After 25 years on Earth, I can finally say clearly,
Being ashamed and too proud, I lost everyone I loved dearly.
Punishing myself daily, too afraid to speak out,
Pain and anguish inside me, I want to scream and shout.
My battles with mental health and struggles to accept,
Being labelled and branded, I was scared to loose respect.
Turning to drink and drugs opposed to asking for help
This all changed when I was imprisoned at HMP Addiewell.
Walking into my cell that night, overcome by fear,
A million thoughts circling, that I didn’t want to hear.
Waking up next morning, something seemed to click,
I knew what I had do like the flick of a switch.
I wish it had never taken me so long to realise,
But its better late than never, no more lies.
Mental illnesses are very real, they shouldn’t be taboo,
They come in all shapes and sizes, many like me and you.
My time hear in prison, I’ll use as a lesson,
I still have my life and kids, that a blessing.
Trust me, that no matter what people say,
It’s okay not to be okay.
By Paul S.