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I’m well, I’m not ill, I’m just fine


One of our regular bloggers Ray, touches on National Autism Awareness week, World Poetry Day and Mental Health Awareness week all in this entry.

As I write this it is world Autism awareness week, World Poetry Day has just passed and Mental health awareness week is soon to be upon us; I mention this for several reasons, in previous posts I have indicated that I have a specific interest in mental health, having suffered a brief episode of depression following the death of my son, many years ago. My grandson is on the autism spectrum and so naturally I have a declared interest there too, mental health issues such as OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) can be associated with autism, as well as low self-esteem and confidence issues; their parents / carers are having to deal with extreme stresses, sleep deprivation and other battles (with social, educational and health authorities) it is not an enviable position to be in and 88% have had their own mental health affected (The National Autism Society )

So with these great awareness weeks in mind I have attempted to put a poem together, I apologise in advance to any English teachers reading this as I have not written it to any recognised poem structure. For the perfectionists and purist it will be torturous but I hope to capture an essence of child carers and in the true spirit of a poem it should be about expression.

Whether they are the main carer or not, any caring child growing up in an environment where there is serious illness, be it physical or mental will not want to add to the situation by expressing their own needs or wants and this can be detrimental to them. There is another school of thought that I also subscribe to and that is that the child becomes mentally mature quicker and more compassionate but I am not a psychiatrist nor a poet, as you will see.

I’m well, I’m not ill, I’m just fine.
My brother can’t feed himself
I can, so I do
My brother can’t say what he wants,
I can, but I don’t

My brother can’t sleep without my dad near,
I can but I can’t, I hear
My brother can’t explain his pain
I can, but I daren’t

“I am so proud of how you calmly cope,
You understand his needs are great,
A few days , a break
to the hospice, we can but hope”

His health dictates, his health is poor,
He smiles, he laughs, whilst
Knocking on Heaven’s door

To show the hurt, to feel the pain
It’s not what they want
But I am here too, can’t think like that,
Where’s your shame?
I don’t have pain

Stand by your parents
Even though you’re only nine
We’re going to the park
It’ll be fun, I’m not ill,
I’m well, I’m just fine

Since I was two
I’ve always been good
I’ve helped around home, as I grew
I care about him and I care about them
I am not ill, I can’t complain

I worked hard at school
And was always good
Polite, caring, just as I should
I don’t make any demands

I don’t want ‘to create’
I have my own space, to read
In my room, alone,
It’s fine – it’s just fate

I know not to ask
I know not to shout
I know not to scream
I know we can’t go out

We have all we need
We never go without
They work hard,
There is no doubt.

I help to take care of him
And my new little brother too
I don’t mind, I love them both
I’m not ill, got to help
Got to get them through

I’m much older now and he needs my help
I know not to ask
I know not to shout
My brother has gone, I helped him through

His spirit is strong
As mine was on his Day
They couldn’t cope
To send him away

I know not to scream
I know not to shout
My son’s health dictates
His health is poor
I know we can’t go out

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