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I Do Not Speak, a poem by Wiktoria

Here we go… My name is Wiktoria, I’m 16 years old and currently still in school.

I wrote a poem called ‘I Do Not Speak’ earlier on this year which explores different aspects of my personal journey through various mental health issues which are often discussed yet rarely understood. Therefore, it was very important to me to share my own story including both sides of my battle with mental illness, as well as the process of my recovery.

In the beginning, my poem explores a theme of complex alienation and withdrawal from society and self, which soon evolves into a theme of learning to love and accept myself and my history, while also shining light on the fact that no matter how hard you hit rock bottom there is always a way out, and that no matter how ill you are you are worthy of help and recovery.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with Wiktoria Bak at Includem's Glasgow office

This is a picture from the day I read my poem to the First Minister at Includem's Glasgow office.

I have been insanely lucky to be supported by Includem through both my time of struggle and my process of recovery. Includem has supported me in times I needed it the most and in ways nobody else could have. They have put structure into my life when everything was crumbling to pieces and every one of my workers has inspired me in their own unique way and helped build me up into the person that I am today. There are no words in the world to describe how dedicated they are in helping their young people and I am proud to say that they have helped me change my life around for the better. Even though I don’t work with Includem anymore, I know they are always there on the other end of the phone when I need support.

Today, I couldn’t be any happier. My life is not perfect because, let’s be honest – there is no such thing as perfect! However, my life has balance. I have people around me that I know will support me through any storms that come my way. I’m in 6th year in school, working through my Highers hoping to get into university to study Paramedic Science in order for me to be able to help people in need, similarly to how Includem and other services cared and supported me.

Poetry, to me, is a coping mechanism. It gives me the opportunity to spill my feelings onto a page and be able to rationalise what is going on in my head on days where it feels like my thoughts are flying 100mph. So, if you’re still here reading this, give it a try sometimes. 😊

Wiktoria

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