I think one of the greatest causes of the taboo which shrouds mental illness is how symptoms are often not visible, or at least not as obvious, as those from other illnesses such as meningitis for example. Consequently, yet perhaps understandably, it can be easy for people who are not affected by mental illness to not quite comprehend, or even fully believe in, what a sufferer is going through.

Here is a poem I wrote which attempts to revoke misconceptions and respond to those whose answer to mental illness is, ‘just try and cheer up and get over it’. As it has been famously stated, ‘you wouldn’t go up to a cancer patient and tell them to simply get over it’. Telling someone how they feel, or how they should feel, is as redundant as telling Grumpy Cat to smile.

My feelings are
You can’t quite believe.
My thoughts are
And, in fact, imaginary.
My actions are
An act,
Untrue of a body in tact.

But it mustn’t be forgotten;
I am the liar you named,
The dreamer you shamed,
And the life you claimed.


(A merrier post soon, I promise!)