By Madeline Reid
Key Themes: Mental Health, Poetry, Psychosis
“Midnight in April” is a new collection of poetry following a young girl’s journey through the foreign, bizarre and sometimes terrifying world of psychosis. Along the way we met the daemon/voice, specialists A to Z, the in-patients and out-patients, the people who want to/don’t want to help and the people in charge. Through the different phases and stages of mental illness we are taken on a journey until we reach the point of conclusion: that even if one does not recover from a mental illness, there are many different ways of managing and living with it.
About the Author
Madeline Reid was born on the 8th of December 1994 in Auckland, New Zealand. She studied English, Music, Classics, Geography and History at Epsom Girls Grammar School until she became unwell in 2011.
After high temperatures/fevers from a throat infection, Madeline developed symptoms such as paranoia, hallucinations, anxiety and depression when she was sixteen years old. She was diagnosed with psychosis in October, 2011. These poems were written during the period of diagnosis and recovery.
Madeline was also recently diagnosed with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome, and was accepted by the University of Auckland where she is studying English, Creative Writing, Classical Studies and Ethnomusicology.
The events in this book are primarily the work of fiction and are not autobiographical, but draw on personal experiences.
Today she is still recovering from AIWS, but has made a full recovery from her psychotic episode.
Hitting the Water
Locum doctors, their baccalaureates, their diagnoses,
prescribe yellow pills for when she falls through.
Melancholia encircles her, weighing her down.
The tumult of her mind hits the water hard.
Down into an underground lair, leafy tendrils rise.
Blue-and-white garlands hang around the nape of her neck.
She has no preconceptions about this
delving in her coral chest, by an octopuses garden.
Walking through the water, floating her delicate feet
over the algae: Titanic’s rotten pews.
I can’t scuba close enough to her, my ears pop
she is fish-tailed and gilled.
Down the amethyst shadowed staircase she swims:
an Atlantic chasm, near the surfaced isthmus.
My oxygen runs out, her hand slips from mine
when she hits the water
I cannot win.