Another Name, Another Number

Another name,
another number,
in a world so rife with sickness
Yet we still don’t understand it
and we don’t know how to fix this.

Just a figure, ever growing
as the world can’t see the issue
calls them cowardly and weak
pass their family some tissues.

“We all have bad days”
“Get over it”
“It’s all inside your head”

It’s not normal to hate living
and to wish that you were dead.

How dare you claim you’ve been there
claim that you’re the better man
this is not a competition
you should help them if you can.

Every year the same old story
someone’s life cut short, dead end,
This is suicide, depression,
not some phase or current trend.

~ Andrew
The recent suicide of Chester Bennington has been on my mind the past few days and whilst I was not a huge Linkin Park fan some of their songs really stuck with me. Over 6000 people in the UK alone committed suicide in the latest statistics for 2015 (6188 to be exact, a further 451 in the Republic of Ireland), that’s almost 20 per day yet we still don’t seem to have enough help available for those suffering

That being said there is help available and I urge anyone reading this that feels they may need help to reach out to one of these numbers
National Suicide Hotline:
UK: 116 123 (Samaritans) – or email jo@samaritans.org
USA: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) – (National Suicide Prevention Helpline)
Rest of the World: Hotlines

Take Action

The world
is depressed.

Lying in bed
still problems unaddressed.

I have woken up every day
this week
and the only change I see
is a couple of coins
scattered on my desk

I’ve stepped outside
every day
and even when clouds
fill the sky
it’s not sad, it’s just grey.

We associate sadness
with weather and whether
you like it or not
hatred still exists
bullies
still exist.

I can’t help but feel helpless
knowing somewhere out there
is someone who barely feels like living
because the world can be cruel
and the world is unforgiving

but that’s just because we broke it,
said see-saws were scales
and we didn’t see the inequality.
We were labelled pass or fail
and some people didn’t make the cut

until they did.

It’s not enough to say
we didn’t see it.

We turn a blind eye to the guy
who said he wanted to die
and until you try
you’re not worth their time

We put a measure on success
and if you’re not ticking boxes
like a checklist
you’re not good enough

I wish I could speak
to all the broken people
give them a minute of my time
because feeling pain is not a crime
and you should not feel guilty for it
let me repeat that
feeling pain is not a crime
and you should not feel guilty for it.

~ Andrew
Day 9 of NaPoWriMo. I seem to come back to the topic of bullies and depression a lot but I think it’s something that we should be talking about. We hear stories all the time but it’s always after the fact, it’s time to actually step in and stop the problem at the source

 

Mental Burden (Spoken Word)

Society has this stigma
That tells us to be quiet
We are confined to our own minds
and inside them we will riot

We will tear down the walls
till we fall to our knees,
and hope that somebody
will answer our pleas.

If we speak they call us liars,
if we act they seem surprised,
if we think and think and think again
our mind is paralysed.

We are locked inside a nightmare
with a monster called Despair.
No hope of finding peace of mind
Or somebody who cares.

Or someone who will listen,
like the pillow hears our cries.
Like the bed carries our burden
as our minds destabilise.

We are not what we believe
but we need a helping hand
we just need a friend to comfort
and a friend to understand.

We can tell them with our words
if they would only stop to hear
if society stopped silencing
perhaps we would not fear

speaking out when we are broken
giving voices to the weak
as we find the strength to be the ones
to fight for what we seek.

This may be our mental burden
but we must know we’re not alone
there are those who wish to help us
those who’ve fought it and have grown

We come face to face with demons,
all those who undermine us
but together we’re united,
we will not let them define us

~ Andrew
I’m going to be doing some more Spoken Word pieces over the next few months hopefully (time permitting). This one in particular I hold very close to my heart. Today is time to change day 2017. It’s about overcoming the stigma against Mental Illness.
I could go on for hours about this topic but I feel the less I say the better. If you’re reading this and you’re struggling there are many helpful sources which I will list a few of below

Website: http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/
Suicide Hotlines: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_suicide_crisis_lines 

Samaritans in particular has a special place in my heart for helping me a few years ago:
116 123 is the number to call from all UK mobiles/landlines or email: jo@samaritans.org

Broken Friend

Are you broken, friend?
Can we get you repaired?
I’ve got a bag full of chocolate
there’s no need to be scared.

Are you broken, friend?
I’ve got games we can play.
I’ve got music and speakers,
if we have nothing to say.

Are you broken, friend?
I’m not leaving your side.
I was here when it started
and I’m here for the ride

Are you broken, friend?
Alone, dark and cold.
I’ve got torches for light
and my body to hold
If you need someone there
I am here till the end
we’ll get through this together,
I can promise that, friend.

~ Andrew

Mental Burden

Society has this stigma
That tells us to be quiet
We are confined to our own minds
and inside them we will riot

We will tear down the walls
till we fall to our knees,
and hope that somebody
will answer our pleas.

If we speak they call us liars,
if we act they seem surprised,
if we think and think and think again
our mind is paralysed.

We are locked inside a nightmare
with a monster called Despair.
No hope of finding peace of mind
Or somebody who cares.

Or someone who will listen,
like the pillow hears our cries.
Like the bed carries our burden
as our minds destabilize.

We are not what we believe
but we need a helping hand
we just need a friend to comfort
and a friend to understand.

We can tell them with our words
if they would only stop to hear
if society stopped silencing
perhaps we would not fear

speaking out when we are broken
giving voices to the weak
as we find the strength to be the ones
to fight for what we seek.

This may be our mental burden
but we must know we’re not alone
there are those who wish to help us
those who’ve fought it and have grown

We come face to face with demons,
all those who undermine us
but together we’re united,
we will not let them define us.

~ Andrew
I was inspired to write this after reading the awful responses to an online personality opening up about his struggle with depression. People told him he was seeking attention and it hurt to think that this is the treatment that anyone gets when they speak up about something like this.

Passing Comment

Those words
that you say meant nothing,
cut deeper than any knife.
They follow my conscience
and plague my whole life

The words that you thought
were an innocent joke.
Form the rope that constricts me
and the promise you broke.

See your words never mattered
until they mattered to me.
But they mould my emotions
and they choose what to be.

They are echoes of horror,
they are reflections of shame,
they are demons awoken
at the sound of your name

~ Andrew
Be careful what you say to others, even the most minor comment can stick with them for years to come

The Wounds You Never Saw

I came home,
with bruises I hid like lies
rather than say,
surprise,
here’s one they made earlier.

I smile,
because at least at home,
I’m a little less intimate with walls.
A little less familiar with brickwork
from an inch away.

And in the medicine cupboard,
there are no plasters
to stitch up my fractured confidence,
no pain killers to kill the pain
of facing society
and feigning bliss.

This is the wound
you never saw.

This is the tear soaked table
head in hands
unable to smile.

This is the concrete kissing
grazed arms and ego
Battered boy you watched fall.

This is the one missed call.

The dial tone beeping,
late nights sleeping alone
the echoing voices
the words that were thrown

the bullets that bullies,
could fire at will,
the gaps in affection
that hatred would fill

This is the wound
that never surfaced.

Because thick skin
and a grin
is enough to sell a lie.

Because even when you try
to scream
your voice is muffled
by sorrow’s stream

and choking tears
sung lullabies,
as pillows heard
the muffled cries.

This is the scar
that I’m still wearing
and to this day
the world is staring

~ Andrew
I felt inspired to write this to reflect on the bullying that I experienced because no matter how much stronger I become there is still a mark on my past that follows me day by day.