top of page
  • Writer's pictureClaire Wortley

Meet Sludge

Updated: Jun 10

Let me introduce Sludge.

Sludge is a big gooey mass of negativity always on the lookout for victims.

Now for writing this Sludge is a' he' but he can just as easily be a 'she' or an 'it'.

You know when he's around because thoughts are not kind to you and feelings start to sink too.

Things like 'I'm lazy, too fat, thick, ugly, know the stuff. The old 'can't be arsed' thoughts gather motion and you start to feel Sludge in your body. Your body feels heavy and getting off the sofa even to get a drink seems too much effort. In fact when Sludge really gets a grip getting out of bed appears pointless.

Of course the less you do, the more sluggish your body becomes thus creating a vicious cycle. Your body doesn't feel like moving so you don't move....the less you move the less you feel like moving and your mood promptly hits rock bottom.

Sludge loves all this .....the more negative you become, the stronger he grows and, if he's really lucky, you will totally shut down giving him full the ultimate thrill of you believing it's all hopeless.

Sludge doesn't always start with thoughts. He can start with a feeling and then a thought or maybe a physical pain. Basically if there's a way in, Sludge will find it.

outline of a person overcast by a black cloud
Years ago Sludge looked more like a black cloud that followed me around.

I'd be happily minding my own business and Sludge would surround me and seep into my head.

I pictured him seeping into my ears and flooding into my brain. A feeling of dread and impending doom would consume me. All hope was gone and the world felt like a fearful and terrifying place to be. It was such a dark, cold and lonely place to be, so isolating.

In fact JK Rowling's Dementors were pretty close to what Sludge is like. They suck all happy feelings, thoughts and memories out of you leaving you tormented and petrified . Why bother being alive??? As quick as Sludge could grab me, it would leave again. Unfortunately I wouldn't be left all smiles, instead I would be worrying about when Sludge was going to attack again. I would be asking 'Will it come back? Will it be worse next time? What if it never goes and stays forever?'

This is an example of how I see depression. Giving it an image has helped me to understand and fear it less. Depression doesn't really prowl around looking for victims so don't be afraid of Sludge. In fact there are many things that Sludge can't bear eg laughter, relaxation and a huge weapon against him is Self-love. In my opinion all these are good well being tools and can be an effective armour against mood disorders etc.

If you think Sludge is pestering you please reach out for help. Call your GP or talk to a friend.

Depression is a liar and will try to isolate you or create guilt and not believe it.

Reach out...someone is always ready to listen, including me;-)

Much love


35 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Claire's chair logo
bottom of page