I am both paralyzed and restless, my mind does not stop for fear yet does not move for the same fear that will drag me under.

When I am not gasping for air I breathe deeply, trying to take in some small sign of life and yet my chest is empty.

My skeleton and my conscience weigh me down, the only thing to stop me sinking is my mind that no longer feels part of this world.

My thoughts rush in like an army yet they are fighting for the wrong side, with swords drawn they tear down my remaining walls.

I no longer fear the pain that keeps me alive but I fear myself, when will I draw the line, how will I know when to stop?

From my mind, my body, my thoughts, and my feelings, I am departed.



A Letter to my anxiety

To anxiety/fear,

You leave me vulnerable and bleeding; alone, shaking, begging for relief. I would do anything to be free from you and believe me I’ve tried. You make me feel safe while you silently shrink my world until I am no more than a ball curled up on my bedroom floor.

And what of my dreams? What dreams? Who am I to dream when I am so afraid, too afraid to lift my head and face the day ahead of me. Yes, I am safe, yes I am breathing and yet you leave me breathless and panicked, wanting it all to stop, wanting to breathe no more not one single breath… I have now given you control. Even my mind flees from you desperately dissociating, hiding from my bitter and broken reality, one that I don’t want to exist in.

You have been a part of my life since I was young and I know you will always be with me. This I can accept if maybe you can allow me to catch my breath. I know I will never live a life entirely without fear, but I hope to live one where joy, dreams, and hope coincide. To do that, I acknowledge you and respect you but I also respect myself and I know that you will not continue to control me.




With me

He is with me.

When I open my eyes,

When I sleep at night,

When I take the first step outside that leaves me breathless with fear.


He is with me.

When I smile

or when I choke

back tears that refuse to fall the way they used to, now that I am numb.


He is with me.

When I am a prisoner

in my own home,

unable to do what I love, what I need to survive, to be myself.


He is with me.

But I hope for even a second,

that I am with him,

screaming, protesting,

before he thinks to take another prisoner.

Are You…?

Are you the man

that stole my body,

your given right as a man stronger than me?


Are you the man

that took my right to walk down my street

the moment you followed me,

refusing to let me slip away?


Are you the man

that with his touch made me ashamed,

afraid to look at myself

out of hate, out of spite, out of disgust?


Are you the man

that in a moment of pleasure

took weeks away from my life?


Are you the man?

Because if you are

I hope you never take from another

that which you took from me.

My name is…

My name is Sarah Carlisle.

I don’t know who I am or why I am here.

I am mental illness, I am trapped, I am barely breathing.

My name is Sarah Carlisle.

Sarah Carlisle means unworthy, unloveable, unfit, unwell.

Sarah Carlisle is defined by within, the demons that unwittingly eat away at all that Sarah Carlisle could have been.

My name is Sarah Carlisle.

I am strong, I am fighting, I am growing.

Sarah Carlisle may not be perfect or worthy but she will not be brought down. The demons will not win.

My name is Sarah Carlisle.

I don’t know who I am or why I am here but

I  am free.


I never knew love until I knew heartbreak. Love was agony. More than the throbbing pain in my head, more than knowing that I would never fit in, never be free. For once you have known love, you have known true loss when it goes away. When you realise that love was what you had to fight for and without it you are less than what you were before. I’m empty and betrayed.


How I loved to watch the sky let the rain fall and drip delicately against my window. I longed to be like those tiny droplets- free and unpredictable. The weatherman hardly ever got the weather right and I longed to be the unexpected storm- powerful and beautiful in its surprise.

The Break-up

After all the time that you were mine got swept up by the wind,

I find it hard to work out where I end and you begin,

Something changed, we’re not the same and yet my heart is broken,

Was it something that I did or words I left unspoken?

Though my path is dark and winding, my heart is full of love,

I’m a million miles away it seems and my head is trapped above.

Growing apart seemed so sudden as my heart clung to the hope,

Visions in my head still grew of a day we could elope

I was me before I knew you and me I’ll be again,

The only thing left for me to ask is after this pain when?



Implosion. A simple word to describe something collapsing into itself. In many ways mental illness is a type of implosion. Whether the pressure comes internally, externally, or a mixture of both, the feeling of eroding from the inside out is inescapable. When this feeling stabilises for a while, you can start to feel like a ticking time bomb waiting to implode at a moment’s touch. Truth is I’ve always wanted to believe that mental illness is an implosion because an implosion only impacts upon me. The reality is that giving up will impact upon almost everyone in your life to a varying degree whether you realise it or not. And so we must fight. Not because of the chance that we will explode, implode or breakdown but because of the small chance that we won’t. The chance that we still have something to offer this world against all hope. Keep fighting. Stay strong.


In a world of pain and suffering, why wouldn’t we all be obsessed with the illusion of bliss and freedom? Initially I saw happiness as an unattainable luxury, a state that keeps us naively alive with the promise of a better world that will never exist. While it is true that moments of happiness in life are a great part of what keeps us living, we need not be permanently happy to lead a fulfilling and  “happy” life. To some extent we choose how to view the world each day. We wouldn’t know true pain and devastation without having experienced some state of contentedness.  I am not going to spend my life convincing myself that I am happy when that may not be the truth, but I will make a concerted decision to try.