A Poem and Biographical Note on Mental Health


When I was a teenager, I became severely depressed. I hid it from my family and friends, not because I was afraid of being rejected by them but because I was terrified of asking for help. I was afraid the truth about what I had been hiding, how I had felt all those years, would hurt them too much. I was afraid they would look at me like I was broken.

This changed my first year of university. One night I broke down in front of my parents and told them the truth. If I was afraid before I was not now. I am very lucky. They have given me nothing but love, support and understanding since that day.

I wrote this poem around that time, as a way of reconciling with all those years alone. I wanted to give to my teenage self the kind of love and support I have in my life now. I still struggle with my depression but I have never felt as low or as hopeless as i did when I was a teenager. This poem was tough to write and is tough to read but if there is one thing it make me feel, it is hopeful

A world entire.

There is a little boy

in a tiny room

in the dark.

I sit beside him,

a rosary and

a knife

lies between us,

reeking of desperation

and self


He raises

a bottle to his lips.

His left hand trembles;

mine, rarely now.

He speaks

to the darkness

I fill in the


my replies


Father forgive


This isn’t McDonald’s.

He doesn’t

take orders.

What’s the point?

Beats me kid.

Father it’s not

fucking fair.


does not mean


I’m tired,

I’m so, so tired.

Nightmares are easier

In someone else’s


you’ll see.

I’m a bad person.

Nobody’s good

at it

they just pretend.

I could stop it

all, why don’t

I just stop it


Because you’re

a poor

judge of character

and a worse


Why won’t you

save me?

I have

I am

I always will.

There is a little boy

in a tiny room

in the dark.

He wipes his shame

from the knife,

he wraps his rosary

tight around his fist

the wood stains


The bottles

all empty,

his tears in

puddles on

the pillow.

I look at this boy

losing himself

to an

absent god


present sins

but I know,

as he will learn,

losing does not

mean lost.

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