My Panic Attack

I know something’s wrong
as my brain disconnects
and these thoughts in my head
become pain in my chest
and I lose track of life
as I fall into hell
and the boy to my right
says I think he’s not well.

I’m escorted, I think,
taken out of the class
and sat on my own
waiting for it to pass

They blame dehydration
but won’t call it by name
a panic attack
and my mind is to blame.

~ Andrew
Edit: Changed the title (My First Panic Attack) after remembering another time when I believe I had a panic attack a few months beforehand although I’m not 100% certain on it, just changing the title to make sure it’s definitely accurate.
For TimeToTalk day 2018 I want to open up about my mental health. I don’t think I’ve explicitly said I suffer from anything specific although the themes of my poetry should give some indication.
If I’m completely honest I don’t know what state my mental health is in. I’ve seen Doctors, been to counselling and all I seem to be doing is collecting labels. GAD, Depression, Panic Attacks. Even then I don’t feel qualified to call these things by name. I hid the fact I was receiving counselling from my parents because I was ashamed.
I am a huge supporter of the movement to increase awareness of mental health and to break down the stigma against it, as always I’ve provided a set of useful links for anyone who may be struggling:

Suicide Hotlines:
UK: 116 123 (Samaritans) – or email
USA: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) – (National Suicide Prevention Helpline)
Rest of the World: Hotlines

Time to Talk:
Support Someone
Tips For Talking


A Note

Content Warning: Suicide

I didn’t have the guts to write it,
I was scared I’d get it wrong.
So I typed it in a file,
tried my hardest to be strong.

When you reach the point of writing,
you’re convinced that hope is lost,
and the cold you feel inside you,
turns from chills to bitter frost

Take a minute to examine
all the people you address
all the hurt you feel inside you
all the feelings you confess.

You see my note was an apology,
it’s all my heart could say.
Sorry Mum I wasn’t perfect.
Sorry World I couldn’t stay.

Part way through I started crying,
couldn’t bring myself to write,
but there was no revelation
nor evolution overnight.

Just a feeling in my gut,
when I’d forgotten how to feel.
So I stepped away, from all my thoughts,
to look for something real.

~ Andrew

As always, with posts on this topic I’m leaving some important links and contact details below, if you or someone you know is struggling please use them.

National Suicide Hotline:
UK: 116 123 (Samaritans) – or email
USA: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) – (National Suicide Prevention Helpline)
Rest of the World: HOTLINES



With vacant eyes
I stare at you
an empty glance
is nothing new.
I’ve been this way
for far too long
and still they say
there’s nothing wrong.
I’m not okay,
my body, weak,
this anaesthetic
that I seek.
To make me numb.
This vacant stare.
While everyone,
is unaware.

~ Andrew
Today is Mental Health Awareness day, I’ve not been keeping up with every major day that I intended to (I wasn’t able to come up with anything for National Poetry Day for example) but Mental Health is a sensitive issue which I feel quite strongly about so I wanted to produce something to raise even a little bit of awareness
If you wish to know more I have provided a link to the Mental Health Foundation website (UK): HERE
To donate £3 to the above cause text THRIVE to 70300 (UK only, Terms HERE)
If you or someone you know is suffering please direct them to a helpline or to anyone who may be able to help. Here are a few links to get you started
Samaritans – Email:
7CupsOfTea: 7cups
There are many more resources available around the world and I really do hope anyone who is suffering does not feel like they cannot speak to anyone about it.

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
USA: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) – (National Suicide Prevention Helpline)
Rest of the World: Hotlines

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.

Broken Hearts and Body Parts

You cannot see a broken heart,
you cannot see a beaten brain,
you cannot see a mental breakdown,
but you damn well feel the pain.

Just because you cannot see it,
doesn’t mean it isn’t there,
and I believe in freedom,
a life where all is fair.

But like a heart that’s broken,
society can’t see,
that I’m the same as everyone,
you’re all the same as me.

Deep down we’ve all been lonely,
inside we’ve felt regret,
so how can you ignore them?
How could you forget?

The pain is always present,
it’s a fractured state of mind,
But we can help repair it,
we’re generous and kind.

All broken hearts and body parts,
deserve the same attention,
it’s not about the suffering,
more so the pain prevention.

~ Andrew

People suffer from severe mental disorders and no one bats an eyelid but if you break your arm you’ve got a cast to prove it and everyone gives you sympathy. This isn’t going to change that but I hope if you’ve read this you’ll look out for the people who are suffering.
I’m going to leave this for you: A Message to the Depressed
It’s an amazing take on how we should be helping those who aren’t mentally healthy. It’s not something I’ve written but I cannot begin to describe how much watching this video changed me.