I am More than My Mental Health

Poems in memory of Kes, a wonderful young man who died before his time, but who brought joy into the lives of many.

Kes was a young man who was part of the PFG Doncaster community. Kes was a beautiful person inside and out. He was immensely intelligent. He was at one with nature. He used to talk to the birds every morning and he used to wear feathers in his hair.  He was also a musician and played the keyboards. Sadly his life was full of difficulty and he died in tragic circumstances in December 2018. His death was entirely unnecessary and many of us feel that, and that he had been badly let down by the system.

Kes is remembered with great love at PFG Doncaster. These poems honour this amazing young man.

Preface by Michéle Beck

We did it whilst in lockdown - "I am more than my mental health" is a collaboration poem for mental health awareness week 2020 in loving memory of Kez, who we miss dearly every day. You all continue to amaze and inspire me with your resilience, strength and dedication to each other. Well done. As a dear and wise friend of ours once said: “I am not the sum of my parts”

I am more than my mental health

These things may not be recognised by me,
it’s hard you see, to think of the good
when things feel bad and your default emotion is sad,
but if you peel back the veil, you’ll see
I’m not so frail, there’s more to me than I let myself be.

I am more than my mental health
I am more than any wealth
I am more than my inner hell
I am more than my outer shell.

I’m more than an empty vessel of depression
I am more than an anxious, crippled mess
Not just a quivering, shaking being
I’m so much more than your eyes have seen.

I am more than all the bruises, the cuts, the scars,
More than the act I play
I am more than the battle I face everyday
I am where I belong, I am me and I am strong.

I am a mum, a daughter, a sister, an aunty and a friend
I am a person with a heart and soul.
And when this rollercoaster has taken its toll
I am a fighter who won’t lose control.

I am the complexity of my solitude
I am a man that needs no forgiveness
for I have forgiven myself
for all the sum of my parts even
my mental health.

We love and miss you Kez – sleep well

This poem was written collectively by members of PFG Doncaster as part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 and the group was supported by their Creative Writing Tutor Michéle Beck. 

Poem For Kes

Feathers of Kestrels Strength Calling Me at Winters Dawn
Summoning My Soul to Connect with His White Eyed Spirit, Transcending Time and Space.Clouds of Anticipation Adorned My Face,As We Meet Again Through the Porthole of Hope.Alas Again Another Tear Rolls Down My Cheek.Waiting for the DayWe Paint Our FacesTogether AgainIn the Tree Canopy in the Sky.

This poem was written by Glyn Butcher shortly after Kes' death.

The publisher is the Centre for Welfare Reform.

I am More than My Mental Health © PFG Doncaster 2020.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews.

Story | 23.05.20

mental health, Peer Support, England, Story

Also see