By Chad Gillies
Key Themes: poetry, mental health, depression, alcohol, family
It took me 33 years to figure out that I was mentally ill, yes that is my whole life. I can’t put my finger on the name of the disease I have but it wasn’t until recently that I admitted to myself that without a doubt I am absolutely depressed, dysfunctional, angry, or just plain mad!
From about the time I was five years old I started a process, to deny my dysfunction. The personality traits in my head would help me to avoid dealing with my problems by making everything on a grand scale!the gods were running a muck, and that was keeping me in denial. It was feast or famine, total happiness or complete hate flowing through me. There was no balance. Then by the time I was a teen I started to drink my fears away and hide in my dysfunction that way. I got by on my charming personality until I married and found that my anger was even making its way through the booze. So I quit drinking (at gun point!), I thought that would solve all my problems. Well it turned out that I was drinking because I was hiding from the anger, not that I was getting angry about my drinking! I was miserable, so I started looking at why I was so miserable. I went off on a spiritual way of life, it was fantastic. It gave me a healthy means to avoid admitting that I was sick. There was no creation in my life! I was dominated by fear and I started to work my way out of it. The more I worked on myself the more I realized that I needed to write, it was like alchemy, the more of my feelings I got out on paper the better I felt. Finally I was able to admit that I truly am mentally ill and nothing I could do would fix it until I admitted it and then started to transform it by writing.
My poetry is really just my feelings that are spewing up from that which has been deprived to long. No magic no shine, just words from my intimate self.
About the Author
Chad Gillies was born in Red Deer Alberta, May 09, 1975. His father passed just 5 short years later causing an avalanche of dysfunction to be thrust upon the youngster. He grew up in a home where fur coats where sometimes more important than food. And liquor was easier than feeling. He was always loud and somewhat charismatic, and quite rebellious. With all that going for him, he found it very easy to fit into all the wrong circles.
Two short years later he found himself with a new step father. Always trying his best, he looked for the approval of both his parents. He was desperate, he played their sports, he ate their food, he watched their shows and he did their chores. He tried it all, but he was miserable. And nothing seemed to work.
As a teenager he found acceptance in a group of friends that had little in common. The mutual thread they shared was each of their parents had absolutely no idea of who their kids really were.
They became tight. They always stuck together and they bonded in beautiful dysfunction together. Hiding from their pain, they used drugs and alcohol on a near daily basis throughout middle and high school. They learned to beg borrow and steal, to fund their habits. Chad did time in a juvenile detention centre, which they say was easy time. But of course he did not fit in there either. Plagued with a quick temper and a completely different point of view, he learned to use his humor to survive.
Chad went on the straight and narrow for a while, except of course, for the alcohol and drugs, which sent him into a swirling depression, and he nearly paid for it with his life. In a state of complete desperation, he attempted to end his life, not once but twice. His second attempt left him near death and unconscious for nearly 4 days. When he awoke he was surrounded by the staff of a physician that quite simply did not understand the boy. They again enabled Chad with more drugs, so he could avoid feeling.
Chad was starting to feel well but felt he needed to get some things off his chest. He confessed his whole life to Tammy in an attempt to lift his burden. She could not handle all the words Chad unloaded on her shoulders. She wanted out of the relationship. She was devastated. The family came home from Costa Rica, trying to pretend that everything was ok. Their relationship quickly crumbled. And the two of them have since moved on.
Through the process Chad discovered he was a poet. He was a man who simply had to write. He used this tool to write his feelings and the way he saw things onto paper. This was a way he could keep himself from going off the deep end. Writing was the way he made alchemy. He took all his horrible thoughts in his head and he wrote them down, turning shit into gold.
Chad now lives as a single father in Red Deer writing his poetry working on being humble and trying to find his place in this world, through his poetry and his music.
The controller controls the intake and tolerance
He controls every aspect of self
He moderates the with which I hate
He keeps me from being overwhelmed
He keeps me on the shelf
He keeps me safe
He keeps me in denial
He keeps me comfortable
He tends to my loving needs
He hides me from past mistakes
The ultimate act of power
Squeezing ones last breath
Red stains every square foot
No one pushes me around
The energy snaps straight back
Everyone suffers for eternity
Consuming any other thoughts
You can never control me
I will make the final decision
Slowing down is so hard to look at
You can’t avoid confrontation
Humility runs you down like a big nasty dog
Fear slows you but love pushes you
You can’t stop what you have started
And pain will always purify love
Needy nuggers and
High heel boot lovers
Everybody wants something
Everyone is hustling but noone is going anywhere
The side walk deflects its anger
After years of being walked all over
Spit on and generally disregarded
It trips back