mental illness awareness week 2009

today marks the end of mental illness awareness week. here are some bloggers who wrote about it, and a poem

and here’s my contribution, a poem i wrote about 15, 16 years ago. you’ll be happy to hear that the suitcase has been emptied.

i’ve been carrying around with me
for all these years
a hidden suitcase of despair

once in a while
i go and open it
inspect it
under the covers of my
sheltering bed

i am delighted at its contents:
colourful puppets and leftover trinkets
spill out
and one or two caterpillars, brillant in the half shade
of what little light pierces
the soft, warm clouds of my duvet

then, when i hear footsteps
i close it
camouflage it
so that no-one
can steal
not even with a glimpse
my precious suitcase
brimming with exquisite anguish


  1. Hi, Isabella –

    I have recently discovered that I have a vested interest in hanging on to my pain . . . because, when I’m not actively feeling the pain, I feel disconnected to what happened in my childhood – like it never really happened and I made it up.

    When I am in touch with the reality of my history, I am in touch with the “justifiable reason” for why I am “less than” now – that I used to be “enough” when I was young but “what happened” took that away from me and I became “less than”. The reality of my history allows me to maintain hope that I can heal and someday become “enough”.

    When I lose touch with the reality of my history, I’m faced with the possibility that I might be “less than” now because I have always been “less than” and will always be “less than” – which means I have no hope of ever being “enough”.

    I think my suitcase will become empty when I finally really believe I am “enough” now.

    – Marie (Coming Out of the Trees)
    .-= Marie´s last blog ..June 21, 2009 =-.

  2. Interesting post.

    I have problems with the stigma issue. It’s so…NAMI-ish.

    I know, for instance, one advocate who calls himself a consumer advocate to which I respond I don’t advocate the consuming of mental health services.

    I identify myself as a psychiatric survivor, or a person who has survived human rights violations at the hands of the mental health system.

    I wouldn’t advocate consuming that which harms me, nor would I advocate consuming that which violates my human rights.

    Same thing.

    I know a woman who calls herself a recovery advocate. Much better.

    I don’t consider ‘mental illness’ a very good investment. I think mental health recovery is a much better thing to invest in.

    I would not encourage people to become any more fixated on mental illness than some people already are. I think there are other aims in life to pursue.

    I’m not a big fan of mental health screening.

    Fewer are more in the mental health field. I hope people begin to realize that fact soon.
    .-= mindfreedomvirginia´s last blog ..Antidepressants and Pregnancy Are A Bad Mix =-.

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