To mark the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week, a user of Touchstone’s services shares a poem that describes some of her experience of living with mental illness.

I’ve written poetry for as long as I can remember, having my first poem published at the age of 14. Since then I’ve had a poem published by Oxford University Press during my University days where I studied English Literature and have continued to pursue my love for writing over the years. Poetry to me is a way in which I can capture certain feelings in certain moments, like a diary I read a poem and remember how I felt at the time of writing. As I’ve suffered with mental health issues for all of my adult life most of my poems like this one is about conflicting, depressed or negative thoughts and what impact they have on myself and others around me. Somehow writing about it gets it out of my head and onto paper making me feel that little bit better. Two Minds came about when I was in a moment of relapse and was trying to make sense of my thoughts, trying to fight back at the unhealthy voice that was constantly trying to pull me down and keep me in my illness.

“Two minds” by Jemma A

I hate it when you get like that
I hate the way you talk
I hate the way your body moves
I hate the way you walk
I hate the way it takes forever
To tell me how you feel
I hate it when you cry like that
Why can’t you keep it real?
I hate the way I hate you so
Like poison in my blood
I hate the fact you think you can
Make it through the mud
Stop right there I’ve had enough
I think it’s time to call your bluff
I hate it when you bully me
Stop and set me free!
It’s time to end playing judge
It’s time to let me be
Tried hard to fight against you
You’re hurting can’t you see?
Put a mirror to my face
Surprised I’m sure you’ll be
This freak you speak so fondly of
It’s you and was never me.