September 4, 2014

I wrote this poem during a hypomanic phase stage recently. The first time I was published on the Time to Change website I was actually working in marketing and wanted to get out of the corporate world. Through sheer passion and determination I somehow landed a job within mental health services on the South Coast for Solent Mind. I was at a reflective stage in my life and I was just coming to terms with my diagnosis. The poem just wrote itself, I was sat in park and I could just hear the words and stanzas of the poem reciting themselves in my head. I knew I had to write them down. 

Recently, I was watching the Stephen Fry documentaries on "The secret life of a manic depressive" and it made me pause for thought. At the end of the second programme he asks whether he could be without his mental health problem, the truth is that I wouldn't be me if it wasn't for my bipolar. I love my highs but I am now equally aware of my frightening lows. Art and poetry has always been a part of me and I am glad that part of my acceptance has been expressed through poetry. If we look at recent events such as Robin Williams passing due to depression we can start to piece together so many elements that still need to be tackled in mental health: stigma, misdiagnosis and access to treatment. I am finally open about my diagnosis and through my work and lived experiences I aim to tackle this stigma through honesty and challenged misconceptions in mental health.

My B and Me

Me and my B,

She’s devoted to me.

Through my highs and lows,

Wherever I go

She chooses to follow.

 

When the rays are beaming,

She keeps me smiling,

Unexpectedly,

With no prior warning, she closes the curtains and starts hiding.

 

When the shift occurs and the spring emerges in her step,

She’s alive with creation, painting and the arts,

But her memory at times is a complete farce

 

On days like today she pushes the clouds away,

But who knows if tomorrow she’ll see the blue skies as grey.

 

She’s a sensitive soul my b,

She hurts like hell

 and likes to disappear with no apparent reason.

 

It’s sad you see, my B and me

Not many understand her

That is what I’m starting to see.

 

But the tide is changing

Once I realised one fact…

I wouldn’t be me if it wasn’t for her.

 

The love, the hate,

The disgust and the rage-

I’ll guide her slowly and we’ll work together.

Me and my bipolar,

Like birds of a feather.

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