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the Pain Beneath the Smile

By: Kacy Francis

I am a social worker who has worked in the mental health profession for many years and have also battled with mental illness. I wrote this for anyone dealing with mental illness to recognize that they are not alone.  But; most importantly, for those to know that no one is exempt from mental illness not even the ones that provide service and expertise in this line of profession.  We are all battling something and everyone holds the strength within themselves to overcome any obstacle.  If you believe, you can achieve anything.  The mind is an unlimited force that holds power mightier than the eye could ever see.

Honorable Mention · Adult Writing (2022)

The pain beneath the smile… 

We hide it deep within our frowns. 

They ask; “Are you ok;” “Of course” is what we say. 

Little do they know the hurt we never show. 

The sun no longer shines; only rain that fills our mind. 

Pretending is our game and dark clouds become our name. 

The fame we hold within comes to be our only friend. 

The pieces of the past trap our minds and then we crash. 

If we only knew the greatness we possess and always had. 

We often think and pray the many days we will go astray. 

But often wonder to oneself will happiness come someday. 

The one thing we must hold is that hope is not far away. 

We sit alone in our thoughts wondering how much more can we take. 

They say cope; we say mope. 

I say cry; they say why. 

The pain behind the smile… 

Walk a day in my shoes; how does the sun, moon and stars feel to you? 

Its nothing to me but everything to you. 

Don’t you see? This world is unknown to you. 

But so many live and walk this life pushing through. 

We can do this; we can make it through. 

Alas, I can finally feel the beams and rays of the sun. No more blues! 

Fully renewed; I now dance in the rain and so can you. 

Our pains are no longer thorns. 

They are useful tools to make us strong. 

We are now free from all our self-harm. 

The mirrors now show the best version of me. 

Finally, we can flee to a place of self-love and humility. 

I now see the beauty of life and what wonders it has for me. 

Remember! I am no different than you. You too will see. 

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