The destruction of an ordinary life aged 32 and a half by Thomas Smith

It’s not as simple as she betrayed me
Or I betrayed her, it’s more like our minds betrayed us
You hadn’t kissed me in six months
We last made love before Christmas and you barely
Hugged me since. But then I’d barely hugged you
Two years old I’m sitting on someone’s shoulders through
A field of wheat I can see my brother he is four we are happy
I fell in love with a girl of twenty one years
Who was bright with hope and passion
I was infatuated with her simply because I was
Maybe you could tell my heart had strayed
Even though my mind resisted, and my body stayed true
Four years old and my mother walks me to school in the
Morning, she is more nervous than I am
Bipolar is a broad medical term for a group of people
Whom sit on an mental health spectrum
It takes several recorded Manic or Hyper-manic episodes
And several major or chronic episodes of depression
Before a diagnosis can be established
8 years old I am crying at my brothers birthday party
Because I want a present as well
I was so angry at my own betrayal of love
I made myself believe you were the one who strayed
I lied to myself to make my own feelings right
But I know now that things aren’t right or wrong
They just are what they are, a million shades of grey
16 years old and I am on my first date going to the
Cinema to watch a John Travolta film and kiss – badly
So that night I was pent up with rage at my straying
The night I came home from away and I wasn’t wearing
My ring, symbolising the abandonment
Of my hope for me and you
I’m so sorry I screamed out my hearts refusal to feel for you
20 years old I move to Glasgow to be with my first true
Love, she wore amazing charity shop jumpers with style
I overheard once someone wonder out loud
If there is a blood test for mental illnesses
It’s a wonderful idea, maybe there should be
Maybe I would have kept the ordinary life I am now denied
Maybe the sea of rage wouldn’t have risen up inside of me
22 Years old I am lucky enough to be buying my
First house I have a 14 inch TV, a hoover and excitement
I wouldn’t have found a shovel and tried with all
My might to kill my own father, because of the lies
Spread all through my inside, he didn’t die
But that was just another part of my ordinary
Life crumbled away, another stain on my brain
24 years old and I am wearing a suit having my first
Interview for a job as a manager for a clothes shop
When the police came, I went with them peacefully
I had vented my rage fully, my life now in pieces
Having destroyed each element I held with a fools pride
My marriage effectively pulled apart like a spider’s legs
My job held by a whisper and my family shattered
26 years old and I am breaking up with my first true
Love for reasons which now no longer make any sense
Between 1 in a 100 and 1 in a thousand people
Are thought to have a form of bipolar, when sitting
On a tube train I often wonder who has it in my carriage
Perhaps that old lady who keeps tutting at people
Perhaps the train driver who will later crash the train
28 years old and I am lucky enough to be wearing a pink
Jumper and waiting for my wife to be to walk up the aisle
Incarceration came naturally it felt right at first
Paranoia and panic soon swept over me, I was being locked in
My perceived freedoms taken away like shoelaces
From a depressive, I howled at the moon like a lunatic
I pretended I was right I trusted no-one
30 years old and I am celebrating my birthday surrounded by friends
We eat Japanese food at a local Restaurant drinking sake and beer
I keep myself alternating between terrified and
Occupied, my friends step back one by one
I am alone. I mostly stay in my room
Some days I march like a soldier
Other nights I sing like an angel
32 and a half years old and my father is calmly and slowly telling me I am
Having a Manic Episode But I am lost in a paranoid fantasy world
It was the height of summer and the Ward was busy
Soon after I was out again. Still full of fury and doubt
I wanted to leave but I wasn’t ready to leave
To step into the debris of my once ordinary life
And bear witness to the fruit of my self-destruction

4 thoughts on “The destruction of an ordinary life aged 32 and a half by Thomas Smith

  1. So honest. So matter of fact. So moving. I like the construction, the back and forth in time. The extremely poignant details that ably draw that reality of lives caught up in this life.

    Another beauty of this piece is how the specific, original detail transforms what appears to be a personal, autobiographical revelation into a truth for all of us affected by this condition, which throughout history has been linked to creativity and high intelligence.

    Thank you for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A poem by Thomas Smith The destruction of an ordinary life aged 32 and a half by Thomas Smith | poetry from the frontera

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