I am Crazy – A Poem on Mental Illness

(Inspired by Look Up, a film by Gary Turk)

My name is Aden Ng, and I am crazy
I have trouble with friends, I can’t talk to ladies
Sometimes I wonder if I’m socially impaired
Maybe I’m too young and just not prepared
But I can speak to you as if I’m fine
That I’m normal, dandy, just another guy

I talk to myself sometimes to get me through the day
Pretend I’m fine and tell you I’m okay
You see me everyday and think I’m ordinary
But in my mind I believe I’m extraordinary
I think I can fly, punch a hole through the wall
But to get out of bed, I sometimes have to crawl

I’m the guy you see on the street, staring at his feet
Trying not to step on the cracks in concrete
I’m the cashier you see, when you buy from the mall
Who might one day just splatter his brains on the wall
I’m the girl you met, the lead singer of that band
Who wears long sleeves to hide the cuts on her hands

I’m your father, the man you see as strong
Who cries like an infant the moment he’s wrong
I’m your sister, the girl who only cares about boys
Who tries to be popular by becoming their toy
I’m the kid who you made fun of in school
Who goes home to stab a picture of you

When someone gets hurt or when we have pain in our hearts
You call us insane, not realizing it’s hard
To live as a person who’s normal inside
Restrained by our minds when sanity collides
When madness becomes an everyday norm
Trapped by the monster that has taken our form

Death is real for me, a daily uphill struggle
A nightmare deep inside that shakes and rattles.
I sit at home and ponder about the deaths
Of the people you loved, your family and friends
Only when they’re gone is it too late to cry
And you’ll start to wonder why you didn’t try to pry

I worry for my mother who works hard to pay the bills
And wonder if she can afford all of my pills
I worry for my image that my friends see as normal
And wonder if they’ll leave me if they knew I’m abnormal
I worry for the job that I have; and yet to held
And wonder if I can endure another day in this hell

“Seek help!” you say, and I asked why
The only thing I know is I’ll be held down and tied
Where I’ll be strapped to the bed, screaming at the ceiling
Or have the doctors see me and says, “Yup, he’s feigning.”
Media and policies have driven us to a corner
And soon you might find me in the van with the coroners

We should not be forced to run or hide,
But be able to tell you the pain that’s inside
Without the worry that you’ll treat us like monsters
Where when cops finds us they won’t reach for their gun holsters
When we can cry and yell without feeling ashamed
Find help without fearing we’ll be defamed

My name is Aden Ng and I have Bipolar Disorder
And I’m not part of some insignificant number
I’m your father, mother, the aunt that you love
Your brother, your sister, your boy or your girl
Your friends, your colleague, a stranger on the streets
Your reflection in the mirror when you stare at me.

(Author’s note: I wrote this with ‘short film’ in mind. If I can gather the financial resources to shoot it, I might just make it real.)

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