The pursuit of total perfection and the need to be seen as flawless have created one of the biggest catastrophes of our generation; people suffering in silence. The stigma of mental health imperfection is so powerful and cruel, that it seems unbreakable- like some medieval black magic.
We all know the facts and slogans; mental health illness is just an illness, similar to a cold or bronchitis; equally common, equally possible to recover from, equally fatal if experienced alone, without access to help and support. One in four of us will experience it in our lives; some of us will be floored by it and won’t get up for a long while because they will be too petrified to ask for help.
Our everyday language carry the shame; “you nutter”, “you moron”, “you psycho”- all those call outs are based on mental health illness. We grow up equating abusive words with mental health illness.
So we hide it when we fall ill. And “no one sees when the cracks appear”
We wish you the sweet relief of being able to share your pain with a good and trusted friend- maybe you could write about it, to encourage others? If so, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Henry Stone wrote the poem you are about to read. Let it speak to your heart and change you.
When the Dam Cries
Pleading with god to put me on the map,
I need the bars to run deeper than rap,
Preferring fantasy over reality
I no longer have the heart to believe in the facts.
Girls and boys have the maddest fears,
But no one sees when the cracks appear
Since ignorance a vice common in sinners
And his true self is held hostage and bitter,
But fractures are invisible at the bottom of rivers,
Water holding steady,
Young souls stand determined, bold and ready,
Still crying out for help and seeking the answers,
The problem is rooted in a seed of disaster,
Which grows into despondency.
She can’t raise her hand in class,
Last night’s war took a toll on her fingertips,
And now she can’t grasp the lessons in front of her
When echoes of sadness whisper in her ears.
This is social fracture,
The crack sneaks up the wall… water bleeds from the dam,
Gushing with waves of misery that command attention,
Agony locked and stored inside, pretending all is fine,
But as this infection of misdirection deepens,
So does the grievance.
Too late to stop the sequence.
You can’t tell streams where to flow when they realise freedom.
Yet this topic is one we do not feel to permit,
“Clinical depression doesn’t really exist.”
You may have a fair shout to share a doubt
Or thereabout and give it a miss,
But tears on obituaries won’t rinse out the print
When Death holds a permanent marker.
Let’s rid ourselves of the notion
It’s okay to neglect a crack when it opens,
Developing slowly but the progress is relentless,
In tears in her bathroom lonely and defenceless,
This story rhymes with confession,
But since no one saw the cracks in the concrete,
The collapse looked like it happened in seconds.