Electro Convulsive Therapy

I’ve sunk below
how far down I should go
They say the pills
don’t work no more
The hours of wasted therapy
Now my life’s in jeopardy
Wasting away on this
psychiatric ward
Owning my depression
Thinking in pictures
of hangmen’s chords
Thinking in feelings
of anaesthetised words
Wanting the birdsong
but surrounded by a chorus
of dead songbirds

ECT
Electro Convulsive Therapy
Might be the solution
Sessions are fast and free
NHS funded victory

Quick zap
National Grid on tap
Doctors trained
Electrocute your brain
Pulse that wattage
through the circuit main

You’ll be asleep
Dignity you’ll keep
It’s not like asylum days
when they gave no sedatives
When crazy folk were heretics
Stuff an old rag in yer gob
Physiological pyrotechnics

I remember…
No, I don’t!
Fuck you, ECT
Stealing my memories
away from me
Words, places
People, faces
Monochrome whispers
Phantom traces
Coming last
in psychological races

ECT
Electro Convulsive Therapy
Once I was blind
and now I can’t see
Obliterated my memories
I paid an excess fee

Fuck You
ECT

Sarah Drury

PRISONER

20 years ago, during a manic episode, I was restrained and forcibly sedated, followed by a 6 month section. This is how it felt…

I was not a statistic
White walls close into
Slave shackles
Reflecting on a fallacy

Warmth slips frostily
Grasps futile flesh
Whales thrashing
Senseless oceans, mercilessly

Perambulate privilege
Calling out to
Decaying calla lilies
Freedom demise revenge

Harsh cuts its acronym
Empty ears swallow cries
For mercy but echoes
Resound upon ignorance

Snowdrop in a summer’s
Blazing serenade
Snowflake is a pot
Calling the kettle black

©2020 Sarah Drury

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