To the Misogynists

When I had a lengthy spell in hospital, many years ago, I was very poorly. I was on what is known as a ‘one to one’, which meant I had to have a nurse with me at all times. One evening, whilst sitting in my room watching TV with the staff nurse, he turned around and said to me, “you know that people like you should never have children, right??” Those words really hurt me and he should never have said that. I am now, many years later, mother to a son with Autism, and although i have times when I struggle with my mental health, my son has helped me stay as sane as I possibly can because I am all he’s got after his father died. He keeps me strong, and was a turning point in my life after many years in psychiatric hospitals.

I wrote this poem about the nurse’s cruel words.

Just because
Mental illness blights
My fragile mind
Just because
My soul travels
In divergent dimensions
Gives you
no fucking right
To play God
Or Hitler
With my right to
Bear child

Casting aspersions
Of prejudice
You broke me
May as well
Rip out my womb
And gift my ovaries
To the mentally stable
Yet barren

Mothers are born
Not made
Merciless are your
Arrogant aspersions
As callous words
Plummet in placentas
Of castigation
Blood staining
Your misogynist shoes

My right to
Bear child
Never smashed by
The patriarchy
Will be

I pray the vitriolic men
Within whose care
Rest women vulnerable
And broken
Embrace humanity
Whilst the tongues
Of those ridiculing
My maternal potential
Are bound in
Repentance
Regret
and
Retribution

©2020 Sarah Drury

Dancing With Dead Men

True story. Eight years ago I had a really bad manic episode where I became seriously psychotic. I fell in love with a spiritual teacher in America and this whole make believe relationship evolved. In my head he had magical powers. I would hear him talking to me and feel him making love to me. It was so real. But I was so poorly.

I could feel you, my love
But they said you weren’t there
They said it was all in my head
I was unwell
You were one I lived and breathed for
I was dancing with the dead
Mind wide open
Eyes wide shut
Fucking a man who lived in my psyche
Like some kind of rapturous, spiritualist slut
That the churches hate but the devil likes

Relationships are not easy
Maybe I needed someone to hold me
Someone to tell me it was ok
That I was ok
Some full on physical contact
To caress my lonely flesh
To satisfy me the way only
My lonely, aching soul knows best
You were half of my soul
A twin flame
You breathed in another continent
But your lungs belonged here
You had your spiritual fame
New Age spouting from a magnetic mouth
And for all of this shit you put the blame
On me
On my fifty shades of all kinds of crazy

I believed that through enchanted eyes
You watched me
You shifted the laws of the universe
To be with me
You spoke to me in my telepathy head
In stereotypical, happy storybook endings
Through some kind of
Screwed up mystical internet

Then I crashed like a game of Jenga
Tears of fear and desperation
Blown around like dandelion seeds
In a Salvador Dali surrealist creation
Trying to hold on
But my grip on reality was too weak
And my hands, my poor, weak hands

And then
I couldn’t feel you
My heart was beating solo
My mind had sunk so fucking low
They said it was all in my head
Take these pills they’ll sort you out
They said
And within four weeks
You were dead
To me

©2020 Sarah Drury

Broken Wings

This poem is dedicated to anyone who has ever suffered with a mental illness.

I have two tattered wings
That sit like prayers
Upon my broken back
I thought I was an angel
But angels’ wings are usually white
I don’t know if they come
In shades of black
And I know I lack faith
I try to keep my eyes
To heaven in the sky
But my wings are too heavy
I try to help myself
To lift my soul, to fly
But each cloud is a traitor
Selling my sins for my lies
God tell me why
I am always falling
At the first demon?
Am I faithless?

I have two tattered wings
That sit like heavy burdens
Upon my fragile heart of gold
I’ve been trying
Not to sell my cut price soul
To the devil
Since losing my virginity
At seventeen sordid years old
I waited for Armageddon
But you pay for Heaven
In pieces of silver
Not in counterfeit gold
And my wings
Aren’t worth shit

I have two tattered wings
That sit like curses
Upon a mind of paranoia
And madness
I’ve been conversing
With the saints
If I say a prayer for a sick child
Will they take away this
Summertime sadness
It’s a bit late for me
For my shattered wings
To be made anew
There’re only so many things
These days
I can possibly do
Without going fucking
INSANE

But I’ll keep flying
Broken angel
Navigating those crazy skies
And I’ll keep peddling those
Happiness lies
Swallowing the pills I despise
And I’ll survive
On a wing
And a
prayer

©2020 Sarah Drury

Lithium Mum

I have bipolar disorder and anxiety, which pretty much rule my life. I am a widow and have a tweenage son, who has Autism. I know it is hard for him, living with a mum like me. I know I do the best I can. I like to think we are souls and he chose this life and it is part of his life path. It feels easier that way. But it is no excuse for a poor childhood, so i just try my best to keep things as normal as I can.

I am sorry for you, son
Sorry that
Each and every day
You have to live
Your fucked up life
With me
Your screwed up
Lithium mum

Necking bottles of
The good stuff praying
It is magic, mending
Melodies I’m playing
On a broken record
I’m just sayin’
There are
Nicer tunes

Mood swings
Psychotic blackbird sings
Are we up or down?
Is it smile or frown?
Are we Happy Valley
Or are we paddling in
The sea in sodding
Suicide town
Or is it a
One way trip
To the
Psych ward?

Every day I say
Today will be a
Better day
Son
and I mean it
‘Til the moods
Fuck up the way
I’m feeling
Brilliant rainbows
Slaughtered of their
Colours
Blackened tempers
Stealing
Cursing, crying
Screaming’s
Just my way
Of dealing

I will try, son
I will try

©2020 Sarah Drury

Hope

Can’t sleep, so got to work on a mental health poem for a video we are making in conjunction with the guys from cafe indie. I was asked to perform one with a message of hope but didn’t have one, lol, so have written this…

*WARNING – A FEW SWEAR WORDS

Hope

When days go on for months
And minutes go on for hours
And I can barely lift my head from the pillow
And life seems like a superhero
Died without her superpowers
And life is bloody tough
And living is bloody rough
And I drag my arse into Primark leggings
And forget to brush my hair
And I don’t fucking care
That I look like shit
Twenty days
Of being in a black, depressed haze
This is not some emo phase
That I will outgrow
I haven’t won some temporary holiday
In a luxury psychiatric facility
I have just lost my ability
To see rainbows and sunshine
Just lost my ability
To see in technicolour
I know

When days go on for months
And minutes go on for hours
And I can hardly stagger through the graveyard that is life
And I can’t bear the sight or the scent of the flowers
On the graves
Little gestures of love
And I raise my arms to the skies above
And scream
I scream
For this blanket of darkness to fuck right away
For this cloud of doom and gloom
On other messed up minds to play
And I can’t find words to say
I’ve had enough
But there is a way out of this
And I know that life does not seem like bliss
I know living each moment is hardly a piece of piss
But you need to reach out
To tell the world you need a helping hand
For there are those who have heads buried in the sand
But depression is not a plague
And talking about your mental hurdles
Means not that you are weak, but you are fucking brave!
Mental health is fragile
Sanity is a fine lined thing
I don’t care if you scream your pain
As long as your head starts to clear
Then your mind can start to sing
Songs of hope
So, sit beside me
Share my pain
Show me your compassion
Show me that you’re here for me
That you’ll sit with me in the purple rain
And maybe I will smile a little
Maybe I will lose my hues of blue
Maybe tears will lift
And during my nights, my terrors
Will be chased away by peaceful dreams anew
Then I can live again
In happiness
Those minutes that go on for hours
Those hours that go on for days
And the months and the years
Will shine as brightly as the sun’s dazzling rays
And I will shine again
I will shine again

©2020 Sarah Drury