“I Have a Mental Illness.”

“I HAVE A MENTAL ILLNESS.”

There it has been stated.

Loud and clear.

The M-word and the I-Word. In the same sentence.

Here I am…..Coming out.

Casually mentioning the unmentionable.

Oh No. Someone please save us from this ‘crazy’ woman.

Call the police. Inform the national guard. Round up your armies. Charge up your nuclear weapons.

I have said this before. But perhaps you did not hear me.

So I’ll say it again.

“I have a Mental Illness.”

I guess it wasn’t loud enough for you.

“I have a Mental Illness.”

How many times did you need me to say it?

“I have a mental Illness.”

“I have a mental Illness.”

“I have a mental Illness.”

“I have a mental Illness.”

“I have a mental Illness.”

I don’t mind saying it again.

“I have a mental illness.”

Does it hurt for you to hear this?

Are you ashamed of me?

Did I embarrass you?

Did I disappoint you?

You tell me to stay quiet.

I tell you… “I have a mental Illness.”

You tell me I should struggle in silence.

I tell you…”I have a mental Illness.”

You tell me I’m less desirable as a woman.

I tell you… “I have a mental Illness.”

You tell me I am no longer a qualified professional.

I tell you…”I have a mental Illness.”

You tell me to stop the crying.

I tell you… “I have a mental Illness.”

You tell me to bite my tongue, maintain composure,  speak with eloquence, and smile for the camera.

I tell you… “I have a mental Illness.”

You tell me I’m asking for pity…

I tell you, “I have a mental Illness.”

You tell me nothing…you say nothing.

I tell you, “I have a mental Illness.”

I am prepared for you to show me I’m unworthy, undesirable, uneducated.

I am prepared for you to lock me in a tiny enclosed box and label it the way you want.

I am prepared for you to judge me, scrutinize my every move.

I am prepared for you to hold me down and inject me with your understanding of the cure.

I am prepared for you to say nothing and do nothing.

Bring forth to me whatever you may…

Nothing you do or say will change my truth…

I am fighting to exist, and I am here to stay.

You cast high those shadows of doubt, and scornful dismay.

But I will stand taller, scream on the top of my lungs, un-apologetically, to say…

I know the battle, and I am prepared to fight.

 And there remains only one truth here, one wrong, and one right:

“I have a mental illness.”

 

– ETK

Warrior KQueen

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6 comments on ““I Have a Mental Illness.”

  1. Elsa–this is courageous! Poetry is such a good outlet for something so sensitive. Look forward to reading more of your work!

  2. A true braveheart

  3. Beautifully wrote.
    Stay strong!!! Fight the fight. I have goosebumps! Depression and anxiety. Don’t let it take you. I hope you know we are in the fight together!

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