Ward Stories
(Column: Ward Stories)
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In this column we have presented poems in many styles and
formats but on a common theme. Karen Miller takes us back
to our "roots" by sharing with us her own personal ward story.
In reading the last five lines of "Myriads of Hospitalizations",
I am moved to applaud Karen for her valiant struggle, and to
remind us all that, yes, we are survivors!

Building 24
by Karen Miller

they put us all together
violent and suicidal
homicidal and depressed
I sat huddled on the bathroom floor
comforted by the new wool coat
that my mother bought me
as a birthday present
the floor was cold
I shivered and sobbed
how long must I endure
this madness
a young girl lay down beside me
she had fallen asleep
she was my friend
it was good to have a friend
to share things with
it helps you from feeling so alone
especially in building 24
the day shift is leaving
i hear the door being locked
it's four pm
they're doing roll call
they chase us out of the bathroom
into the dayhall
and we must answer
as our names are being called fifteen minutes later I hear
"dining room ladies!"
dinner is ready
another meal in hell

Myriads of Hospitalizations
by Karen Miller

Myriad of hospitalizations
I was entangled in a delusion
Of paranoia and confusion
I was a prisoner of
My distorted mind
Unrealistic ideas
Captured
My delusions and
Thoughts
Consecutive hospitalizations
Brought upon
By being
Non compliant
With my medication
And therapy
My life was in
Massive disarray
Until one day
A change in my life
Took place
My paranoia subsided
The severe
Hallucinations no longer
Existed in my
Life
My life had chanegd
After twenty years
Of hospitalizations
I was free
Of hearing
Voices
And benig paranoid
I suddenly became
Motivated
My suicidal behavior
Had dissipated
The hell that
I had experienced
Had vanished from
My life forever
The door was unlocked
The demons had finally
Been set free
I vow
To remain determined
To overcome my struggles
And difficulties
With my mental illness
But most of all to
Love myself unconditionally
And treat myself with
Respect
I am a survivor
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