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A Poem by an Alternate Self

I have dissociative identity disorder (or something similar). I have been having my other personalities write poems and create art as we work on Integration. I am hoping to integrate the personalities so that we can become one whole person again.

This personality A. is 20 and she writes about living in a halfway house for women with schizophrenia. We lived there for three months, many years ago, and it was very traumatic for us.

A. often says to me, “I don’t know how to speak.” So I am helping her find her voice and helping her write. I edited the poem for her and she likes the result.

“Grocery shopping”


By 20-year-old A.


I follow the cook

To the grocery store.

She looks at the grocery list

And names things.


I am obedient as milk.

I walk within my cloud.

The aisles slant against

The denseness of my fog.


I feel like everyone

Can see that I am

One of the Others,

Needing a real person

To live.


I play the seal,

Catch soup cans in my hands,

Toss them in the cart.


I climb into the basket,

Curling up my limp body

So I fit inside.


I have no bones left.

I am jelly.

I am putty.

I can’t feel pain

Since I am barely

A person.


The cook sighs.

I am different than the others,

Who deftly collect groceries

And cook appropriate meals.

I am the lamb

Who will never

Be a sheep.

A Poem by an Alternate Self

Anna Lente

I am currently getting my master's in clinical mental health counseling. I have bipolar disorder, a dissociative disorder, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. I am a writer, poet, and artist. I like to write online about my experience of mental illness in order to raise awareness and break stigma.

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APA Reference
Lente, A. (2018). A Poem by an Alternate Self. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 19 Jan 2018
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