January 4, 2020

What is it to struggle with mental illness?

Shay Fallon

PoetryHer Name Is/Was Alice, 2019

As mental illness is on the rise, with young people in modernity learning the pains of anxiety and depression like never before, it is of high importance that the topic of mental health and disorders are faced. Through the medium of poetry, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s tales of Alice and the mythical world of Wonderland, this piece explores the mentality of an icon and her struggle with various disorders. Alice symbolises humanity today, and although being known as a hero and legend of children’s literature, this portrayal considers the pain which she faces in her journey. Echoes of PTSD are for those haunted by memory, insomnia for those who cannot sleep, depression for those who struggle with joy, and anxiety for those who live in fear. Alice is to challenge and represent those who suffer from mental health related issues, and to let them know even heroes can feel scared. It is not wrong to feel your mind close in around you. It is for society to challenge these disorders, and to challenge this fantasy of Wonderland. To feel normal, even if you are not like everyone else, is the message of Alice.