I’m Fine

A couple of years ago while out walking I met an old work colleague.  He was a “stiff upper lip, pull yourself together” sort of person who thought that people with a mental illness were either “lead swingers” or homicidal maniacs.  After a brief exchange of greetings we parted.  The following is a record of that exchange of words and what I thought at the time, that meeting was also my inspiration for I’m Fine.

I’m Fine


Hello Chris, you’re looking well, I thought you were ill!


Look into my eyes; see the countless private tears they have wept

See the overwhelming weariness, which makes my body ache

See the sleepless nights too many to remember

See the turmoil and pain which is my mind


Feel the moods so dark, so powerful they have substance

Feel the weight of thoughts so heavy they cannot move

Feel the blameless guilt and shame so undeniable

I want to shout SORRY‼ For what I don’t know


All of these hidden behind a thin veneer

A veneer of false happiness and well-being

These and so much more

Just the tip of the iceberg that is Depression


Should I say?  No, I’d better not.

Thank you, yes, I’m fine, how are you?

Chris Rugg

November 2008


Since that encounter in 2008 I have met many people who are prejudiced against those of us with mental illness.  And as much as I try to explain to these people that mental illness is not particular in who it attacks, and that no one is immune from it.  I have had very little success, that is why I  joined Time to Change.  If you feel as strongly as I do about the stigma, prejudice and discrimination which those with a mental illness have to face every day.  Then please join Time to Change at http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/ .

Thank you



About wurzelmeone

I'm a mental health advocate, sometime writer, dreamer and according to some friends a part-time alchemist!
This entry was posted in Depression, Discrimination, Mental Health, mental health poetry, mental illness, Patient poetry, Poetry, Prejudice, Stigma, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to I’m Fine

  1. keatsbabe says:

    This is a fabulous poem. So many people ask how we are and we know that if we actually told them we would embarass them, make them feel guilty or , and this is by far the most feared response, shun us in the future for fear of what we might say or do. One of my best firends still thinks I can pull myself together just by realising how lucky I am and how grateful I should be. There is no changing them, so in the end these things are never touched upon again. Lovely post Chris..

    • wurzelmeone says:

      The problem is that they refuse to believe that mental illness even exists, yet they are all too willing to believe the “mad axeman” misreporting which we see far too often! As you will see I am trying to get as many people as possible to join Time to Change, I’ve even posted I’m Fine on Twitter to try and reach as many people as possible. I’m glad you liked this post, I did wonder if I should post it or not, thanks confirming that I made the right choice.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention I’m Fine | Wurzelmeone's Blog -- Topsy.com

  3. Wyatt Rox says:

    This a fabulous post and may be one that needs to be followed up to see what goes on

    A chum sent this link the other day and I am excitedly awaiting your next blog post. Carry on on the high quality work.

    • wurzelmeone says:

      Thank you for the compliment Wyatt, it is good to know that my blog is being read and understood. Perhaps you could share the link with your friends, as my readership is very limited at the moment. there are more blogs on wurzelmeone.wordpress.com , two of which are about mental distress.

  4. I saw your webblog via yahoo the other day and absolutely find it irresistible. Carry on the excellent work.

  5. Janine Taylor says:

    I have this poem on my fridge Chris. It’s fabulously written and gives me goosebumps….It totally sums up how I feel some days. It’s a shame other people cannot appreciate how hard it is for sufferers of mental distress. If we could ‘get over it’ and ‘pull ourselves together’ don’t you think we would do!! We don’t choose this for ourselves. However, I sometimes see it as a blessing as the experience does open your eyes to the experiences of others and it makes me appreciate the good times.
    You really do have a talent for writig Mr Rugg! Ever thought of writing a book?

    • wurzelmeone says:

      The fact that you still have ‘I’m Fine’ on your fridge is a huge compliment, thank you. You are right when you say that the experience is almost a blessing in disguise, because without it there is so much we wouldn’t see, and so many people we would be unable to understand and perhaps help. And it does make the good times seem even better. Maybe a book will come one day………….who knows?!

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