Just the other week, 14-yr-old poet and future tattoo artist, Alex C., found herself grappling with some difficult life issues — ones that were not easily diffused through poetry or art. Troubled and depressed, Alex was concerned that if she wasn’t able to fully tackle some of her more worrisome matters, she would be forever lost to the downward spiral that had become her life. The truth is, it’s hard to be a teenager, and there aren’t many teens who would disagree.
So, Alex reached out for help by enlisting her parents in what would be a strange and surreal journey back to mental health and well-being. The young woman asked to voluntarily be placed in a psychiatric hospital for observation. Her parents listened and acted immediately, having been advised by experts to take very seriously the cries of help issued by children.
If a child is in emotional pain, you listen. You don’t walk away and you don’t leave them on their own. You listen and then you act.
Alex was checked into the adolescent psychiatric ward, for a week of care.
Now, if you put an artistically inclined teenage poet in a psych ward, you can probably expect at least one predictable result: a poem about the experience.
This is the poem that Alex C. wrote upon being released from what she affectionately calls, “The Adolescent Unit”.
Back From the Dead
by Alex C
Back from the dead
She thinks she’s found herself again
Dried tears on her face
Goosebumps on her skin
Her hospital gown sways when she walks
Caught in her feet as she strolls up the stairs
The chairs were plastic
Her hairs stood up
Upon the looks of stories untold
A shattered room of broken souls
Some kids couldn’t get through it
A strange little place called the adolescent unit
Spared roses for the lives saved
Bloody noses for the tried and failed
It’s a lifestyle, not a choice
Behind the blood and scars, you’ll hear the danger in her voice
With dilated eyes
Denying what her denial denies
A bottle of pills means a quick way of death
But he sighs
It means “let’s get fucked up”
Up in the clouds
He’s crowned the king
Doesn’t feel so much like king
When he’s crying and relapsing
The walls weren’t walls
More like pages in a book
But a book so different
Surreal yet so innocent
Innocence is gold
Folded underneath a pile of crooked trust and acid dust
Or burrowed in the holes in the wall
Just like the anger from when you rise and fall
Fall down to rock bottom
Who knew rock bottom was so fun?
But to get to that place you need to be tazed and stunned?
Or have your hand on a gun?
Your mind on destruction
Expression so blank that you cant even function
The adolescent unit
It goes by fast
At least the memories last