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Hello again my Dear Old Friend - Anna Welch

Whispering sweet Nothings of pain, Which turn to screams in my brain,

You’re a thief, you bring night, bring strife, You steal joy, happiness, light and all life,

You break me, you beat me, you show me the edge, Then you whisper the reasons I’d be better off dead,

You tell me I’m lacking, that I’m -fill-the-blank-less, Then you find the solution – that I cease to exist,

I’m hurting, I’m breaking, but it’s never enough, You ask for the blood, for the pain, for the cuts,

I’m hollow and empty, there’s none left when you’ve gone, You’ve enslaved me again and your dirty works done,

And then I’m left waiting, alone when you’re gone.

But I know you’ll be back, it only makes sense,

You’re the constant, the comfort, my only defence,

When I’m weary and lonely and in need of a friend,

I know you’ll be waiting right through to our end,

I know you’re not leaving, won’t take the gun from my head,

‘Cause you’re here to ensure I’m no burden, though I long to be dead.

So thank you my friend, I’m a failure I know,

I’m useless, I’m worthless, but I want you to know,

I’m no longer alone, you’re not gone, even so,

Loved ones tell me I’m worth it, but low, so low,

I’m sorry my friend, but I know that you lie,

And I pray and I hope to do more than survive,

You’re there still, you’re a constant, you’ll never forgive, But on days when you’re gone I am learning to live,

When you tell me to kill me I’ll try to resist, Because perhaps it’s you who should cease to exist.

But we come together, we’re one, you and I, And maybe one day we will see eye to eye,

It’s scary, this blackness but I now realise, That the scariest thing lies behind my disguise.

Beneath it lies you, dark friend, and I, For neither can say the final ‘goodbye’.


"Hello, I'm Anna, I'm 22 and live in the UK. I am studying to become a vet at Cambridge. Animals are my passion. Their unconditional love has seen me through some tough times and I hope that in the future I will be able to help a few animals in their moment of need in return. I love sports (rowing, horse riding, running), music (I play piano, clarinet and bassoon), travelling or, failing that, a good book to escape into. I am hard working and determined. I enjoy my studies and try to put my all into them. But this has been made very difficult by my mental ill-health. I have been diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety and my psychiatrist has also given me a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. I struggle with suicidal thoughts, self harm and panic attacks. I have been struggling for years but I learnt to hide it all behind my mask. The mask broke for me 2 years ago, resulting in a complete mental breakdown and forcing me to reach out for help. I am now taking a leave of absence from university to try to find out what recovery can look like for me.

Writing helps me a lot. There is something healing about spilling your soul onto paper. When I am at my lowest I find it very hard to talk out loud. Finding a way to string a sentence together in conversation feels impossible. So I have learnt to turn to writing to try to explain what is happening for me to those around me. I have found it very hard to cope with the stigma that is attached to mental illness, especially from within my own family. Writing has become my way to try to explain to them just how crushing it can be and how I can’t ‘Just cheer up’. Paper was my confidante when I felt completely alone. Poetry has become one of my most vital coping mechanisms. I write it when the suicidal thoughts and my voices become overwhelming. I find that making a rhyme and a rhythm slows my thoughts down enough that I can find myself again."

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