The Physical Pain of Mental Illness

Message from the author: Dear fellow sisters and brothers, I wrote the following poem to validate my shame and pain. And then I thought to share it with anyone else who can relate. Maybe you are a holy jew with mental illness, or maybe you have a spouse, sister, brother, son or daughter with a mental illness. I hope my words will resonate or enlighten you as to what people with mental illness really go through, the beauty of an anguished mind, and the sparkling potential that each one of us possesses.

If only mental illness was contained just in the brain!

Then, maybe I would be able to cope with the pain

Tell me, is there a way to explain

That besides for my mind, my body also feels insane?

I feel real lame

With my constant, almost nagging refrain:

‘I’m not feeling ‘well’.

It seems my pleas are in vain.

I need someone to understand

Hold my hand

Bring me back to wellness land.

Because the panic I feel in my head,

Or the depressive thoughts heavy as lead

Also ache in a very physical way.

It starts in my knees-my body starts to sway

I lie down breathing deeply

Waiting for the pain to pass, please hashem

Make it go quickly!!

Then the anxiety hits my middle,

My stomach is in knots, the constant nausea is a riddle.

Tension makes my neck stiff and tight

So bad it hurts  looking to the left or right

A migraine develops- a never ending hot band of pressure

The agony is beyond measure

I am tired of pill popping

Doctor hopping

The cure is out of my reach

I surrender


I learn to treasure my role

Embrace my suffering soul

So divine, infinite and sensitive

Special designed to help me live

To make a difference to others, to give

This inspiring perspective

Helps me look beyond the major pain I can see that good things grow only with rain.

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