A poem for Mental Health Week about coping with bi-polar disorder.


The wraithlike hands around my neck suffocate my life.
Every oxygen devoid minute falls further into a dream
and I crawl helpless, childlike, towards the insane
It whispers to me charming lies of evoked protection
and adds enchanted reinforcements to all my chains.
I try to hide under the seductive feathers of a dove’s freedom.

A tempestuous whirlwind of sentimentality solidifies my freedom.
The spectrum of colours is illuminated, bursting forth to life,
destroying the ropes that hold me, and shattering my stifling chains.
I dare openly to challenge the destruction of my dream,
and wondrously stake a claim to an impenetrable protection,
while breathlessly, in swearing denial, I was never insane.

In the lucid background a cynical voice, but you are insane,
sends rational words ripping through my fashioned freedom,
and brick by brick removes the solid walls of my protection.
This then a fresh reminder of my inconsistent life,
of my Blacksmith, unfailingly forging stronger chains,
and of my Muse, ecstatically causing me to dream

Obediently I smoke up and am taken to a dream,
some vapourous reality created by a mind insane.
Where normalcy breathes unconsciously free of chains
Harmonious with the benefits of unconditional freedom,
comes the elusive opportunity to explore a freed life,
a life lived without needing to comprehend protection

Yet even inside this lunacy there is a proven protection
from disappearing fantasies and recurring dreams,
from becoming lost in buried constraints which hinder life.
I am held strong by a deep desire to remain insane,
and from this insanity create a comfortable freedom,
drawn from within the confines of mind-made chains.

Taming the restraining nature of my chains,
pours forth a gilded shield of twisted protection.
An incomprehensible blind man’s vision of freedom,
it stays captured within a widening dreamer’s dream,
lying rooted inside the vivid beauty of the insane,
and gives me a most fulfilling and experienced life.

In this, my drowning life, the mind-made chains,
lead me towards the insane, from which I gain protection,
learning to twist a dream towards complete freedom.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Kira Carlin


Kira is a journalist, a nosy-parker, Editor of Lost Magazine and a devout taker of pictures. When not engaged in hyper-intellectual conversations at the pub (or soapbox rants on feminism), you can find her foraging for weeds in South Fremantle, adopting cats, or researching how to survive off-grid. Her interests include editing, avoiding editing, nesting and ice-cream.

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