“Mirror or a Glass”

This is a poem I wrote a while back, when I was feeling particularly isolated from the world due to having several mental illnesses, all of which were in full force at the time. The isolation, the stigma, and the general misunderstanding of people can sometimes be overwhelming, and writing poetry is a way I found to vent and let go of those painful feelings. My hope is that the emotions expressed in this poem can both resonate with and encourage those who have felt or are feeling the same way.


“I guess it doesn’t really matter
I guess I shouldn’t feel this way.
But sometimes “shouldnt’s” aren’t enough
To make the pain just go away.

Just can’t take it; just can’t do it.
Can’t you see me dying here?
I can’t fake it; just can’t prove it.
And I refuse to be that strong.

What’s so bad about being real
What so bad about letting me feel?
Why is it so hard to understand
What you have never even allowed to be real?

So when the pain is all I’m feeling
And when you just don’t understand
Do I suck it up, or let you know?
Do I let you see, or give you a show?
Are you seeing you, or seeing me?
Am I a mirror or a glass?

Or does it even really matter when either way I’m gonna crack?

I know I maybe “should” get over it
I know I maybe “should” let go
After all, you get along just fine.
What you don’t know,

Is that you’ve lost your will to what the world wills you to be.
But everyone has given up their wills to others’ wills.
You’re putting on a show when you’re the only audience.
So why attempt to fool the ones already fooling you?

When what is strong for you is but a mockery of me
You see the sheer hysteria of your hypocrisy?
You walk around, your head held high, feet firmly on the ground,
And never take a break to let your eyes just look around.

Your phone is ringing, car is running, people taking orders, money, laughing, yelling, making plans…
Do you ever stop to breathe?

If you did you might just see the pain that wails into our ears.
But no, to see our pain would be to see the pain in you.
Everyone has been the same ever since time first began.
Don’t think you can disguise yourself with blueprints made by man.

It’s falling apart, do you see it?
It’s screaming at me, can you hear it?
It’s tearing me up, can you feel it?
Or am I forever lost in your obscurity?

The walls are caving in? Where are you?
The ground is shaking. Why aren’t you helping?
The wind is screaming. How can you not hear it?
Where the hell is humanity here?

You’re human. Face it. Ask yourself
The questions. Laugh! Or say you’re angry.
Tell them that you love them.
Cry your eyes out; just break down!

Let yourself be dead sometimes; it might just help you live.
And when it’s over, walk away, but always try again.

But you can’t just do that. Why? Well then you’d actually be real.
And what we see, and feel and hear? you have to see it too.
You’d have to let yourself be human, let yourself be true.
And-oh the worst- your depth of soul would genuinely feel.

I’m not suggesting that we live in gloom and misery.
At least just choose the pain which heals: the pain of being free.
For after tears there’s laughter and then after pain there’s hope.
The only thing you’re losing is the mask you made yourself.”


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