Poetry by Jade Melissa Stuart from the book ‘A Wish Upon Words,’ which is available from Amazon –
You can find more of Jade’s poetry here at;
So many tears in grief stricken eyes
So much shame behind the lies
So many scars on such young skin
So much pain lies within
All the pain builds in side
All the tears you try to hide
You know it’s not the right thing to do
But no one seems to understand you
One more cut, not that deep
The blood will finally let you sleep
The calm has come after the storm
You are alive, the blood is warm
You know that now you must hide
And keep the shame you feel inside
You wish there was some other way
You wish you knew the words to say
Fall on deaf ears and unopened eyes
You aren’t proud of what you do
You wish the wispers weren’t about you
Nobody seems to understand
Except the blade you hold in your hand
You need proof that you are alive
Not cold and dead like you feel inside
The hurt is so much and it will not fade
It is your own flesh that has payed
You pay for pain and lies and shame
You feel the guilt when people speak your name
You just want someone to understand
And tell you it will be ok and hold your hand
Not ignore the problem and hope it will pass
Not say its a phase or even a fad
One more scar, there is nothing to lose
You don’t do it for them, you do it for you
Do you still try and hide it or make it known
You live in a glass house, do you cast the first stone
You know that some will call you insane and some will call you even worse
Before all this you were peoples dream
Now you are their curse
You don’t know how long you can hide behind the lies that you tell
Being clumsy may be hard but it hides the truth so well
How else do you explain the cuts, scrapes burns and broken bones
You fell down the stairs, slipped with a knife
And sometimes, you don’t even know
They don’t see what they don’t want to see
And you don’t feel what you don’t want to feel
The pain may subside but it always comes back after the last cut heals
Sometimes you wonder if you will run out of skin before you run out of pain
Or if you will finally be able to stop it all before you go totally insane
You know that you’re not trying to die, you’re actually trying to live
You’re not trying to take your life, it’s life you’re trying to give
You’re trying to make people see the hurt you feel inside
Trying to use your pain to help them open up their eyes
You don’t do this for fun or to try and fit in
You’re making external, the hell within
By Carol Anne, an alter in a did system.
Find more of Carol Anne’s writing here;
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Some people say, that grief washes over you like waves. Those some people, are absolutely right.
When the morning approaches, it hits my body before my mind even has the chance to wake up and acknowledge the day. I feel it; a solid, heavy burning weight, like my heart has been set alight before I even open my eyes. And then I do, and the anchor of reality sinks me.
This is how I have spent each and every once of my mornings for the past 3 months. Most of these days, I have succeeded to bite down hard and talk myself in to getting out of bed and facing the day. Others, I have not.
One day, around three weeks ago, I woke up and realised that I did not want to live. This was not a passive, drifting thought. This was a certified, stubborn fact. I did not want to be here. The weightiness of Bipolar depression, of a spiral hard hitting life events, a year worth of losses, are an unhealthy concoction for the mind and the spirit.
I went to see my GP just before the truth occurred to me, an she suggested that I increased by anti-depressant up by double. I reluctantly took the prescription, paid for the charge regardless of not being able to afford them and started on my higher dose. Then a few days later, I stopped. I stopped taking my meds altogether.
You would have thought, having lived with this for years exactly how dangerous it is to just stop, that I would have accumulated at least some wisdom to keep me alive along the way. The last time I stopped taking them, I ended up attempting to drive to the hospital to seek help but instead had a brain blip and ended up manically driving to another country instead. The time before that, I also had another brain blip, but this time it happened in an Asda Superstore which resulted in me being chaperoned by an ambulance and being left hovering around in A&E with none of the medical staff not knowing what to do with me. But no, I got to the point where everything that had a point did not have a point anymore. Including taking my medication. They were not working, so what was the point in taking them?
And so I fell. I fell further than what I thought could be humanly possible.
One night, out of panic, frustration, anger at the world and with the impulse to kick and scream and do something at least, I ran out of the house, got in the car and put my foot down. I ended up in the hills, in the middle of the night but instead of screaming or doing something stupid, I fumbled around frantically for a pen and ripped a scrap of paper and wrote the first thing my hand would write, without even thinking of what I was writing. I wrote one word and then froze with it.
Fraud. Is that what I have been feeling all this time? A fraud? The answer was yes. I did not feel like I belonged. I don’t belong in a room full of people. I don’t belong in society. My thoughts, my beliefs, my morals were all different and it pushed me further and further from this planet until I got pushed so far I could not find my way back in to it.
I took a train one evening. I got out in to town, I tried to enjoy myself, but it was there, ebbing inside my chest. Fraud. I took a train, but the train was cancelled and moved to another platform. It was busy. The whole of the commuters pushed and ran – why were they running? – they ran like a flock of desperate souls to this other platform, and they all scrambled on to this train, pushing and shoving and elbowing in the battle, each one of them only looking out for themselves in their fight to get on to this train and get a seat at the cost of other people. I did not understand why they were running for this train like their lives depended on it. I did not understand why they were fighting to aggressively to get a seat. Was it really so important? I stood beside the crowd, watching them like rats in their desperate efforts and felt more like an outsider because I couldn’t understand it. They scrambled on to the train like I had been scrambling on to my last reason to stay alive.
I fell further. I stopped sleeping properly. I didn’t tell people. Occasionally, I mentioned it to my partner.
“I feel down.”
“I don’t feel too good today.”
“My anxiety is shocking.”
“I can’t do this anymore.”
Then we would talk, and I would feel comforted for a moment. Then the next day I’d say, “I feel bad today,” and he’d say –
“Why? I thought you was feeling better?”
If a rant, and a cuddle and a cry on ones shoulder was all it took to make it completely disappear, then I would be the healthiest and most happiest girl on this planet. Depression doesn’t care whether you are rich with love and with the strength given by other people.
So I stopped talking as much. Because that, as all, felt pointless too.
I went on autopilot mode. I wrote bullet lists. I wrote LOTS of bullet lists. I checked them off one after another. Trying to pass the time and distract me from ‘I don’t want to be here anymore’ because sitting there with my own thoughts in my own mind was too much. I tried not to think about the present. I tried not to think about Christmas. I tried not to think about the future. I tried not to think about lying there sleepless in the dark, night after night with my mind tormenting me. My heart hurt. Like, physically hurt. I was walking around with a sharp shooting pain which wouldn’t ease.
Why am I getting pains in my heart? Am I going to die?!
No, Megan. You are not going to die.
Then, few nights ago, to add insult to injury; I lost someone close to me.
This is the first family death to have occurred in my life, as I have been fortunate to have everyone still here up until this week. And it hit me, slowly with the steady pace that realisation sometimes does when it can’t be arsed smacking you cold in the face, but it did, and it came over me wave after wave after wave, just like they said it would.
The pain of losing a loved one is an unbearable ache. It is a burning fire in your chest that sits there uninvited and ever present, and occasionally gets washed over by the deepest waves of sadness whilst memories come flooding up to the surface. Then the waves go, and you carry that unbearable burning in you chest again. Rinse and repeat. With this in mind, I have come to another hard-realisation this week. The realisation that pure pain of depression and anxiety and feelings of ‘doom’ and the so many fragments of the things I have been experiencing over the past months which can no just be summed up in to a one word-diagnosis, felt the same as my grief did.
This is what I have not been well with, all this time. Grief. I am grieving. Not just at the loss of my Nan. I have been grieving these past few months. At the loss of everything this year, at the loss of myself, my home, my dignity, all the other things I have lost this year? I did not know, but I was grieving nonetheless.
And so, the next time someone asks me what it feels like to feel this bad, I can truthfully and most honestly say this. It feels like Grief.
With the push of my partner I ended up filling out another prescription with my meds, and to start taking them again. The doctors surgery wouldn’t release them without another ‘medication review’ (which I had just 5 weeks ago) and so I ended up having to fill up on one the out of hours appointments, thus wasting NHS services again.
“What can I do for you Megan?”
No matter how many times I have been there, said that, admitting that I am not okay and that I need help still fills me with shame, dread and other taunting emotions that, if you look at it from an outsiders point of view, I should not be obliged to feel.
“Have you, or have you feel like hurting yourself?”
“How have you hurt yourself?”
Please don’t make me say it.
“Have you felt suicidal?”
“Have you or do you feel like making any plans to act on these feelings?”
Which is true – although they might seem like two of the same questions, I have picked up within the last few years that practitioners always ask and separate the following:
1. Do you feel suicidal?
2. Have you made any plans to commit suicide?
Although I made my mind up a while back now that no, I did not want to live – but it didn’t necessarily mean that I wanted to die either.
He gave me two weeks worth of both my medications.
“Two weeks? So does that mean I have to make another appointment in a fortnight to claim my monthly rolling prescription back?”
“I can’t give you more than that just incase you decide to take them all at once.”
Oh. Good point.
And so I started my medication again, and wrote another bullet list.
I don’t know what tomorrow brings. But I do know this. I am depressed. I am grieving. I am not functioning and I am not well. And it has taken me over three months to admit it.
I am still.
For a while now, I have been haunted by the superfluity of my existence
Of late, my mind has become weary from all the years of displaying resilience
I keep searching and am struggling to find a way out of what feels like a runnel
It is fading, the belief that there is a glimmer of light at the end of this dark tunnel
At this point, I no longer find inspiration in loved ones or ambitions I had
For so long, love received and goals set have worked to keep me motivated
Sadly, that only got me to this place of feeling emotionally depleted
My days seem to have become mere obstacles that must be overcome
The pain – even as I quit smoking – I still do whatever it takes to numb
I pretend to be jovial, I pretend to be interested, I pretend to be present
But, could it be that through all this, I may not be pretending to be “OK” after all?
Could it be I am trying to give myself a break and move away from this dark pall?
I talk openly about my struggles for I don’t want to bottle my pain so dire
I talk because a part of me wishes someone might help me out of this mire
Probably as an effort to help me feel better, I am told that we are all “not OK”
It could be an effort to deter me from burdening others or expecting any aid
As just another solution I’ve thought of, “go for therapy”, some folks have said
Sadly, access to (queer-friendly) mental healthcare services is a privilege
Not many of us seem to understand this as though it were a cryptic adage
Still, some folks understand my pain and that is all I can appreciate
It has taken some time but, now, I embrace the stomach-churning revelation
I ought to be to self the person I hope will offer emotional support and inspiration
Still, I find it all tiring and when night comes, I wish I would sleep everlastingly
I have had to learn to manage panic attacks which often overwhelm me agonizingly
Oftentimes, I find myself convincing self to get out of bed in the morning
On many instances, before leaving the house, I make sure to give myself a pep- talk
Other times, I wait until the coast is clear before, out of my room, I can walk
Through all the struggling, I find myself wondering, what is the point of it all?
What is the point of being alive? On me existential questions as these take their toll
Death does seem like a pacifying escape from what seems to be meaningless
But, before I eventually die, regardless of cause, how I yearn to just live.
– Joyline Maenzanise
Joyline is a contributing writer at On The Line, a South African publication. Some of her published work can be viewed here: Stories by Joyline Maenzanise : Contently
Image by Brian Minear Photography
Donating is easy! Please text ‘NNWM55 £3’ to automatically donate £3 to Rochdale Mind to support the amazing work they do for people struggling with their mental health within Rochdale and the wider areas.
Mental health poetry submitted by Eric Kramer.
To submit a poem please send your submissions in to email@example.com.
As November closely approaches, we are also getting geared up to dive in to the madness that is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) – a major annual event which sees published author’s and aspiring writers amongst us preparing to face the challenge of undertaking 50,000 words during the course of November.
That’s averaging 1,667 words per day, and provides 100% commitment from the participant to meet that target.
To give you a vague idea of the amount of work 50k is, that’s pretty much just over the word count of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby… (47,097!)
This year, I have geared myself up for my first ever NaNoWriMo challenge, and took the sensible advice to start prepping early. To say I started three months ago, it certainly has come around quickly!
Whilst taking this challenge, I also thought it a great opportunity to do some fundraising for a charity that is very close to my heart.
Rochdale and District Mind is a local mental health and wellbeing organisation who primarily relay on donations and sponsorships to keep the Charity afloat. The volunteers work tirelessly to support and assist in recovery for those in need – myself being one of those seeking help when I turned 18.
Mind was the first services that I braved to access on my own. At the time, I was severely struggling with depression, cripplingly low self esteem, bouts of mania, self-harm and addiction after suffering in silence from my early teens. This pathway ultimately lead me on the right pathway to get my diagnosis of Bipolar disorder – from which I received the treatment I needed to get back on my feet, go back to university and raise my beautiful young daughter.
As of many people who I have to be thankful for, the kindness and the efforts of the service workers at Rochdale Mind saved my life.
As much as I feel I can’t give enough back, this is my way of saying thank you. For my NaNoWriMo project 2017, I will be undertaking my first fiction project, a novel, which focusses on the realities of mental health.
Please help support Rochdale and District Mind (and also encourage me in my word count!) by visiting my just giving page below and giving a small donation.
I’d also love to hear from those who are taking part with NaNo this year!
To find more about the incredible services and support that Rochdale Mind do please visit their website: https://www.rochdalemind.org.uk/
The Manic Years is looking to feature poetry with themes around Mental Health. To contribute, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your poetry, along with your name and a link to your own writing if applicable.
Please submit your own individual works only.
Badgered and bullied
I always felt both sadness and rage
at home and school
just wanted a moment that was mine
where I didn’t feel swept and carried away
by some sea that was not mine,
and my best friend were books
few people seemed to understand me or care
those who did only wanted to use me;
I am putting those years behind me
looking forward to a better future because
I choose to be happy even on my hardest days
won’t let depression or anxiety conquer me
I am so much more than this misery, anger, and pain
that is trying to strangle the life from me.
– By Linda M. Crate.
You can find more of Linda’s words here at https://www.facebook.com/Linda-M-Crate-129813357119547/
Image rights by Pexels stock images.