Mental [i]llness: A Serious Condition

In the beginning, I believed I was alone,
Which is why I kept my emotions and feelings bottled up,
It won’t take long for stress to cause a meltdown,
My hope is that this poem educates the masses,
Extends a hand, a ear, a caring heart,

If I am honest, everyday is a struggle,
My bones tighten; My mind tries to escape from reality,
Every morning feeling my body, in case I am dreaming,
Voices from the night before continue to pester,

It was a fear of mine; my Mother’s schizophrenic episodes,
Were transferable, every night she watched from the living room window,
[She] believed Child Services were coming for her children,
Afraid of elevators, always kept her back against [the] wall,

P-T-S-D: a misunderstood mental illness,
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,
A distinct smell, a single touch, a noise,
Can send someone into a fight or flight response,

None of this is a game, or something religious books can heal,
They require constant therapy, sometimes medication,
Patience, compassion, and sincerity from family members,
Loved ones, friends, and surrounding community members,

It could be sunny, 90 degrees, no homework,
Day off from work, and an individual suffering from Chronic Depression,
P-T-S-D, or any mental illness,
Could have the worst possible day,

When I say it is hard to get out of bed, I mean it,
Thoughts of [would it be better to end everything] constantly ring,
Not a joke, nor to seek attention,
Instead, thoughts produced from pain and agony suffered,

Individuals suffering from mental illness,
Cannot just get over it, nor is it something that goes away by itself,
Mental Illness is like that annoying friend who never leaves your side,
Constantly walking side by side with the sufferer,

Small exchanges can cause a breakdown, receiving a bad grade,
A joke meant to be funny, but taken seriously,
Having to walk past the parking spot where [the] sexual assault occurred,
Mere name calling, or loud exchanges between a husband and a wife,

What occurs in someone’s mind when they suffer from a mental illness?
It can’t be described but I will try,
Imagine reliving the worst experience, a repetitive nightmare,
Occurring over and over but instead of it being a dream; it is real,

Mental illness causes an individual’s mind to protect the owner,
From everything; including those he or she loves,
Those who truly want to support others who suffer from [a] mental illness,
Do not judge, nor assume, whatever occurs ask questions when the storm calms,

Even though this poem is for others, it is also a reminder for myself,
As someone who has tried several medications as a way of escaping horror,
Addicted to music, always on full blast, so that images of drones and wedding caravans,
Do not consume my imagination, we must support one another, without judging each other,


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