There is a darker side to mental ill-health which those who have been there don’t seek to gloss over. Inspired by a peephole (on display at Felixstowe Museum) Jeremy used his insight to imagine what the person on the other side of the door might have been going through in an era when less was understood about mental illness and fewer resources were available to treat it.

Look at me

Please look at me

My mind is filled with screams

There are voices

So many voices

My body hurts as I lie weeping on a floor

Rank with bodily smells

As my hands shake

I try to rise but

My legs and ankles

Crumble under the seclusion I feel

This is not who I am

But I sense the tensions of my being

Muscles sensitive to touch

Pressure that irritates

And brings anger into my mind

Don’t restrain me

I pray deliverance of this tortured soul

I ask for an ending to this existence

As the voices crave me actions

To escape the prison that keeps them

And I will no longer suffer the loneliness

Of the hunger that continues to destroy

This being before you

And as the sadness consumes

This world that I know

This is where I no longer want to be

So give me the tools of salvation

Please don’t just look at me

As you look at me

Jeremy, 2012