Poetry & Fiction

When You Say

CW: suicidal ideation

Editor’s note: Further to the content warning, we would like to emphasise that this poem expresses the thoughts of someone in a bad place with their mental health and that the mentions of suicide may cause some readers distress. If you’re not in the right space right now to read a poem of this nature, may we suggest All at Sea or our range of other poems dealing with mental health.

Audio: Read by Keely Shannon

When you say you want to kill yourself after you miss the bus, I think of days on the sofa, a rock sitting on my chest, my mother sitting next to me trying to make me talk when all I could hear were the voices in my head telling me die.

When you say you’re going crazy after a sugar rush I think of walks to school where I had to touch the trees lining the road to feel like I was still in reality. The numbness made me feel like a ghost.

When you say you are a mess when you can’t choose what boy you like, I think of the panic attack I had in class where I started to cry and dropped my phone whilst trying to escape the room.

When you say you need to be institutionalised after saying something stupid, I think of the times where I stopped looking left and right when crossing the road thinking if I was lucky a car would hit me.

When you say you’re so depressed when there’s no more crisps in the cupboard I think of crying into my pillow for hours over nothing but my feelings of worthlessness. 

When you say to me go kill yourself I say okay.

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About Author

Isabella (she/her) is a filmmaker and writer from North London, passionate about shedding light on mental health and identity issues.