Storying Sheffield

If you do not see me smile

A poem by Krystal Wilkinson.


If you do not see me smile
Or it doesn’t reach my eyes
It’s because I am exhausted
Of pretence, and all the lies.
I’m dreading to be asked “are you ok? What do you need”
I say “I’m fine” when deep inside I’m screaming “To be freed”.
I don’t want sympathy or pity, I don’t want to moan.
I don’t want to be seen as weak or selfish, or to be told “you’re not alone.”
I feel guilty for feeling out of control, it hurts so bad, how can this be?
It feels I can’t breathe and it hurts to do so, I’m tired and angry at me.
Yes I can count my blessings
Why else do you think I’m still here?
It is why I keep on going, despite the anxiety, pain and fear.
“There are so many people who are worse off”
“There are others struggling too”
“Stop being so stupid, and just get on, the world doesn’t revolve around you.”
Is that what everyone is thinking? I can’t keep these thoughts at bay
People say “it could be worse”, and it could be,
But it just doesn’t feel that way.
I’m tired of wearing a mask, when behind it I’m falling apart.
But no one really wants to hear about my broken body, mind or heart.
So im sorry if you think me selfish,
melodramatic or rude,
I am not purposefully trying to be, I’m just trying to get through.
I miss my family, they are all far away and I miss the country I called home,
Despite being surrounded by people I often feel isolated and alone.
Most of the time I don’t want to be seen, haggard by my mental health.
I don’t ask for help because I don’t want to be judged, I should just be able to do it myself.
Don’t assume what you do not see or understand, all You see is the tip of an iceberg
The part submerged beneath the waves is not visible to the world.
My pregnancy isn’t a burden, the pains aren’t why I’m like this,
It offends me that anyone would assume that’s my view when my last child is in the arms of Jesus.
I love my children beyond all words, it is they who keep me alive.
They are my little heartbeats and without them I would surely die.
If I knew how to get better, don’t you think that I would say?
I hate the darkness and the sadness, of course I don’t want to be this way.
If you think I can just snap out of it then you clearly don’t understand.
My invisible illness is not something that is controllable or planned.
You don’t have to say anything, I don’t expect to be understood.
I know those that care about me do whatever they can or could.
To those who’ve not judged, assumed or scorned me, I really cant thank you enough.
Just treating me like a person and giving me comfort has helped me feel more tough.
Mums at school you have been a support, and even being at my lowest low
Have never said anything other than kind words of encouragement and have helped more than you could know.
I don’t have the mental strength to talk about the depth of my feelings and why,
I just needed to get some of my feelings out there, and thought this was worth a try.
I’m not sure if anyone will read it, I don’t know how they’ll react if they do.
I’m not usually able to express feelings so personal through and through.
It’s unlikely I will say anything more, as I feel vulnerable and exposed,
But I know that I will only get much worse if I keep completely closed.

Krystal Wilkinson