I wrote these two poems about the problems I have when I meet with the mental health professionals. They criticise me for saying "I'm okay" or "I'm fine", and they get angry when I stop answering their questions and turn into a mute. I know I need to speak if I want people to understand but I wish more people understood why I don't.
When you ask me how I am today
Why do you believe me when I say I’m okay?
Can you not see the pain in my eyes?
The agonies that an insincere smile belies?
How can you not know what’s inside my head?
Or inside a heart that feels like lead?
Do you not know that my world is shrinking?
Do you really not know what I’m thinking?
Could it be that I need to say
Exactly how I’m feeling today?
The Words of Silence
I’m sorry for my silence - the words they scare me
For what I do not say does not have to be
In silence I can deny what is true
I don’t pass my fears on to you
The fear that I’m crazy, that I’m going mad
And the fear that deep inside I’m bad
If I don’t confess to the voices I hear
Maybe I won’t give in to the fear
If I don’t tell you the things that I see
Maybe I can pretend this isn’t me
I can fool myself for a little while
I can hide the truth behind a tentative smile
I can almost forget if I don’t tell it to you
Just for a moment I can think it’s not true
So please don’t get angry that I don’t have the words
I’m protecting myself from the pain and the hurt.
When I feel I can't endure, I remind myself that my record for getting through bad days so far is 100%, and that's pretty good.