We’re All Mad Here

No one answers the question:

How are humans supposed to feel?

Begging the follow-up inquiry:

Do all mental states possess illness(es)?


You can’t ever know,

You can’t live as them.

Maybe some get help,

And some others don’t.

Thinking so may be a cop-out,

Even so doesn’t make it untrue.


You are not supposed to compare pain,

Many therapists have told me so,

Yet it’s advice I tend to ignore.

Many people have faced worse than me,

Unimaginable violence,

Morphed into various conditions.

These people must be stronger than me,

Pushed over the edge without falling,

Driving away from our extinction.

Some illnesses are more obvious,

I keep mine locked away from others,

Until sanitized versions crack the door.


I like to pretend I don’t have disorders,

I did it all the time when I was younger,

Whenever a therapist couldn’t figure me out,

Whenever the new antidepressant didn’t work.

I’d tell myself,

“Maybe I’m fine.

They just want me to be sick,

They wouldn’t get paid otherwise.

This is the human experience,

I can’t remember another way.”

Everyone does,

That way I don’t.


Brittan began writing poetry in June 2020. She uses poetry as a therapeutic exercise when revisiting homophobic traumatic memories and describing life with BPD & Bipolar 2. She uses poetry as a medium for self-expression when discussing Buddhismlesbianism, and platonic love.

One thought on “We’re All Mad Here

  1. Beautiful imagery in this paradox: “Pushed over the edge without falling.” How did they float? And how can we? Can their parachute pull the cord on ours?
    Beautifully haunting last line: “Everyone does, that way I don’t.” I think everyone does have some tendencies (mental or behavioral) that are listed in various disorders…but since they don’t have them to a certain extent or compounded with other symptoms, they’re not diagnosed. In that way I think it’s true that “everyone does.” I still remember some of the thought patterns a therapist taught you about and tried to help you avoid…and when I find myself falling into those, I try to channel your therapist (Julie?). 🙂 I hope it helps you feel less alone to hear that. I don’t know what it’s like to live with BPD or Bipolar 2…and I’m sorry that you do. How can I help?

    Liked by 1 person

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