Poem 60

What would you think if you met me today?

Would you be sad or happy to see me?

So affected by your loss have I been that

You might not recognise this being.

My mind has been fractured, destroyed by the pain

The grief, the anger, the heartbreak

But my body only bears one scar

From when I tried to end it.

If you could see how you’re loved

And how your death has wrecked me

Maybe you wouldn’t have gone.

Your life could have saved me.

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Poem 46

Hard, compression against the skin

Indentation enough for this night

The feel of where the blade has been pressed

Comforts enough for a crack of light.

Unacceptable method of healing I know

But a stitch it provided, relief, hope,

Incomprehensible thought it must be

It focussed the terror in me.

Left with no scar, temporary red

No blood fell from the attempt

An alternative weapon later may provide

The next step, erosion, of the flesh outside.

Poem 37

The cold metal pressed against my arm

Readying for the release of liquid terror

Anticipating pain on a marked form

Suspended thoughts fighting the blade.

Time passes and still, no terror flows

The flesh freezes with unexpected contact

Too long has passed and it won’t be done

The action admitting the yearning cry.

Desperation for a physical mark to show

Bearing on behalf of the wounded mind

That organ so twisted and tortured in anguish

Yet hidden behind an ever false smile.

The metal releases, now warm from the fight

Stowed away ready for the war next night.

Mental Health: Personal Awareness

I need help.

I can say that now.

I am well on the way to getting help – I have acknowledged that I am not well.

Like many people, I grew up with a stigma about mental health. I was always told that grit and determination will get you there but that isn’t always the case. I wouldn’t describe myself as having had a tough childhood but there was a lot of pressure on me and I often didn’t let myself come to terms with things that I should have come to terms with. When there was turmoil, I became the pillar caught in the middle, trying not to let everything crumble. Now, I’ve finally cracked.

I had thought of self harm often as a child/young adult but I thought that if I did anything, I would seem weak and people would notice. The other day, I self harmed for the first time. I didn’t want to do it and I kept trying not to but the aggravation within my skin was so intense that I couldn’t not do it. I didn’t penetrate the skin because, thankfully, the knife was pretty blunt, but that doesn’t detract from what I did. It helped relieve me, whilst at the same time showing me how truly fragile my mental state was right now. As I described to a friend, my miscarriage seems to have triggered my historic issues and won’t let me cover them up anymore. As scary as it is to accept, I can now admit that I have a problem and, just as I would if I was physically hurt, I need to do all that I can to take care of myself.

I have shared all my poetry with the hope that it will start to reduce some of the stigma around miscarriage. I have written this as I want to do my part to reduce the stigma around mental health. You will see from some of my future poems that there is a darkness that has stemmed from my mental health rather than the miscarriage – please do not be afraid to acknowledge if some of it resonates with you. Please do not think that you are weak if you need to seek help to stop yourself doing something harmful. You are the strong one for wanting to help yourself and, in turn, the people around you. My husband is worried about me but some of that worry has been relieved by me saying that I have opened up to select people and that I now have counselling arranged. When I feel unworthy of help, I think of him and how I want to be healthy for the both of us. His patience, love, and devotion deserve it.

Where to call for help in the UK