Shattering the Stigma is my award winning new poem. Enjoy!
You don’t like to stand so close to me You don’t want to see things the way I see You’re afraid you’ll become just like what I’ll be Ask yourself what it is you want to be If you had a choice you would never be me Your fear guides you too far away to see You pretend you’ve got some other place to be Do you know what hurts the most? You don’t even know what I struggle with lately You can’t be bothered with learning about how I feel Are our lives so far apart? Maybe you’ve got a broken heart Perhaps you’ve watched it all fall apart And when it does, where do you turn? What if you had a friend like me? Strong enough to conquer those fears daily What if I could show you how to be strong Or that surrounding me with stigma is wrong? What if you felt it all for just one day? Maybe you would have a lot more to say If you could look through the eyes of mental illness Would you really find so much of a difference? I bet you’ve had good days and bad days I bet you’ve felt lost and out of place I think you’re scared of the way you feel So you blame it on something that’s not even real Stop for a second and take a look Ask me a question, maybe share a look Be nice to everyone you meet You never know what pain they’ve beat You don’t have to look sick to be sick You don’t have to look ignorant to be ignorant If you try it, you could gain something you’ve always longed for If you carry your shield of stigma forever What confusion you’ll endure Maybe you don’t want to know me What about him? Standing there looking scared Or her, with her nose in a book So nobody truly sees her There are many faces of pain and sorrow And there are many faces of stigma You don’t have to struggle with either If you reach out and find the wrong person, will you blame it on the disease? Probably. But you’ll have learned So that the next time you meet someone like me Standing in a crowd, terrified of the judgment and the stares, you’ll know to go slow. Trust isn’t easy to give or receive When you find an ally in a face in a crowd, Couldn’t that be your proudest moment of all?