World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day: 10 October
This day is recognised by the World Health Organisation as World Mental Health Day, and the theme chosen for 2020 is “Mental Health for All”.

During this time of global uncertainty it seems especially important to care for our own mental health, and to be aware of the mental health needs of others. Each day in the week prior to 10th October I shall be posting poems and stories that explore issues around my own mental health, or that I have written in response to important emotional and psychological themes.

Life on Prescription

Just pop another pill. The woman sighed.
They hold my dreams like fire within a spill:
this pain inside my heart will soon have died.

Forget that life—sweet life—that grew inside
that swelled my body full of love. Loved still.
Just pop another pill. The woman sighed,

his truth was not like mine—he had not lied,
he could not feed another mouth. I kill
this pain inside. My heart will soon have died.

He beat the hurting from me till I cried,
You’re right. I’m worthless trash. Worth less than nil.
Just pop another pill, the woman sighed.

No strength to fight: my life to his is tied,
bound up with hate, bound with fear. Bound to kill.
This pain inside my heart will soon have died,

and birthed a new resolve: his words defied.
She smiled. A coloured pill—another pill,
just pop another pill. The woman sighed,
this pain inside. My heart will soon have died.

I wrote this poem in the verse form ‘villanelle’. It has a very structured form, reflecting the constraints of a controlling relationship.
There are only two rhyme sounds: the first and third lines of the first stanza rhyme and those rhymes alternate as the third line in each successive stanza; at the close they form a rhyming couplet. The villanelle is nineteen lines long, consisting of five tercets and one concluding quatrain.

One of the more disturbing features of lockdown has been the increased incidence of relationship breakdown and domestic violence. This in turn can lead to mental health breakdown and an increased reliance on prescription medication just to get through the day.

If you, or someone close to you, is experiencing any form of controlling behaviour within a relationship there are organisations that can offer support. Please check them out, or phone your health care provider to find out more.

Everyone is important. The most important person in your life is You. Cherish yourself.
Thank you for reading my words.
Marilyn X