to wean.

The cage began to rattle.

But I continued to taper.

The lock fell off and shattered and the gate creaked open slowly.

My first day without any armor against the monster left me shaken.

I doubted myself.

That was his doorway.

I willed myself not to unleash the devil on anyone, but he was out of his cage ready to attack.

I fought this ogre.

My brain vibrated with each heavy footstep as he paced behind my eyes.

My head throbbed from the beatings my cerebrum was taking as he tried to assault the innocent.

My finger nails found the back of my neck and gripped tightly, puncturing my flesh.

Trying to release this beast if just a little.

Attempting to give him an inch in hopes that he would not take the mile.

The blood and tears did not work.

He was free and he was coming out.

Unless I went back.

This week’s prompt asked us to write about the first time I _____-ed after/since _____-ing.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. WOW! You explained the beast perfectly. I hate that beast and he is in his cage.

  2. Good post. Moving. Makes me a little sad. Also makes me so grateful that I live when I do. How many women struggled through this over the course of human history with nothing to cage the monster. They became the monsters. So hard to know you have to go back. So glad you have an option to go back to.

  3. You are so tough. Reading this really shows how far you’ve come and how willing you are to fight for yourself. I love this.

  4. Wow what a powerful post. This had to be so hard to write. I’m sure it was emotionally draining to be in those moments and share them here.

  5. Excellent post!

    Be well.

  6. Oh I just want to hug you. I can so relate. Don’t ever stop fighting him or give up hope.

  7. Powerful Katie. And sounds just about right. I feel ya.

  8. This is so exactly what it is like to live with that monster.

  9. The short sentences almost felt like they were controlling the beast, like gasps of breath. The “rattle” of the cage? Such a great way to explain something that needs meds to control it not being controlled.
    This may be one of my favorites that you’ve posted for TRDC linkup.

  10. You recognized the beast and forcefully jammed him back in his cage. Great description of an evil monster.

  11. I love the short, choppy sentences. They create a sense of urgency and anxiety. I really felt for your mental state and wanted to root for you. Big hugs.

  12. Love you, Katie.

  13. I hate that damn monster. Someone should banish him from the planet. Fabulous post describing the battle though…brings you right in.

  14. “Bags of chips thrown,doors slammed,obscenities flooded the room”. YES.

    Thanks for sharing the angry part of this. So many just think of us as sad. They don’t think about the rage…or the crippling pain we feel, knowing we are hurting the ones we love.

    Love you.

  15. You can beat that fucker into submission. It’s in you to fight. I know it is. Love you

  16. Yes. I know that monster. And I’m loosening his bonds as well, during what is undoubtedly one of the most stressful times in recent memory. I am afraid, but I.Am.Strong.

  17. your words were so real, so true about that horrible monster. while I didn’t have PPD, I do have anxiety issues and take a pill once a day myself. I no longer hate it, I am just glad that it exists to help me keep those feeings away from my family and me.

    love you for sharing this and helping all of us understand and not feel so alone.

  18. Wow. Awesome.

  19. Beautifully written. Hugs!

  20. Very well written.

  21. Oh, Katie….what you must deal with on a daily basis.

    You are so strong, you know that don’t you?

    This is very moving.

  22. A daily, deliberate, battle of wills.

    I can NEVER let that black fog that suffocates me win.

    I have children counting on me.

    Before them? I dont’ know how I did it.

    Depression got my father. He killed himself when I was 6, and it was Thanksgiving Day.

    I can never go there, with my thoughts, because I’m still paying the price of what my dad did, because he gave in.

    I canNOT give in.

    We’ll make it, K.

    There is NO other choice.

  23. Wow. Very, very powerful piece. This is beautiful and extremely moving. Though I know it’s always an uphill battle, I’m so happy to hear that you have been able to stand up to these demons.

    Sending great big *HUGS* your way. Having the support of this wonderful community helps quite a bit, doesn’t it?

  24. so vivid and accurate and haunting, katie.
    you know i’ve been there. AM there.
    waiting for increase in dosage to kick in.
    i hate the monster. resent him. and i hope i don’t pass
    him along to my kids.


    thank you for sharing this. brave, strong girl!

  25. I am plagued by the usual doubts and fits of temper, but I’m fortunate not to wage a war on your scale. To have that kind of adversary to content with…

    I say this to you all the time, but it’s no less true for it: you are brave and kind and beautiful and strong. Fight on, sister!

  26. That’s it exactly, and why it will be a long time before I try to go off. I can imagine how horrible that must have felt. To lose that control – both over how you feel and whether you can do it on your own. And it’s okay if you can’t, at least not yet. Better to acknowledge it and be well. xo

  27. i am not brave enough to go completely off yet. it’s ok if it doesn’t work out. and it’s great if it does. sending lots of patience. endurance. strength!