"Poems about my recovery"

About: Springfield University Hospital Tolworth Hospital

(as the patient),

I am in recovery following a diagnosis of Severe Anxiety and Depression and a spell on Lilac Ward at Tolworth Hospital. A significant part of that process has entailed attending various local Recovery College courses based at Springfield Hospital in Tooting. I have written many poems detailing my breakdown, hospitalisation and ongoing recovery. These were inspired by what I learned at the Recovery College. I'll let them speak for me:

METTA BHAVANA

(The Recovery College)

1.

plant a seed

of loving kindness

in your heart

feed it

with tranquility

till it flowers

with strength and confidence

in a golden light

into love

2.

paint a picture

of a good friend

in your mind

in bright colours

feel your connection

the light of your heart

flowing into theirs

send them

loving kindness

3. & 4.

declare neutrality

towards someone

you don’t know very well

then escalate

but don’t hate

someone you dislike

treat them equally

wish them health

and happiness

5.

grow the flower

into a forest

the picture

into a panorama

your friends

mere acquaintances

and even enemies

the world the universe

send them loving kindness

love

GUEST HOUSE

(Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī and more popularly in the English-speaking world simply as Rumi (1207–1273), was a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic)

This being human is a guest house

Every morning is a new arrival

A joy, a depression, a meanness

Some momentary awareness comes

As an unexpected visitor

Life is a mirror

In which I am reflected

Looking back at me

I don’t recognise myself

But I like what I see

Welcome and entertain them all

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows

Who violently sweep your house

Empty of its furniture

Still, treat each guest honourably

He may be clearing you out

For some new delight

The mirror cracked

Split my face in two

I pick up the pieces

And build anew

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

Meet them at the door laughing,

And invite them in

I am here

What’s past is done

I am now

The future may never come

Be grateful for whoever comes,

Because each has been sent

As a guide from beyond

I face forward

I would rather mourn

For what I do

Than what I haven’t done

THE ENEMY

Only a fool

Fights a battle

He cannot win

So said Genghis Kahn

And he knew

What he was talking about

So sheath your sword

Lest it become

Cruel and corrupted

Confuse your enemy

With courtesy

Welcome him

Do not give him

The satisfaction

Of contesting him

Kill him

With kindness

WIRE WALKER

I walk the high wire

From where I was

To where I need to be

Who I was

And who I want to be

Can’t turn back

Must face forward

Walk away from the Moon

And towards the Sun

And on one end

Of my balancing pole

Sits a devil

And on the other

There is an angel

And they both look like me

If one takes flight

I will overbalance

And fall into the void

I must accept them both

Embrace them equally

Impartially

Me

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Responses

Response from Jane Healey, Patient Experience Lead, Governance, South West London and St George's Mental Health Trust

Dear Dredly, my name is Jane Healey and I am one of the Patient Experience Leads for the Trust. Many thanks for taking the time to feedback about your experience of the Trust Recovery College and for sharing your beautiful poetry with us. Your kind words and poetry have been shared with all the Recovery College staff and they are delighted to receive your positive feedback.

I would like to thank you once again for taking the time and effort to share with us and would like to pass on the good wishes of all staff for your ongoing recovery journey.

Kind regards

Jane

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Update posted by Dredly (the patient)

Hi, many thanks for your kind response to my poems, it means a lot to me.

I have in fact previously sent all of my poems to the Recovery College at Springfield and I'm hoping to be involved in a proposed future project to do with creative work by your service users (I also read some of my poems at a Recovery College event at Springfield for World Mental Health Day and have been asked to do the same by Mind In Kingston at All Saints church in Kingston on October 10th for the Kingston Arts and Music Festival). The person I've been in touch with is Jeremy Coutinho.

I would very much like to get my poems out there for the benefit of those with similar experiences to mine in some published form, be it in printed form or on the web, although I'm not too clued in about the latter. Thanks again.

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