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Beast Within – A Poem About Mental Illness

Image by Willgard Krause from Pixabay

Watch this poem as a music video below.

Beast Within

by Scott Ninneman

I hate this thing that lives in me
A raging force I cannot flee

A snarling beast with razor teeth
A grievous fiend hidden beneath

I hate the song it loves to sing
Despair and angst both loud will ring

Cruel voices chant my ev’ry flaw
Consuming thoughts its fangs will gnaw

I hate the pain that floods my mind
Faces I’ve hurt all intertwined

Mistakes I’ve made each time I failed
A past that haunts and keeps me jailed

I hate the arms that crush my chest
They shake my soul to block my rest

Forbidding breath or calls for aid
Reminding all there’s debts unpaid

I hate the growls, menacing threats
The images it ne’er forgets

The pounding of it’s thund’rous feet
The lies it tells ever repeat

I hate the rage that makes me scared
Banishing those who might have cared

The way it turns my heart to ice
Yet holds me fast within its vice

I hate the storm induced by it
Rampage of words, each one will hit

Cold swirling hail, destructive winds
Black rising sea never rescinds

I hate the chains that keep us bound
One life, two hearts, until the ground

Our past and fate forever joined
These words of ours forever coined

Of man and Beast, which one survives?
It seems to be the one who thrives

The sharpened teeth dull gentle eyes
Ever as fierce despite my cries

This beast is mine, it lives in me
I dream in vain, it will not flee

We share one mind until the end
So I must learn to call it friend

Poet’s Note:

Having a mental illness feels like there’s another being living inside of you. It’s impossible to describe the intensity of having your worst enemy live in your mind. Only another mental illness warrior can fully understand the pain and torment.

Even so, the beast can be tamed. I’ve never found a way to banish it, but I’ve made it less destructive. This beast in me isn’t going anywhere, so I must learn to work with it. I hope someday we find a lasting truce. My story is a long one, but I’m learning more every day.

Until next time, keep fighting.

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Having a mental illness often feels like your worst enemy lives in your mind. This emotional poem describes how a poet with bipolar 1 feels inside. | #poem #poetry #bipolar #MentalHealthMatters
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