You cannot claim to have seen a performance unless you have seen Neil Hilborn perform. Born in 1980 in Texas Neil is a slam poet who often writes about his battle with mental illnesses. He performs his set like the way his illnesses affect him.
It is awe-inspiring how well he brings the character to life, it is unadulterated and raw. Real.
He does not sugar coat, nor does he exaggerate but he gives you a glimpse of what he goes through and it will make you feel drained and exhausted but alive.
He speaks a language that I thought no one else could speak. For that, I love him.
Before you start, slam poetry is always the best at 2am.
Excessive thoughts (obsessions) that lead to repetitive behaviours (compulsions).
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterised by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead to compulsive behaviours.
This poem will change your perceptions. Like a tsunami it drowns you but you enjoy seeing it come. It is one of the finest performances of slam poetry I have seen. It does not feel like a performance about a mental illness but rather a mental illness performing.
I had seen this video many years ago and every time I revisit it I discover something new. Something unique which sticks with me. This is not something you watch and move on, it is something you watch and it moves you.
Each line is a masterpiece and takes you on an emotional roller coaster. He describes falling in love, deeply and unafraid. He talks about being in love, completely and vulnerable. He talks about heartbreak, painful and crushing.
He subtly shows us the characteristics people fall in love with become the reasons they fall out of love. He shows us the suffering he goes through because of lost love, the agony he is in to get her back. He battles himself to punish him for losing her, he leaves the door unlocked.
Bipolar disorder is a disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs.
He is not romanticizing mental illnesses. He tries to describe sadness is a part of who you are. Sadness is just an emotion and should be treated as one. Without sadness how can one know if they were truly happy? If you haven’t experienced sadness, you haven’t lived. Sadness makes you feel alive, it makes you think, it carves a road for happiness to come.
He recites beautiful words painfully, he makes you experience the mind of someone having a bipolar disorder. The overload of information, the confusion, the panic thoughts and the silver lining. You don’t listen to him perform, you experience it.
His art has helped a lot of people pass through though times. He has touched many lives. I appreciate the way his art has made me feel. I hope you do too.