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

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

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 Chick

I have a mental illness called Bipolar Disorder and one of the medications I have to take is lithium. My illness has taken me to some very dark places but lithium has been a wonder drug for me. I wrote this poem at myself, a sort of dark commentary of my illness. I must stipulate it is not aimed at other sufferers, for i have great respect for anyone who deals with a mental health condition day in, day out.

Pop them pills lithium chick
Pop them pills lithium chick
They’ll soothe your pain nice and quick
They’ll make you sane, they’ll make you sick
Make your daydreams milkshake thick
So, pop them pills lithium chick
Pop them pills lithium chick

You know you’ve no job, no money, no hope
No esteem, no confidence, no dreams
You mope, you mope, you mope, you mope
You think of life on the end of a rope
But that’d be like if you tried to elope
So you car crash along, you do your best,
You swallow the shit that is life, you cope.

Pop them pills lithium gal
Pop them pills lithium gal
Don’t want you jumping in no canal
Don’t want death being your penpal
Keep up yer pecker, keep up yer morale
So pop them pills lithium gal
Pop them pills lithium gal

You know love hasn’t found you yet
You cling to a heart that was struck by a dart
When the doctor delivered his black diagnosis
You’ve spent your adulthood swinging between
Being celibate like a nun and being fucked like a tart
And wondering when your fantasies would fall apart
When your roses and hearts romance would start.

Pop them pills lithium dame
Pop them pills lithium dame
We don’t want you fucking insane
These drugs fucking with your pendulum brain
No free prescriptions down the drain
A faulty gene on the family chain
A train of crazy you couldn’t feign
Never mind the fucking pain
The psycho strain, the trash mind sprain
The shameful mental illness stain
Don’t have the complacency to complain
Don’t blame me for the bloodstain train
So pop them pills lithium dame
Pop them pills lithium dame

You know you’re not like the other girls
You’re not thin as a lath nor dripping in pearls
Your hair doesn’t fall in locks of sanity or wellness curls
You don’t walk with the sheep
For their wool isn’t hoodwinked over your eyes
And their normal ways are not ones you can keep
The mountains are too steep and the valleys are too fucking deep.

Pop them pills lithium bitch
Pop them pills lithium bitch
A female in the sanity glitch
A loony machine without a switch
A girl the other girls want to ditch
A girl to shag but never to hitch
A monster, a demon, an unhinged witch
So pop them pills lithium bitch
Pop them pills lithium bitch
Pop them pills…

©2019 Sarah Drury

Just another Day

I suffer with bipolar disorder. I have been diagnosed since my late twenties. It ripped my life apart, and twenty years later I am just piecing it back together through poetry.

Here’s a poem that’s in a book of mental health poetry I published called Smile. The book is available to purchase here:

http://mybook.to/smilebipolarpaperback

Just Another Day

It’s just another day
Just another fucking day
In the humdrum, mind numb,
Shut up and suck yer thumb world
Where the tv blares and the kettle boils
And the house is a shithole, a grimy underworld.

From a time when my nights were
Drunken feasts of student shenanigans
The stereo blares out Manchester tunes
Tequila slammers perched on fancy bars
Pissed up students perched on fancy skirts
Reeking of an air of fuck me soon.

And the dust and debris of weeks
Hangs in the air and floats in wisps of sunlight
Signs of can’t be bothered to clean this place
And grubby marks of my son’s fingers
Protest the mess and the photographs bless
A happier time, a smile, a beaming face.

And I pop my pills
Lined up in clinical colours
Promising miracles of sustaining mental health
Masking a madness, hiding the disfunction
Curtains that shut out the crazy
That blacken the brightness that is too fucking dazzling
A disappointment to the queen and the commonwealth.

And I go to the shops
Stare blankly at bargains
and three for two offers aligned on corporate shelves
pile chips in the trolley, frozen pizza, turkey dinosaurs
beans and egg and bacon and unhealthy, unhealthy, unhealthy
cannot be bothered with doctors and dieticians
and the dogooders and the proclaimers of perfect health.

And I sit on the bus and shut out the world I live in
Sue and Bob and Rita
Discussing the crimes of the immigrants
Sending them back to their countries
To die, to die, to be persecuted
A prejudiced view, a heartless, racist,
Sickening arrogance.

And I die and I die and I die inside
Wondering where it all went wrong.
Where life took a turn down shithole alley
Where life diverted from a Mozart opera
To a fascist, ugly death metal song.
Where life became written in black and white
When the colour ink started to run
Off the colourful page of my fortunate life
Where did the joy go, where did my life go so horribly wrong.

And Jezza’s on the telly
And the dirty pots are piled in the kitchen sink
And the carpet could do with a hoover
And the bathroom screams ‘release me from the limescale’
And the depression is crippling
I can’t even fucking think.

And I cry and I cry
And the tears don’t even offer to clean away
The squalor of my messed up brain
The ramshackle house is a mirror of the mess in my head
And a mirror of the futility that envelopes me again.
And I cry again
And I die again
And I stick my head in the sand again.

It’s just another day
Just another fucking day
In the humdrum, mind numb,
Shut up and suck yer thumb world
Where the tv blares and the kettle boils
And my mental health is my nemesis
And my dreams of an easier life unfurl.
And I’m just another fucked up girl.
Just another fucked up girl.

© Sarah Drury 2019