World Mental Health Day, – 1

Tomorrow, 10 October, is recognised by the World Health Organisation as World Mental Health Day. The theme that was chosen for 2020 is “Mental Health for All”.

On this, the penultimate day I have decided to post three poems that I wrote about specific mental health issues that I have: bipolar affective disorder and complex attachment disorder (AKA Borderline Personality Disorder).

One very common form of verbal abuse that is thrown at people with MH problems, and Borderline in particular, is that we are ‘attention seeking’ and ‘manipulative’. My first poem sets out just how I feel about this negative, and shallow take on how we survive each day.

Attention Seeking
“don’t be so selfish –
you just want attention”

– well, I could do that
but not ease the tension –

like walk around naked
so all eyes could see,
or take goods from shops
and not pay the fee;
such acts get you noticed –
might be on TV

but they’d not relieve hurt
that is happening to me.

The second traces the see-saw nature of my mood swings, prior to my diagnosis of bipolar 1, when I existed in a silent world of not understanding and so of having no way to express how I felt.

Speak through the silence:
of fast and slow,
the high and low, of me.
Speak through the silence:
of ebb and flood,
the bone and blood, of me.
Speak through the silence:
of give and take,
the make and break, of me.
Speak through the silence:
of life and death,
the start and end, of me.
the length and breadth, of me.

And lastly, a short verse I wrote to end one of my journals:

a footnote to sing
the pleasure within
now that my poems have ended
for I had a task
to unveil the mask
and set down the hurts to be tended
and the true me attended

Everyone is important.
And the most important person in your life is You.
Tend to your own special needs first, and that will help you to be strong enough to tend to the needs of others.

Cherish yourself.
Thank you for reading my words.
Marilyn X