Arm with a tattoo with poetry written on it which is the line quoted in the story about making the bed

Warning: this post discusses suicidal feelings. Help always available from Samaritans on 116 123

Each day I will get up and make my bed, because each night it is me who has to lay in it.

August 30th 2016, after what had been four incredibly difficult years in what had been a very difficult life, I found myself sat on the cliff edge at Beachy Head, a notorious suicide spot on the South Coast of England.

I was at a point in my life where I couldn't go on struggling anymore. A point of utter crisis and desperation.

I had been seen sat on the cliff edge for an hour or two. I have no real memory of it apart from one thing.

An off-duty police officer was paragliding and he called out to me as he passed through the air. He approached me on foot and began talking to me, which brought me out of my catatonic state.

I was detained by the local Police under section 136 of the mental health act and taken to a place of safety.

Eventually I was referred to the community mental health team, seen by a Doctor and it was at this point that the BPD diagnosis was made.

From that point I saw myself on square one of a snakes and ladders board, a fresh start, square one, with what was going to be an up and down journey into understanding and learning to live with and manage my Borderline Personality Disorder.

I joined some mental health support charity groups, one in particular was IPSUM in Swindon.

This is where I started recording my poetry. People heard it, liked it and this encouraged me to write more.

The poem "I Have To Lay In It" was written around July 2017 and tackles periods including a suicide attempt in front of my ex (the mother of my youngest of three sons) the chaotic life I'd led, the addiction to prescription medication, recreational substances, and my alcoholism.

At the time of writing this I am 59 days sober after a 6 month period of drinking and isolation.

My poem searches for redemption, for forgiveness, and is an apology to those around me who I put through so much pain, so much bloody pain.

A poem which I will continue to perform.

A piece which I will continue to share.

written by scott


Help always available from Samaritans on 116 123

Tattoo of a thistle and shamrock

My dad came from Glasgow, Scotland (the thistle) and my mum came from Galway, Ireland (the shamrock).

When I was growing up in Kilburn most of my friends had the same Irish heritage as me. It was only when I left school that I realised that I didn’t really belong anywhere.

I wasn’t Irish or Scottish enough for the Irish or Scottish community or English enough for my neighbours.

My parents married in a time when you stayed together no matter what happened. They were married for 52 years.

I didn’t get on very well with my mum but I did with my dad. I wasn’t the person she wanted me to be so she was never happy with what I did or didn’t do.

She was very ill towards the end of her life; she had Parkinson’s disease for 15 years. My dad wasn’t ill until a few months before he died. He refused to go to a doctor so when he was too ill to put up a fight, I had to take him to A&E; he died in the hospital a month later.

I got this tattoo done for the first anniversary of my father’s death.

The tattoo is a constant reminder of the fact that I have different cultures as part of my DNA and I am proud to have them too.

written by ann


A tattoo of a pink triangle on a man's back

My tattoo is of a pink triangle. The symbol appropriated by the Nazis in their so-called concentration camps to mark the “homosexuals”.

For years I struggled with myself, with my family, with society, to understand and be who I am. A few words cannot do justice to describing that struggle.

My struggle was of uncertainty. Not knowing whether things might ever improve. Uncertainty as to what I thought. Was I at fault? Was I to blame? Was I ever going to be part of something, or confined to the margins forever?

And so I struggled.

My struggle was of pain. The physical and psychological pain of bullying and fear. The pain of knowing pain. The pain of world weariness. The pain that, little by little, tear by tear, snatched-smile-from-a-stranger cheer, I found a way to own, and ultimately convert into a power for me.

My struggle was of love. L O V E.

Now I found my power, the courage to be me, with the support of those who have gone before in this struggle and those around me now, I am never going back to hiding or fear.

I am proud to be me and the pink triangle is part of who I am. Nazis may have used it for evil purposes but like others before me, I reclaim that symbol as mine, one of celebration, joy and life.

More than that it is of love. Love is all we need. Don’t complicate this life with those things that suck life and love away.

This was not, is not, will never be, just my struggle.

Between my shoulder blades sits a beautiful, small piece of art. My tattoo. My symbol. My pain. Me.

Between my shoulder blades, poking out above the collar of my shirt, rising from my core to my head and out to the world.

Look and see. Look and read. Look and learn.

written by simon