Morning light slowly creeps up to your eyes,
Involuntarily closing them shut, indifferent you remain.
The phone keeps ringing on the bedside table,
The slight persistent buzzing noise irritates you.
Pulling the blanket over your face, you guard away the sun.
Disinterested, exhausted, leave me alone, you say.
But desperate and lonely, help me please, you meant.
At the back of your mind, I’m a burden, I’m useless…
Screams of guilt and shame hound you alive, again and again.
Exhausted, there’s no place to hide.
Nowhere to go, to escape that wretched voice.
It takes awhile getting used to that self-loathing.
I know, it’s a constant inner struggle.
It takes even longer to nurture a voice of self-love.
Such a fragile power, the power of love.
Despite every effort, it seems pointless, all in vain.
Don’t tell anyone, the voice keeps repeating,
Don’t listen, ask for help, tiny splinters of your broken heart still insists.
She whispers to you, almost inaudible.
A faint staccato rising softly in the distance.
Let the emotions take you on a spiral,
Feel the pain, cry out loud if you need to,
It’s okay to not be okay, you’re not alone.
It’s okay to need help, you’re not weak.
It’s okay to stop to take a break when you are tired.
It’s okay to tell people you’re depressed.
Trust me, we want to know, I do.
We want to be there for you, it’s true.
If you would only let us see you,
Please come out and show the world your pain.
Tell us where it hurts and how much.
For there is hope in acceptance,
There is courage in confession.
When you step out of the shadow, you’ll see
Myriads of people lined up around you, just like you and me.
Waiting to be seen and heard once again.
If the voice inside our heads become intolerable,
Together we will hold hands and rail against it all night.
If the voice persuades us to keep quiet,
Break the silence we shall, for it’s a trap.
You and I both know, this ends today.
Had enough of the tyrant’s whims, haven’t we?
We don’t want to remain this way, no more.
No longer will we stay unheard, invisible.
We will shout in one voice, louder than the cloud of gloom.
It’s not easy, I know. But we are in it together.
All we ever want is to be hugged and loved.
Is that a lot to ask for? Not anymore, no.
There is no shame in asking for love and understanding.
For it’s okay to not be okay,
None of us are really ever okay.
And that’s alright too, for it makes us who we are, you know.
To not be okay is to break the norm, and
Who doesn’t know how diversity brings beauty.
Let us give others a chance,
Instead of pushing them away,
Let us reach out and meet them halfway.
For it is okay to be not okay.
But it is not okay to suffer alone, my friend.
Because you’re not alone, you’ll see,
As soon as you step out of your own shadow.
I’m here, we’re all here, waiting to hear you speak.
So talk to us friend, whenever you are ready.
You know we are right here, waiting for you.
This poem has been previously published on the Bridge Blog on September 17, 2020. Check out the link to read more about the importance of mental health awareness. Hope starts as a little seed