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RE: SURGENCE; poems about mental illness

By Amanda StarksPublished 9 months ago Updated 5 months ago 2 min read
Photo by Francesco Paggiaro from Pexels. Edited using Canva assets.

I've become all too cynical

of a life that's supposed to be lyrical

now tied up in tension thick as umbilical

and drowned in a poisonous chemical.

My heart was bathed in water so biblical

that I thought it could never become satanical,

but the irony is I've become tyrannical

a menace to anything typical,

and yet in my mind I still imagine the mythical -

dreams so fantastical that they almost seem whimsical.

It makes my illness feel not so critical

that I mistakenly become hypocritical

of those like me who are labeled clinical

when I tell them not to be so cynical.



You could say this part of the collection is about realizations both positive and negative. Rarely do I see mental health talked about in depth with what it takes to improve or recover from a major or long standing episode.

In my experience, it's not just learning to find confidence in your self again, teaching yourself how to break the toxic cycle of negative reinforcement, or setting goals for your future. It's also about self reflection, and learning more about those things that you hate about yourself, and WHY you hate them.

I've come to learn I have a habit of helping others out of their own issues while I myself am drowning in my own. You could equate it to having two people out in the open ocean with only one floatation device and me constantly shoving it at the other person.

It doesn't sound like a bad thing, right? I'm being selfless! I'm helping others! But it comes to a point where you realize you can't help others if you yourself are sinking in the deep blue, and it all becomes a cycle like everything else with depression and anxiety.

So here is a kind reminder that yes, it's good to help others, but make sure you are able to and that you are showing yourself that same kindness!

Much love,

Amanda S.

This is the 19th poem in RE: SURGENCE, a poetry collection by Amanda Starks that shares what it's like to have and fight against mental illness in a free-form, lyrical prose.

Be aware that topics and themes may include suicide, self-harm, and isolation.



If you want a free copy of RE: SURGENCE in an online, fully formatted PDF document, subscribe to my email newsletter at www.amandastarks.com ( found under the CONTACT tab ), and it will be in your inbox once all the poems have been published here!

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About the Creator

Amanda Starks

Lover of the dark, fantastical, and heart-wrenching. Fantasy writer, poet, and hopefully soon-to-be novelist who wants to create safe spaces to talk about mental health. Subscribe to my free newsletter at www.amandastarks.com for updates!

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Comments (6)

  • Ian Read9 months ago

    Reads almost like a rap lol. But yeah, I have been more than guilty of helping others instead of myself most of the time. The struggle is real.

  • Omggg! That is my weakness. I'd be out here drowning in the ocean but I'll try my very best to keep other's heads above water and bring them to shore. So relatable!

  • Poppy 9 months ago

    Every line of this is a masterpiece!

  • Kenny Penn9 months ago

    Great poem, gotta show yourself some love! But I can relate, especially with close family/friends. I get so caught up in how they are doing that I forget about me.

  • Addison M9 months ago

    The last eight lines are incredibly relatable. I bet many folks feel that way, especially those in the cycle of putting others first. There's value in sharing your journey, and I hope writing helps. Thanks for sharing. This is a great piece.

  • Test9 months ago

    Sad on many levels but also hopeful and so true x🤍 There is a really lovely song by Ed Sheeran (I think) , 'Save Myself' I cried helplessly when I first heard it. Then the message slowly sank it. Sharing https://youtu.be/qXM0JdAwabU But use or bin ;) 🤍

Amanda StarksWritten by Amanda Starks

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