Looking back over my mind's shoulder

**TRIGGER WARNING** narrative includes references to self-harm and suicide.

The mental illness got stronger as I got older,
as a kid it’s mental, just a fun game that made every day different, never the same,
Yes, I was a loner in my perfect place
Sometimes imagining I was in out of this space,
Am I a cowboy with a stick gun
I was mental, but it was just fun,
They called me names, said it was weird but I was just being me so who cared,
Sometimes the pain of being strange and the weird thoughts I could never arrange
So looking back it didn’t bother me too much,
Except for the bullying that was rough.

Teenage years brought problems of their own, dealing with my body pains, the weirdness had grown,
My thoughts seemed different from others,
Finding no connection with sisters or brothers,
Emotions were high and I couldn’t cope,
So I sought solace in strangulation with pieces of rope,
Never wanting to die but to just getaway.
Still, I had my peace in times when my mind would play
But inside I knew now this isn’t right
So started the beginning of a lifelong fight.

Older years now, depression, anxiety and fear
Dark times of not wanting to be here,
Realising I’m weird, I don’t fit in,
Starving myself to just be thin.
Obsessive fear of being out of control,
It rips me apart, mind, body and soul.
No one understands me, who cares,
Why speak if no one hears?

A dark tunnel, no way out,
I see the light yet inside I scream and shout.
This is it then my minds gone
Who can bring me help when there is none.
Why can’t I eat or stop these thoughts in my mind
Evil thinking paranoid and so unkind,
Constantly being controlled by my mind
No peace or love no rest nothing to find

Under crisis given pills and reassuring words,
My minds shouting out, but I am not being heard.

Then

Inner strength is found at last
I can learn to be strong by using my past,
I understand mental illness,
I’ve learnt how it is knowledge is the strength I know
I can control this, hope and understanding have become my rock now
Controlling my subconscious mind is what I have got,
I am never cured,  I am walking a tight rope
But if I focus on small steps,  I always have hope
Not looking back looking forward to seeing
I can live each day, if I can live with being me
No need to look back the past has been seen
But if I look forward, I can see where I have been,
Not looking back over my shoulder,
Looking forward to being stronger wiser and older

Anon September 2019