By: Nick Becker, BeckTrek Poetry
I cannot say how my dad died. Instead I just say it’s really personal,
but you know that makes it worse and all, how we can’t talk about suicide,
so I guess I’ll go along and I’ll put up a divide.
I’ll let the shame of a parent who took his own life stop my strife as I shrink in
height and cringe, since then this is when I had an idea, why can’t we be open
instead of being broken when it comes to suicide.
We put up a high tide of NO don’t talk about that,
it’s not something you share, it’s like do you even care.
If my dad died of a heart attack, well in fact people seem to sympathize more because
it’s easier to hear for the ear,
see the fear is in suicide,
but I feel it’s very vital to share this recital
and change some words in the bible. Heart disease you can die from,
now some die from bipolar disorder, it’s all in the body that Christ made and some enter a dark
cave that is inescapable.
So I lay this all out on the dinner table... Can we treat mental illness the same as physical illness?
If your friend had cancer you would answer the phone call,
but if your friend was severely depressed would you confess that you would just leave him
alone as he crawls up in a ball and you hit the mall.
Hey y’all I want some equality for mental illness, as we are not evil villains milling around in
society, we are misunderstood filled with lots of anxiety.
We get untruthful labels like killer and offender, when that is improper,
we are creative caterpillars who deserve respect
who are infectious with our love, we are brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, so why bother, why
bother, because it shakes my soul when I walk on by and hear lies about who I am, I am just like
you, only a brain chemical separates us,
try to frame that in your head, that is why no one understands mental illness,
because it is invisible, well I am not invisible,
my disorder is invisible, but I am visible.
I’m soaking up this brokenness as I go from mixed to fixed
and tear down the bricks of stigma, as I learn to let the hate dissipate as I control my own fate,
because I believe it’s never too late to start a revolution,
see I see a solution, as I want to make a contribution outside of an institution,
as I believe that starting from evolution, that mental is just like physical, no longer mystical but
understandable, not a fable nor a label but the staple of geniuses,
so stop being mean to us, from my heart to your heart, we are not that far apart.
Now I’m going to wrap my arms around my daddy’s neck and tell him that I turned the dark, broke path
of suicide into the brightest love rainbow that can’t resist being visited or listened to, as I stop one
suicide at a time, you’ll never be forgotten or leave my mind, Dad.
Check out Nick's YouTube channel BeckTrek Poetry to see this poem (How Can We Not Talk About Suicide?) brought to life and more mental health poems posted weekly!
Nick is a volunteer for NAMI Dane County and was the recipient of this year's Youth Voice Award.