Hello, my name is mental illness and fear is my great strife.
I lurk in the shadows to steal the very meaning of your life.
You imagine me a faceless foreigner, a stranger from another land.
Little do you know, I hide inside your own head where I may demand full command.
Sometimes I take over slowly, simply stealing bits of joy.
Other times I’m a bigger challenge and you won’t find me quite as coy.
You can rest assured when I take hold I’ll not leave without a fight.
I’m most impressive when I separate you from your own great light.
Look around; they say 1 in 4 is feeling my affects.
But stigma keeps my secret so you don’t know who’s the real wreck.
Your name and heritage matter not, your net worth is little value.
If I decide to persist, very little else will get to have you.
Rise up and fight me I dare you.
You’re efforts are pitiful and rare.
I am mental illness and I swear, I do not share.
Give me a label, shove me in the corner, alone is what I like best.
This poem was written by Executive Director, Kiersten Adkins and shared during our 2017 Night of Hope Gala in attempt to help our audience better understand what individuals and families are up against when facing mental illness. It’s a Villain. We know that it takes ordinary heroes living in their not so ordinary courage coming together in their own unique ways to fight the stigma and offer the support needed to stay connected, even while in the fight with mental illness.
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