Strait Jacket

I am not an exceptional human being
for we all wear clothes
Slobbing around in PJ’s when
our tranquilized, minuscule world
is encapsulated
in a space called home
Killer heels when we’re facing the
fucked up world and we remember
who we are, and we straighten
our crowns
Perchance a smidgeon of warpaint
as our battle cries holler into
societal combat
Cherry lips and spider lashes
spun with purest L’Oreal

But I?
I wear a white strait jacket
White as in hospital issue
boiled to death grey
Sanitised and purity leeched
It looks rather smart with
my lithium eyes and my
lunacy smirk
I don’t wear it for ladies’ luncheons
as padded cells are lonesome bistros
And all that cutlery is contraband
And I’m not fucking Houdini

When my couture isn’t a
hospital inspired affair
I am living one
Valium junkie
Lithium chick
Watching the wall for
the clock tock ticks
which govern the drugs
which make me well
But make me sick
Don’t go high, you’ll crash
Don’t go low, you’ll crash
Can anyone tell me
how to score
a gram of sanity?

Does anyone want to
hold my strait jacket for me?
Try it on?
Wear it with me?

©2020 Sarah Drury

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Same Day, Same Shit

Anxiety
You annoying bastard
You fucked up
half my day again
I know I am swearing
But I’m past fucking caring
How was my day darling?
(I talk to myself
‘cos I’m the only one
who bloody well listens)
And how can I say it
but it was shit again
shit again
Always shit again

Wearing anxiety
like it was some fucking
loser’s pageant crown
But I’m no fancy winner
I’m going down, down, down
I thought I’d ring my nurse
But same old, same old
‘You’re doing fine’
as if a 15lb baby is
working its way
out of my vagina
But I’d rather be knocked up
than screwed up

Pop another pill
Numb another feeling
You’d all get on my last nerve
If I weren’t tranqued out
of my mind
It’s getting where I sort
of like the feeling
Head dead
Horizontal on my bed
Mindfulness
says my therapist
who thinks he’s Sigmund Freud
And I am mindful that
of all my lovers
Sanity is the most
Fucking jealous

©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

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

Valium

Valium
My old cathartic friend
Take a seat beside me
Fuck the ‘don’t get addicted’ trend
Wash down the pill
Act out the finale
That never fucking ends
In your dramatic air
Of sensory obliteration

Take my mind far away
To some fond childhood day
When neurosis
Was a word
I hadn’t even heard
When psychotic, insane voices
Were just another
Exhibitionist exotic bird
And now when I
Hear them singing
They snarl in tuneless, grimy
Sinister threats
Like my life
Smiling at strangers
When the face in the mirror
Is full of acrid, bitter regrets
And hatred

So I pop a Valium
And wait for that glorious
Blanket of don’t give a fuck
I think my friends and family
Must have mistakenly mistook
My strangeness
For not taking my meds again
Does anyone really think
I would inflict that
Suicidal pain
I’d rather stick
Hot needles in my
Eyes
I’m not that fucking crazy.
But who gives a shit now
The chill starts to spread
I’m starting to feel lazy
If I could bottle this feeling
I could peddle it
Drug dealer hazy
Street cred
As fuck

I pop a Valium
It steals my thoughts
Those charming, psychotic quirks
Mad hatter moments
That can’t be bottled and bought
And I am Alice
Lost in Wonderland
And there ain’t no tea parties here
Just psychosis in a teacup
And lithium cake with a side helping of fear
As the medics binge
on the cream
Of condescension

But you, my faithful friend
I may be addicted
But fuck it
Lithium chick
The side effects are contradicted
What is better?
Blood on the hands of a psychiatrist
Or sanity in the minds
Of the heavily medicated
And I owe you
My fucking life

©2020 Sarah Drury