Kamini Doobay, Class of 2017, wrote the following poem shortly after Schizophrenia was covered in class and she saw a patient with the disease in the hospital. From the author: “This is my attempt to write a narrative poem about a patient based in a time/culture when typical antipsychotics dominated and when there was much less awareness and understanding of the disease. Though the medications have improved and lives are better, we are far from perfect.”
I was 15 years old and had it all,
Straight A’s, the pretty girl, and varsity b-ball.
Handsome as ever and everyone’s friend,
This story would be perfect, from beginning to end.
That’s what I remember, wanting to be on top,
But after 15, it seemed like a steep drop.
Friend after friend become the enemy,
Poisoning my food and trying to kill me.
The once sweet roses lost their scent,
All that gave pleasure gives endless torment.
I don’t want to talk, to work or to dance,
No friendship, love and certainly no romance.
They stare me in the eyes: “You aren’t yourself.”
You are right. I see hitmen, goblins and this one tiny elf.
All of you conspire with greed, envy and hate,
I stand here with caution, until they open the gate.
You see, my world is very different from your own,
It is a magical one and I never feel alone.
With the ongoing voices and enchanting song,
I play my flute and know that this is where I belong.
I stopped taking the pills that cloud my mind,
I want to hear my friends, can’t leave them behind.
Haldol, Prolixin, Navane and Trilafon too,
Mess with my body and all I can do.
They say they got new drugs now, but I say “No thank you friend,”
I am here on the street until my life’s end.
Your rationality eludes me, my mind is open and free,
I can turn fantasies and dreams into a wild reality.
I said goodbye mamma, pap and my brother too,
I miss you and all the others, but have learned to make do.
You didn’t believe me and wanted to kill my fruitful mind,
I don’t want to live like you – boring, lifeless and blind!
Kamini Doobay is in ISMMS’s PORTAL program, as a MD/MSCR Candidate, Class of 2017.