In the beginning

Mental illness knows no borders and crosses all divides. I came to realise this about one month before my 25th birthday when, as a voluntary patient, I was admitted to a large psychiatric hospital in Belfast. Rathlin ward was a cross-community affair – alcoholics; a sick doctor: criminals; a retired police officer; men and women – some who wanted to die; some who wanted to live. It didn’t matter whether you were a Catholic or a Protestant – like it or not, we were all ‘in this together’. Such was our plight.

Twenty-eight years on (and with a diagnosis of schizo-affective disorder) I work, rest and play by the grace of God; the support of family and friends; and with the help of psychiatric medication.

What about my poetry? What part do my poems play in my recovery? I’ll share this with you on another day …


Filed under About Bill

3 responses to “In the beginning

  1. Harry Spence

    Hi Bill, Rennie told me about your poetry today so I have just looked it up on the web would be keen to read more so will keep looking keep up the good work nice to make the link again cheers Harry

  2. Hi! Harry,
    Good to hear from you. Glad you like the poems. Send me your snail mail address and I’ll send you a selection of poems re: mental health, etc. Alternatively, you can buy my book Loud Silence from or from Amazon.



  3. Hello! Bill
    I’m a English literature student and I like your poetry. I’m looking for a poem of your’s named “Friends”. Would you be so kind to send me this poem.
    Hope I got the name right.



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