Hannah is 25 and was diagnosed with bipolar at the age of 18. Whilst the diagnosis has been a huge part of her life she's clear it doesn't define her: "I'd just say it makes the journey a little more interesting. Bipolar isn't easy and I find it difficult to figure out my triggers which often results in either a manic or depressive episode" she says. 

Recently Hannah has discovered poetry as an outlet to express who she is, how she's feeling and her experiences: "I find that writing things down in a more creative way than simply journaling has completely inspired me to write the truth of what is really going on inside and the things that matter. I think it's so important to speak up about how this often-hidden condition impacts individuals and I now plan to do more in my own unique way."

Hannah has kindly shared with us one of her poems and we are delighted to be able to share it with you:

 

When you're high,

But there's no knowing why.

And they say that you're manic.

Which just sends them in a panic,

You do all that they say.

But the noise and chaos won't go away,

The sleepless nights and constant energy.

The whacked-up ideas, paranoia and just an overload of sensory,

I may be singing and dancing, but in truth this is incredibly demanding.

I want it to stop, for it all to just go silent,

For some peace and for that I need some guidance.

They call it a crisis but with that comes varying meds,

That they play around with in a game to try and fix your head.

The mention of hospital sends a quiver down your spine,

I can't go back to that again, I will not cross that line.

I will be in the community, that's my own aim,

The agreement of that is I'm safe they proclaim.

I can sense them judging, patronising though as they try to understand,

But in their eyes, I'm just another grain of sand.

I'm slipping through the cracks and losing who I am,

This is not beautiful, there is no glitz and glam.

For now, the world keeps spinning,

And I sure as hell don't feel I'm winning.

I just need some support and a friend,

To hold my hand and I hope I'll get through this in the end.

One day I'll look back at this season,

And see what I've overcome and find out the true reason.

But for now, I'm just done in,

Fighting a battle that consumes from within.