In the Abyss – By Charlotte Farhan
no longer seen
in our minds
all wrapped up
in the abyss
my only company.
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A Kind of Healing – By Charlotte Farhan
smoke into the night
smoke into the morning
a kind of healing
reflecting the storm
shackled to distraction
narratives of others
is not peaceful
it does not recharge
smoke fills my view
smoke keeps me amused
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Somewhere Among the Clouds – By Charlotte Farhan
Somewhere among the clouds
my mind reflects back at me
creating faces in moments
telling stories with whipped cream
floating overhead they enshroud
changing colours of our family tree
searching for every branches atonement
shadows engulf my daydreams
Somewhere among the leaves
I am laid down to rest
foliage surrounds my anatomy
craving the light from beneath
rustling below my knees
knowing I am dispossessed
with the numbness of apathy
as the earth moves underneath
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My emotions are encased in glass,
self preservation enclosed them there,
in a mason jar
for safe keeping,
fear like a snake in the grass,
simply to scare,
in my jar
I am left weeping.
Fragility is never a choice,
does the ant get to choose it’s height?
does a butterfly design it’s wings?
I hear “stay safe”
from my little voice,
“this jar is airtight”,
Outside is not for me
for I see the sadness it brings.
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AM I REAL?
The nature of reality perplexes most,
nothing can “be . . . ” and “not be . . . “,
so when I tell you I feel like a ghost,
please believe me.
Anything outside your mind can be unsure,
but how does something exist?
Does one have to have thunk it – to be sure,
of flesh and bone is all I consist.
Am I mentally constructed,
are my thoughts my own?
or possibly I came to this earth abducted,
or maybe I arose from my tombstone.
Is my conscious mental state related to my body?
for I see myself below,
separating self as I disembody,
left behind is but a puppet show.
The earth is like water inside a fishbowl,
diminished in size and dimensions,
all unreachable as it slips into a black hole,
staring at my own reflection.
This piece of art and poetry addresses how it feels to be in a state of depersonalisation or derealisation. I experience both as symptoms of my anxiety disorders (OCD, GAD, CPTSD and AGORAPHOBIA) as well as my borderline personality disorder.
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These sensations and feelings of being unreal or not being able to know what is real or not – have been causing me issues since I was a very young child. The worst times were when my voice used to speed up and I would hear myself speaking a million miles per hour, but others around me heard me speaking at a normal speed, or when I felt objects were to large or too small causing me to question all perspective, but by far the most disturbing is when you feel like an illusion, like a left over imprint.
As someone who has a degree in philosophy and who has studied philosophy for over 10 years now, “the theory of mind” was and still is one of my favourite subjects within philosophy. It has simultaneously helped me to accept that none of us truly know what reality is, as well as further perplex me and leave me questioning everything even more.
There is not a lot of understanding when it comes to these disorders, often when people do not understand something or have not felt the things being described – it is easy for them to dismiss. However – why would anyone assume their reality is the same as another? There is evidence that we all experience the world differently without having any kind of mental illness or neurological damage.
How am I to know what you see… and how are you to know what I see…?
When I am touched does it feel the same as when you are touched?
When I eat do I taste the same flavours and interpret the textures the same as you?
Do I see the world as a “glass half empty kind of place or half full”?
Do I think the same thoughts?
The list goes on and on…
It is never as simple as “reality is reality”.
So question these ideas more, never judge another persons reality to be wrong or fake and remember that 1 in 5 people will have a mental illness at some point in their lives and some of us will have it for life.
End the stigma and learn how to better understand others and their reality.
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whipping eyelids open in panic,
heartbeats pound at my chest,
a frame of mind completely manic,
inside is emptiness,
with nausea rising as if volcanic,
anxieties flood and infest,
the compulsions arise,
a lump in my throat,
memories pushed down,
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Closing my eyes,
seeing emptiness, however endless,
hearing sounds of days already had,
voices of lonely goodbyes.
In cornfields we escaped,
laying in beautiful memories beneath future possibilities,
Time is only relevant to my existence,
numbers, hands, faces – clocks stop.
Pendulous over my metaphorical cliff.
Blue surrounds me,
mist kisses me as tears precipitates,
waves crashing below.
Dreaming takes forever,
passing hours – drifting.
Life tries to wake me with flickers of light,
clasping tightly at the reigns of this delusion.
The breeze carries a scent with it,
brushing my hair against my face,
familiarity sinks into the pit of my stomach,
I know this place.
This residence has no name,
no directions given, or maps written.
Stepping through a cerebral maze,
with the house getting further away.
This world between states,
of mind and power.
My consciousness hesitates,
not wanting to let me go.
Art and Poetry by Charlotte Farhan
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There are parts of my brain,
people call sick,
inside things can’t configure – to the accepted standard.
There were times when fitting me into a box,
was a main concern.
Or blame – who’s left her out too long
too often, too little.
How about inside,
thoughts, dreams, the others in here?
Feelings which overwhelm,
sensory information begins to concentrate,
like compressed gas in a cylinder.
Pain is all that can be felt,
physical surges through my spinal cord,
to my brain – the host.
Being born with this disposition,
having an environment devastated.
Parents – the same chemistry
Clueless in their own damnation
However happily participating
in their haphazard irony.
Not typical, not normal,
they said and continue to claim.
“she’s weird, she doesn’t look me in the eye”
they whisper whilst backing away.
Thought of as rude, too direct,
judgements made habitually,
privileges left unchecked.
My cognition brought into question,
By those who never had to confabulate.
The world is not odd to me,
as it is all I can see,
you need to cure me.
Not trusting my words and memories,
Art and poetry by Charlotte Farhan.
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Chained to the Past – By Charlotte Farhan
Chained to my past like a prisoner, with only sorrow to comfort me,
at night the mattress swallows me whole, it becomes pitch black,
let me escape this anguish, this nectarous misery – let me be free,
my torment clenches me tight with gripped arms – holding me back.
Recollection chokes me with the thought of violence,
memories leave me for dead, crying for liberation,
no ability to speak up – I offer silence,
chains are pulled tighter constricting me in my damnation.
Punishment is not a fetish when it is kept unseen,
my head is pulsating, the pressure is mounting in my veins,
steel and blood mixed with sheets I am always unclean,
whose hands are those, the ones holding my chains?
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