Dear Mental Health Illness

Liverpool Centre of Mission

Church Army is at the forefront of supporting vulnerable individuals across the UK and Ireland. Our 30+ centres of mission are local beacons of hope for individuals and families experiencing food shortages and social isolation as well as physical, mental and emotional health crises, and provide indispensable support outside of statutory services.

Cherith Withington is Lead Evangelist at Church Army’s Liverpool Centre of Mission, based in the Norris Green housing estate, an area with some of the highest levels of deprivation in the country. Cherith’s work with many vulnerable individuals and families means that she is trusted with their greatest struggles such as self-harm and crippling mental ill-health.

Below is a poem, entitled Dear Mental Health Illness, written by Tia* who lives in Norris Green. Tia sees Cherith every week to explore the Bible and look at how she is managing her mental health. Supported by Cherith, Tia wrote the poem below in celebration of 10 weeks without self-harming.

*Named changed to protect the individual.

Dear Mental Health Illness

I’m really hating you!

I hate the way you make me feel

And the things that you do!

I can never escape you

You’re everywhere I turn

You’ve become a blazing fire

Everythign you turn you burn!

You always take for your greed

Everything I like you destroy

You twist what should be nomrla

You kill what I enjoy

Dear Mental Health Illness

You rip my life apart

You demolish who I am

You’re a blade through the heart!

In so many ways

You distort the truth

You play games with my mind

You make me hit the roof.

The world all around me

Seems so unreal, so untrue.

No one sees what I see

And this is all because of you!

Dear Mental Health Illness

My life doesn’t feel like mine

You’ve taken it for your own

Bit by bit, time after time.

You make it hard to think straight

It’s hard to know what’s real

It’s hard to see a future

Where I understand how I feel.

A Life with you is suffercating

You take so much control

My life is trapped inside of you

My freedom you have stole!

Dear Mental Health Illness

I wish you would go away

I wish your torture would come to and end

I wish you wouldn’t stay

I’m always in a battle with you

I’m fighting for my life

Never can I turn my back

For you are holding a knife!

I’m strong enough to face you

I will hold my head up high!

I will win this fight you started

You will be the one to die.

Dear Mental Health Illness

Watch out, I am stronger!

I’m tougher than you think I am

It just might take me longer

To defeat you will take time

There is no easy quick fix

I know I will have to face a lot

But I will bare the punches and kicks!

I will show you that I can beat you

I will wear my scars with pride!

Never again will you make me hurt

I will forget the tears I cried!

Dear Mental Health Illness

This battle is not yet done!

I will stand my ground

Until the day I have won!

*Name changed

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