I started writing this for Mental Health Awareness Week – there’s been a lot on in the last few weeks (good and bad!) and so I’ve only just got round to finishing! It’s quite a personal one and I can’t say I’m too great at writing poems but I felt as it was the easiest way to say what I wanted without writing pages and pages on the topic.
A poem, to bipolar disorder
I was a young teen when I started to feel
A little different, towards every meal.
I just wasn’t hungry, or so I thought
Little did I know that was just the start.
I began to lose interest in things I found fun,
Playing, sports, and lying in the sun.
It’s just a part of growing up, they always said,
Oh how I wished, they could see inside my head.
As weeks went by, the feeling washed away,
But it all came back again, wanting to stay.
Every time it struck it got worse and worse,
Like I was being haunted, with an invisible curse.
Looking into the mirror filled me with dread,
It was impossible to count the tears that I shed.
My future started to seem like a bleak hazy vision,
And I was stuck, inside my own little prison.
I kept carrying on, but my world lost its colour,
No longer I looked around me in awe and wonder.
There was nothing left to strive for, everything was bleak,
Or is it just me? Was it because I’m weak?
Eventually all my feelings left me, I was simply numb,
Whatever was inside me, I started to succumb.
All’s I knew is that I needed to feel,
Anything, everything, please just something real.
I reached out and grabbed the first thing I could find,
To take me away from the depths of my mind,
A pair of tweezers… I grazed them across my arm,
And so I fell, right into the spiral of self harm.
Razor blades to cut and matches to burn,
An experimental process… but I did learn,
The best ways to make my feelings re-appear,
But the scars and bruises, they don’t disappear.
The hurting in my head was laid out on my skin,
My parents eventually saw what was happening,
To the doctors I went, they will surely help,
They would understand everything that I felt.
I spent a year with my psychiatrist, talking and talking,
Taking anti-depressants, which I knew weren’t working,
“Here is your diagnosis” he said, “it’s OCD”,
“Really?” I thought, “Are you bloody kidding me?”
And with that simple label I lost all faith,
In an environment where I should have been safe.
The next diagnosis was “depression” which made more sense,
For the sad feelings that were so intense.
My prozac dosage was increased, at the age of fifteen,
“You will start to heal”, though I wasn’t so keen,
But I was wrong… for the black haze faded away,
For the first time in ages I felt ok.
My colourless world changed for the better,
My mind filled with flashing lights and glitter,
My confidence increased, I could do anything!
My sadden frowns turned into endless laughing.
I took myself off my own medication,
“I don’t need it” I knew, in my happy elation,
My psychiatrist – he didn’t need to see me anymore,
“This is wonderful” he said “you’re cured!”
And so my life carried on with a fresh new outlook,
To do the best I can, no matter what it took!
For I felt better, than I had ever felt ever!!
(Little did they know it was just a mania).
Racing thoughts, impulsive behaviour,
Black and white thinking, an overactive temper,
Sex and drugs and rock and roll,
Breaking away from societies mould.
Believing in fantasies, trusting in the ethereal,
In a whole new world, I could perform miracles!
I could do what I want, always have my say,
For nothing or nobody could get in my way.
But then came the guilt of what I had done,
And then I went straight back to step one,
Feelings of sadness, regret and embarrassment,
Surely I deserved some form of punishment?
And on and on these feelings kept swapping,
From one to the other – there was no stopping,
Either being so high or severely depressed,
But my true self, the illness suppressed.
I lost myself, I didn’t know who I was any more,
Such conflicting feelings, my soul was left sore,
As I broke down in my illness I became,
Merely a puppet to it’s unhealthy game.
… But I was born a fighter,
And I knew I could be stronger,
I wasn’t going to let myself be controlled,
For any moment longer.
A new doctor I found, who for a year listened intently,
To my feelings and concerns – and then said gently,
Don’t be scared but it’s easy to see,
that you have Bipolar Disorder with BPD.
From that day I knew what I was battling with,
And that I ‘could never be myself again’ was merely a myth,
I fought and fought to conquer my emotions,
Even though it felt like I was swimming across oceans.
As time went on I’ve come to understand,
All the positives and negatives that make me who I am,
Every now and again my illness may bite,
But it’s manageable, in control, as long as I fight.
Now I look to the future, and can say that I’m happy,
Especially when surrounded by my friends and family,
Through this journey I may feel old before my time,
But no matter what I know I’m doing just fine.