Poem: A Bipolar’s Addled Mind – Spoken Word and Text – 26/06/20

I shriek,
my body flushed
and covered with welts,
my very first memory,
my very first malady.
Illness will follow me wherever I go. 

My violin's bow hairs 
tightly hug the strings,
as left-hand dexterity is a-flurry,
the fruits born of my first psychosis,
the magic of a mind wholly
scattered and broken,
possessed pieces flying in the wind.
My stomach is expanding!
The result of repetitive
gorging after many months
of vain, restrictive, self-imposed starvation,
I call him,
alerting him to fatherhood,
he rushes, so fearful,
to confirm my grand delusion of a
twin pregnancy is not real.
I climb these hospital walls,
but I have the ability to
meld souls and create complex magic,
then suddenly I am a “witch in training”,
because of my ability to improvise protective rhyme
on the spot,
I name myself the Walking Spell Book.
The girl who has the room
next door,
her room smells like Death,
she is always hanging about outside,
with the door ajar,
fragrance wafting through the gap.
She stands by her door,
menacingly, pseudo-curious,
and wanting to encounter me,
to interact,
but for what reason?
Which hard-earned skills does she
want to thieve from me?
At this point,
it is always about what others want
to take from me,
to misappropriate as their own.
My suspicion of others and their ill intentions
consume my being whole.
That scent of Death is so overpowering
that I learn to hold my breath as I pass her room,
she asks for some help with something one day,
I was not quick enough to return to my haven,
where I could be free of the patients
and keep their questions and wants away.
Rainy day, rainy day,
my ailing mind, please cure,
rainy day,
thunderous day,
make me right,
I need the freedom,
of this I am so sure.
I recall another visit:
Racing thoughts, grand delusions, paranoia,
I run and rush from one patient to another,
this visit I am relishing the conversations,
I have so much I want and need to say!
I must be a bother with my manic motormouth,
my clanging word associations,
my shameless self-promotion of
my prose and poetry,
I know I can be wholly annoying,
but goddamnit, these things are important to me!
I am the Queen Bee here,
I am the socialite of the day and night, 
I can warble and charm and buzz and intellectually,
flirtatiously please,
charismatic is what I become during the height of my disease.
I am purging some of my weaknesses,
my history to be seen,
but for what purpose?
To inform, to cause a reaction,
perhaps to create an empathic response,
or arouse curiosity?
No matter my intent,
I will have you know,
I’m doing this with an open heart,
I tap, tap, tap, my revealing words,
so you can feel closer and achieve more understanding,
for the more we talk about mental illness,
the more acceptance will take place,
the more open the channels of
communication will be to read and know.
Discussing mental health is what we must do,
where we need to start,
there are no facts or behaviours too odd or peculiar
that must be withheld with shame 
or carried by a heavy heart.
Allow the conversations to begin,
let us commence these,
with wide-armed embraces,
words of understanding building towards
our truths 
which we allow to be shared and perused.
© 2020 Lauren M. Hancock. All rights reserved.
Background music: "Frenetic", composed by myself.
Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay 

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    1. Thank you. Yes, sharing experiences and talking about mental health issues is very important. The experiences may be confronting, but out in the open is where they can assist others the most. Thank you for reading. 🙂


  1. Thought provoking! Your poem transported me back to when I stayed in hospital to give birth to my now 9 year old son. A surreal and disturbing time. I will follow your writings with interest xx


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