Fragile Friend

Fragile Friend by Marie E. Kelly from the Mad in Ireland Poetry Collection

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I am your brother
I am your sister
I am your father
I am your mother
I am your aunt
I am your uncle
I am your partner
I am your spouse
I am your daughter
I am your son
I am your neighbour
I am your friend.

I am suffering
But no one knows my pain
I am crying
But no one sees my tears
I am collapsing
Like a deck of cards
But no one notices
My life crumbing
I am alone.

I will not say
Lest I be judged
I will not be honest
Lest I be misunderstood
I will not open my heart
Lest those I share my heart with
Condemn their fragile friend.

I live a double life
I carry baggage from my past
I stick a smile upon my face
and hide the agony of my sadness.
I travel with guilt and shame
As my constant companions
On a journey filled with faded dreams
And stolen hope.

I am your brother
I am your sister
I am your father
I am your mother
I am your aunt
I am your uncle
I am your partner
I am your spouse
I am your daughter
I am your son
I am your neighbour
I am your friend.

I am a person who lives with
mental health challenges
I am the 1 in 4
I live with judgement
I live with ignorance
From those who say they “care”
Worst of all I live with arrogance
From professionals who believe they
Are an expert on my pain.
I am the expert on my pain.
For I live it .
I am your fragile friend .
Handle with care.

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