The illness – A poem

***Trigger Warning, discussion of suicide***

Please note that I’m not currently suicidal, so please don’t be worried about me, the author.  This was written to try and express what I see going on around me and there are links to some personal experiences.

“You have an illness” says the doctor, head tilted as she works,

Masking thoughts I can’t quite see, a unknown fear lurks.

“Take these tablets daily, look after yourself” she says,

“Come and see me in a few weeks”, and then we parted ways.

I knew that I was damaged, I’ve been struggling for a while.

But the tiredness, the pain and occasional taste of bile,

Was always down to something else, a simple need for bed,

Not some psychological tumour lurking deep inside my head.

Trapped, naked in a small glass box, trying to cover up the shame.

The people passing by me knowing I’m the one to blame.

But the oxygen is dwindling now, so I give it one last fight,

They look at the exhibitionist and turn down my dimming light.

Do they not know I’m frightened, that I’m terrified within?

Why do they think I choose this existence of chemical sin?

So on my conveyor belt I keep up the pretence, normality.

Whilst the living go on not knowing how their life holds such fragility.

If I should die tonight, if my illness does turn terminal,

Know that it’s not contagious, but something rather personal.

You will suspect and whisper, my death cert will be scrutinised,

But you won’t find the Mental Illness, rather ‘Death By Suicide’.

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