What She Said

By Laura Smith

For around 12 years (since I was about 13) I’ve suffered poor mental health. I was told by my mum to seek help, though it was met with the standard teenage tantrum and denial. Life went on and I bumbled through, eventually becoming a head chef at a holiday park. I had highs and I had lows. July 2016 however, was when my ‘meltdown’ occurred, and by 4th August I was signed off work, referred to the psych team as an emergency and put onto medication. A year on and I’m still having to live with mum, I’m on a cocktail of medication and I have been diagnosed with bipolar, EUPD, anxiety, and more recently, a binge eating disorder.

I’ve found poetry and creative word stuff to be a good outlet, and it helps me communicate what’s going on inside.

This is my favourite poem,
What she said

I’m fine, she sighed,
As her bright smile crossed her lips
Of course what she meant was;
I will be fine. I can only be fine

They say I’m crazy, she laughed,
As her infectious giggle filled the room,
Of course what she meant was;
I feel crazy. Why so unstable?

I’m not like the others! She exclaimed, the solid certainty in her voice.
Of course what she meant was;
Am I like the others? Please tell me I’m not!

I-I-I-I-I-‘m not that bad. She stammered, the flicker of fading confidence crossing her face.
Of course what she meant was;
Why am I so bad?

I’ll never be normal, she muttered, gazing out the window, tears in her eyes
Of course what she meant was;
Tell me I’m ok!

I don’t fit in! She cried, tears welling up in her Mediterranean Sea eyes.
Of course what she meant was;
I’m too scared to befriend.

I wish they understood, she implored, her face that of a dreamer.
Of course what she meant was;
I wish I understood!

Just fuck off! She screamed! Anger flooding her face the colour of wine.
Of course what she meant was;
Don’t fuck off, please don’t leave. I’m scared to be alone.

‘You’re just saying that’ she mumbled, her confidence waning, her sparkle now dimmed
Of course what she meant was; please don’t love me, I’m not worth your time.

I’m mentally ill, she stated. The image of acceptance reflected in her eyes.
Of course what she meant was; it’s OK to be me.

© 2016 Laura Smith. All rights Reserved.

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