My Story

By Ashley Phillips

I spent 14 weeks in total in three different psychiatric hospitals from December 2016 after almost killing myself. I wanted to try and explain what was going on for me to my boys, aged six and ten.

I wrote them this poem:

The critical voice has a deep, dark power
It pushes me on when I start to cower
It’s part of me and it’s part of you
Just take care or it’ll eat you through

I’ve been fighting with mine for more than ten years
Now I’m starting to see through all of these tears
It’s there for a reason, just like the seasons
The yin and yang is how it began

But one side grew large, as big as a barge
The dark power grew into a poisonous stew
Like a slow-growing tumour it ate all my humour
I once stood strong then it all went wrong

It’s sent me to a terrible place
I was all alone, felt like outer space
It made me sad; the worst kind of pain
It made me feel bad; I can’t explain

The journey back home is long and it’s slow
Retraining the brain is a tricky old show
But with love and support from family, from friends
I am starting to feel much lighter again

Beautiful boys: I have two, don’t you know
Oscar and Charlie, they drive me quite barmy
My love for them grows
Whether I’m with them or not
It grows by the day and grows when I hop
My story I’ve told it is straight from the heart
Acceptance, self-compassion and that’s just the start

Ashley Phillips 16th February, 2017

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