This is a story of recovery through the medium of spoken word poetry.
Seven times sectioned, a couple of arrests and two attempts on her life, Poppy Radcliffe was a mess. A mess trying to cling onto the memory of a perfect life and rejecting the narrative that a mental health diagnosis born from trauma equals one for life.
A rocket scientist and model, she was sectioned initially for her delusional ideas of grandeur. Because after all, we all know a woman can’t have beauty AND brains, especially not if we throw sexually confident into the mix.
Autistic since birth and self-diagnosed many years before the formal diagnosis came, Poppy had built a life that worked perfectly for her. Work, a creative outlet and casual relations, allowed her to blend into society fairly normally with a mask that was almost impeccable.
That was until the first time she was sectioned. Struggling to come to terms with what had happened and enduring an enforced leave from work, the decision caused her to spiral to the depths of despair and oscillate back to the manic highs of psychosis. To process her turmoil she wrote and from it came a collection of poetry, SECTIONED.
What happens when the mental health services get it wrong? Can a mental condition be temporary? Can we truly recover from trauma? And is it really just “unfortunate” that the process of being sectioned can be traumatic or is one death in a mental ward a year too many let alone 288+?
Written mostly within or around metal wards Poppy’s poetry speaks of that inner pain we so often struggle to vocalise in this surprisingly gentle show.
But life is strange and sticks and stones
Despite them words will break your bones
But words can change a life around
And put your feet back on the ground