A performance poem about mental health.
I've walked through the locked doors of a mental ward to go and visit someone considered a danger to themselves. Half starved girls make short steps past me and I double take to check if I'd seen a ghosts.
But ghosts are the ones looking for their mortality not the ones looking to drop it. So I turn my face away... And despite the nature of where I am I manage to crack a smile because somewhere on this floor was a small room with lost and found and I had some misplaced love to turn in. The young women on this ward have been here anywhere between weeks to years and they considered it a hell away from home. But the Afternoons I got to spend there will continue to be some of my greatest memories.
There's a lot going on up stairs. Between our 10 fingers 2 eyes 5 senses and 1 voice we're going experience this place one way or another, and your experience will be unlike mine and mine will be unlike his but we can go to sleep knowing that what we felt was real.
So I imagine it’s scary being told by a medical professional that some area of your viewing experience is not as it seems. There’s dead pixels in your screen. You’ve been meaning to redeem the warranty on that broken dream of a reality you’ve been living. But the company that sold you your world is out of business. That is to say when you check into insanity, there’s no reception to show you to your room. Every spoon you're fed tastes real, but the people sitting across from you sees no meal. You feel scared.
And yet through all the poor unfortunate souls to behold on this ward one of them taught me beauty in the crazy, and seek these lessons in all of the other people. I want OCD to teach me to arrange my audience in such a way that you all look perfect. I want ADHD to teach me speech. Let me cradle impulse in every corner of my mouth and when it finally flows out let it roll about like a newborn who had it’s mother craving haribos and red bull for 9 straight months. I wanna start speed dating for the narcoleptics and insomniacs and see if either can sleep on their wedding night. Watch them grow old together and have no concept of time passed because who the hell knows what time is is when your sleep patterns been fucked with. I want tourettes to teach me that this feeling is uncontrollable let our hearts be uncapped, every open armed come back, every face to face sweet embrace you give to those you love feels so natural that words like ‘can’t ‘ or ‘no’ become unfathomable.
But I can’t pretend that these are easy gifts to accept, so many tears gave for the labeled and named, asking what’s inside my brain, can I be called sane?
So my friend in the lost and found department of the ward taught me, recovery and stability are part of the beauty. Her dress size was the fine line between happier times or a cut short life. But now the time she’s kept out of hospital grows like her smile. She’s come miles and miles and and all the while is a living monument to the phrase ‘things get better’... and that’s all this is. Despite reality itself being an uncertainty and and the skies throwing all kinds of weather in the end, we're all birds of a feather that flock together and we need to remember that the sad times aren’t forever, so this is a handwritten love letter to the things that get better.