“Out of Sight, And On My Mind”…a poem in support of Mental Illness Awareness Week

Hi, everyone…today you get a two-fer…me, and my friend, Martha…that’s her up top…

And, instead of my weekly post (which, admittedly, I’ve only just started), I would like to share something on a serious note–it’s a poem I wrote about 18 months ago.  It was inspired by the youth I work with, and I dedicate it to the memory of Rehtaeh Parsons.  Sexually assaulted, subsequently cyber-bullied, and further victimized by gaps in the systems meant to protect her, Rae paid the ultimate price.  Thankfully, her mother–and (I am honoured to say) my friend, Leah Parsons–continues to ensure that Rehtaeh’s death is not in vain.  Leah has made it her mission to carry a message of hope, survival, and recovery…she is a courageous advocate who is making Herculean efforts and gains in the mental health field..and, she is playing a pivotal role in legislative changes meant to close the gaps that have failed so many. You can learn more at

http://www.rehtaehparsons.ca

Also, as is my way, I’ve used word-play to give my message a bit of a twist…and, if you’ve been following me, you know I’m a fan of old-school frames of reference.  “Out of sight” originated in the 60’s (I think), but I fell in love with the expression when J.J. Walker (of “Good Times”) brightened my TV viewing experience back in the day.  It means, “awesome, fantastic, brilliant”….and, each of us are…the tragedy of mental illness is that it lies and convinces us otherwise….but, don’t ever stop fighting….don’t ever give up…like I encouraged someone once–rest as needed, but don’t every give up….you’ve got this, friends, and you are not alone! 🙂

“Out of Sight”, and On My Mind

There are times when I am wrong, but, this time, oh, so right;

You are not just “good enough”, you are out of sight!

And when I do not see you, I don’t need eyes to know,

The world is better off because

it’s brightened by your glow.

 

No abuses, fear, depression—no heartbreak, tears nor shame,

No loss, no grief, no anger—no slander of your name—

No lack of funds or fun times, no cut, no weight, no slur

Can ever change the truth of things, whatever you endure

 

You see, I see you clearly—the dark can’t dim your light,

You are not just “good enough”, you are out of sight!

For my heroes…Dec. 6, 2014…

Also, my wonderful friend, Martha, generously contributes her gifts to supporting and encouraging us all to fight that which would limit the scope of our awesomeness…and, mental illness certainly affects so many…please check out her offerings…they come right from her beautiful and courageous heart! 🙂

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31 thoughts on ““Out of Sight, And On My Mind”…a poem in support of Mental Illness Awareness Week

  1. Such an important message. As you know, I was a practicing physician for over 20 years. I helped many people and am thankful to have had the privilege to do so. Physicians need to realize the answers to health are NOT always found in education and certifications. In all the time I treated patients, I never once read a poem (like the one you just posted) which could have done as much if not more for some of my patients as any particular treatment or recommendation I offered. Finding answers to help people takes more talent than most professionals realize. Being an authority figure might make us feel good, but doesn’t necessarily solve the hidden needs behind so many people’s problems. Sometimes offering our patients a hug and a willingness to listen will do more for their well being than any tangible therapeutics we have been trained to provide.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. When I read your posts and comments, I am flooded by an empathetic understanding for the throngs of (primarily) young girls/fans who become so overwhelmed by adoration and inspiration that they scream uncontrollably…not to scare you off–but, I become so enthusiastic and freak out inside when I bear witness to such generosity of spirit…you have such a profound capacity for humility and kindness and wisdom and…and….spiritual connectedness….and, it resonates so wonderfully…you inspire me….it is so validating to know that what is a “no brainer” to me is a truth known to others….sometimes it is hard to swim against the tide, but, more and more, I am finding kindred spirits that remind me that love is always the answer….caring and giving and doing what we can in service of contributing to “the good” is always a mission worth continuing, and I want to thank you for being further proof that we are never alone in our convictions and efforts. You are just incredible….thank you for sharing 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post! There are so many dimensions to this piece. There’s despair and there’s hope! Mental illness is real, and we oftentimes dismiss it as “He’s just crazy!” What a pity. I see it addressed in my field (in my current school), but the signs are usually missed in schools. If we see the signs, we may not always know who to partner with in order to get the help that’s needed. I’ve learned a lot about Mental Health First Aid because of the work I do, and I’m so grateful for the experience. I salute you for your efforts and your advocacy!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for your comment…also, I am on a team of mental health clinicians who comprise a larger team of professionals working together to support students from kindergarten to grade 12…we actually go and see them at the various schools in the community where I work/reside…I have a great deal of respect for educators…thank you for all you do 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m so glad we’re connected. Maybe we could pen a post together in the future…maybe even write a short series. Click on my contact page if you ever want to reach out, and then we’ll be connected via e-mail. 🙂 May blessings abound, my new friend.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My heart is soaring….thank you so much for your generous offer…God bless innovators and dreamers….I will click right now, before signing off for a few hours…I am so grateful for our connection/friendship…God is so great 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel this poem was written specifically for me. Of course I could just be insanely self centered though!!!

    I love this poem. I wish more people could hear those words and embrace them.

    This path is hard. People like you make it a little less so.

    Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hello, my friend…I am sorry that my poem so accurately reflects your experiences…and, I am really proud of you for fighting the good fight…and, I am grateful to do any small thing I can to help lessen the burden…thanks for letting me know…it helps me keep my own demons at bay.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Truly, I absolutely love this post so very much! Such a special and important message for all! I love Martha too! She rocked her mirror and she, like you, is beautiful! beautiful! I tell people All the time that I wish the stigma of mental illness would just go away. If someone is diabetic or has hypertensive they take meds and seek treatment. No one questions them like they do those of us with depression and anxiety yet we try to take care of our illnesses too. It does hurt to be depressed both physically and mentally. Thank you so much for posting this!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Zany as ever…and with a wonderful message….I seem to be passing from friend to friend apologising for absentia…terrible…

    Mind you this subject leaves me with few words…and deep reflection. I know too many suffering silently and listen to more than a few…. Thank you for sharing this my friend

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Gary…I fully understand that there are several aspects of life vying for attention…thanks for stopping by, my treasured friend…this weekend I hope to post something new…and, to catch up with some reading…lots of great posts await 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It is amazing at times how the common spiritual light comes to shine on us when one of our own is lost for a time. I think we; those parents who have lost, and those who deal with the damage done to our children by others, by life, by those things; through our imperfection, we cannot predict, get lost for a time as well. It is hard to find our way back and times, and in some ways we never will become who we were once upon a time. Yet in many ways; we become much more.

    I thought of a poem written for the passing of someone I loved.

    Marilyn.

    I Looked Out Over The Mountain Sky
    An ocean on one side
    A Desert on the other

    The Chaos Of My Life Lain Bare
    In the Beauty I See
    And The Life I Feel

    Where Once I Saw The Reflection
    Of My Ignorance
    For All To See

    I Now See The Beauty Of A Love
    Her Hour Of Need
    Now Lost To Me

    Like The Fierce Desert Winds
    Filling My Lungs
    With the Essence Of it’s Life

    Marilyn’s Soul Fills My World
    With The Beauty
    Of It’s Light

    Her friendship still present
    Her Love Omnescent

    Her rendered spirit
    A rose
    For God’s renewing light!

    Her gift of life she gave
    Each one a love
    For all to see

    Her gleaming eyes
    Her quirky wit

    That special Love
    We know so well

    Our children each
    A spiritual gift
    The very essence of her soul

    No mourning of her death
    To give

    But a recognition
    A celebration
    Of her continued life

    We each will make the Journey
    In our own time
    And in our own way

    The Journey will be the easier
    The more joyful
    For the Love she left behind

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you from the bottom of my heart….I saw this this morning and I was astounded and moved by your utterly beautiful words, and even more, by the compassion and generosity of spirit that fuels them. Your kindness is profoundly touching and appreciated. I will be sure that Leah sees this, for I know it will resonate with her so deeply….perhaps you would like to post it for those in our blogging community to see…I will leave that decision to you…but, again, thank you so much for sharing this with me. Take care 🙂

      Like

  7. Hi; thanks for the thoughts….

    I was at St. Catherine’s in Egypt when I got the news my ex-wife had passed away. We; the military search group I was in for Nuclear weapons in the middle east, were out of touch due to our operational stealth requirements. Her death and burial were over before I even new she was dead.

    We had been divorced for some time, losing each other over the trauma of our daughter in a coma for so long after developing an infection to the brain. We loved each other; but the stress and disagreement of letting our daughter go, versus keeping her here without and understanding to the end of what her life would be, pushed us apart. Me, I just couldn’t let her go, and Marilyn not wanting to put her through the pain of a life like that, if there was no recovery. Nether choice was wrong, just different ways of showing the love we had for our daughter.

    It’s what happens at times when young people are left without hope for a time and become pushed to different understanding of what is best to do for there children.

    Heather is now 28 years old; but eternally a happy four year old. She never recovered of course, yet she did wake up…yet the efforts took a toll on Marilyn and myself for close to 15 years before Heather started to stabilize. Come changes, relationships etc…..we become not new people, but unable to step back into the damaged patterns of the past.

    For me; it was the search for things to help Heather, being in the middle east was about money, the military providing for a replacement to our civilian insurance that had maxed out.

    As I said I was in Egypt at the time, an ocean to one side the desert to another, my words came to me at St. Catherine’s seemingly on there own. Such words; as you know, for I see it in your work as well, come unbidden at times and go where they will.

    Most time I never really know where my words are going, just evoking or mind-dumping at times until the pattern starts to come clear.

    I like the idea of putting Marilyn’s memory for others to see. She would like that I think, if it helps others to see past the pain of loss they might be experiencing. I know before Marilyn’s mother passed away, she enjoyed the words and they seemed to help her. Though her passing did come quickly once Marilyn was gone. That part of her that kept her alive gone in some ways, and never able to find it again.

    When you said blogging community…I’m not sure which one you meant..other than the cafe and this site I’ve connected with you on.

    Thanks again and hope your week is what you wish.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am humbled by your appreciation…thank you so much…your comment choked me up with gratitude…you are the one who is doing the hard work, yet you are thanking me…that is evidence of such generosity of spirit….thank you for blessing me 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Hi Truly,

    How’ve you been?

    The message in this well-written post is so relevant! I find that some people are accustomed to dismissing mental illness because they don’t understand it. Some disregard it as being a unreal illness because they cannot “see” it as one would see a disease like cancer for example.

    In the society where I live, some people are somewhat superstitious about it.

    The reality is that the mind is part of the body and can be afflicted with sickness same as any other part of the body.

    I enjoyed your poem, thank you so much for sharing this. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m doing well…enjoying a lovely Sunday afternoon…taking time to comment on posts…thank you for commenting on mine 🙂 I hope this message finds you well, and I will be sure to “visit” you before much longer…I am looking forward to reading one of your wonderful posts 🙂 Thank you for your kind comment and for being so considerate 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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