I am pleased to say that I have won the Rethink Pringle Arts award 2011 with the poem below entitled “LOVE” I chose the title because LOVE is the main mover in recovery. “LOVE” If I had a physical condition people would rally round They would visit me in hospital and praise the courage I’d […]

Proud (how we feel about Christian)

My youngest son, Christian John, Suffers from schizophrenia He suffers each day in silence With a kind and gentle demeanour But look deeply beyond his label To the baby I held in my arms To the cheeky mischievous 4 year old who captured the world with his charms to the bright intelligent 10 year old […]

A Meagre Cost

If you’re wise you’ll take care of your carers Because carers really care Miraculously 24/7 carers are always there Carers prevent a relapse time and time again Carers provide such solid support They cope with the pain and the strain But carers need to stay healthy We just can’t afford to be ill Even though […]


Imagine a new understanding We’ve waited patiently now for years The pain we’ve suffered through STIGMA Has created a river of tears Imagine holding our heads up high No more whisperings-secrets or lies Lets bare the soul of Mental Distress No more need for it’s meagre disguise Imagine that Carer’s talk openly We don’t hide […]

Mini Institutions

Sat up in their ivory towers They designed this brilliant scheme None of them knew what was needed None of them heard us scream Let’s knock down the institutions they said We’ve got a far better plan Life will improve for all of you Every woman – every man Folk will be kind they’ll welcome […]

There But For The Grace Of God

Can there be a harder journey than for those who lose their minds? Can we grasp the slightest inkling of their pain? Hallucinations angry voices invade their precious time Forcing fragile minds to go insane Is there a less demeaning label than Paranoid Schizophrenic? Would you spare the time to listen to their stories? Schitzos […]

Who We Are

Schizophrenia is a learning curve It’s made us who we are 2 decades on and now your 35 We were shell shocked we were grieving We marvelled at your strength Your iron will that helped you to survive Were aware that you’re a different son Nothing like the son we knew The son that we […]

The Word

(We were not told for years what was wrong with Chris so consequently I didn’t accept that he had schizophrenia, this next poem attempts to explain this) Schizophrenia there its done Doesn’t quite roll off the tongue 8 years it stayed within my mouth I couldn’t quite manage to spit it out A sad achievement […]

Gritting My Teeth For The Fight

(Chris had just given up an office job after 10 weeks, his 4th attempt to work, and had returned to Thurrock. Mind, I was passing the allotment where he and other clients were working, it was a very cold November morning by then I was having a terrible job coping myself. Hopefully this will explain […]

One Day Mum

Nine Mum long years have been and gone Are we any further on? The years just seem to come and go Recovery savagely, grindingly slow Others outside looking in Can’t perceive the pain I’m in They think I’m fine, they think she’ll cope I sleep, I breathe, I live in hope I feel so sad […]


Schizophrenia, madness, insanity, or condition lacking humanity, Desperate for understanding, starving for support, Carers soldier on tired, anxious, and totally stressed the threads of pleasure long gone, But lets not talk about it, talking is not allowed, With the alienation of a leper we stand alone in the crowd, Though sadness and shame lace disbelief […]

The One Who Stole Our Son

You stole his youth you stole his life you stole his liberty You stole the dearest precious gift that life had given me You stole our hopes you stole his future demolished precious dreams His life a jigsaw fell apart undone at all the seams You shattered our lives in the making you took away […]

The Grim Reaper

(When my son recovered enough to live in his own flat, no less than 100 angry residents staged a protest as they didn’t want the mentally afflicted living there near them. I wrote this to rid me of my feelings.) How dare they believe they can judge him When they dont even know his name […]

The Wheels of Improvement

(Hopes for the future) The wheels of improvement are turning They’ve been rusted and seized for years Decade upon decade of suffering Created a river of tears The voice of the carer is louder It’s been quiet for such a long time That voice will get stronger and stronger Even though there’s a mountain to […]

Caught Within the Headlights

Beta blockers, Tranquillers, Amphetamines, or Speed Uppers downers lost emotions nothing fills the need Big fat pipes stained spoons & burners, twisted Baco foil Veins in tatters sunken eyes, nothing left to spoil Periodically she’s anorexic, occasionally she’ll binge One way traffic, no escape route worship’s the syringe Round & round in circles with a […]

The Hawk

(The Hawk comes from case history 2 in the book; this young man has been addicted to heroin for almost 8 years) He perches on the railings on each relentless stalk Swoops down for the pickings, fearless is the Hawk Shiny ruffled feathers eyes as back as coal He looks through you with a vengeance […]

Solvent King

(A Conversation in the Playground) Have a sniff, d’ya wanna whiff? I love going high I use the dosh mum gives me for nosh To fly up to the sky Don’t believe ya s’ only glue My dads got some indoors He uses it for loads of fings Even tiles on my mum’s floors Take […]

How Long?

Unless you’ve suffered from a mental illness it’s hard to imagine how painful life can be. I wrote this poem for my friend Mathew who suffers from Manic Depression – ‘How Long’ is about our understanding of each other. The umbilical cord of mental distress I know yours and you know mine “Don’t call me […]

A Day In The Life Of An Avid Self Harmer

Self-Harm is very misunderstood I have talked to patients who have even had problems with professionals. A young girl I know who self harms was told by a nurse you’re just seeking attention but I can assure you that you won’t get it from me! I don’t understand her or why she self harms Just […]

C.P.T.S.D. Or Me?

This work is about someone who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was a both a victim and a witness to the most appalling crimes that you could ever imagine but he was unable to help his girlfriend or himself the worst part of all is that he has become the […]

Perpetrators Creation’ Bears The Label D.I.D

Recently I watched a documentary on channel 4 about a young woman aged 35 who suffers from DID or Dissociative identity disorder this has to be one of the most complex of all mental illness’s her personality had fragmented into 7 separate people each of them was part of her, years ago I read a […]

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