Here, contained within, is a series of poems written since 25 May 1994. Why that date? That was when I first wrote a poem.
1994 was definitely the worst and most stressful year of my life, but strangely, by the turn had become the best. One that prompted great transformation and one that had caused me to view my life differently, redirecting my energies in a completely new way. Up until then I had spent my time maintaining the status quo. To this I had reasonable success but now my batteries were completely flat. I couldn’t ‘prevent’ anything so I had now to go with the flow.
In March 1992 I joined a group therapy course which took place on Tuesday evenings. This was for me to try and find reasons for my depression and how to overcome them. By the turn of that year I had made the choice to stop taking the antidepressants I had been on for 3 years.
In February 1993 Linda’s (my wife) grandmother died. I didn’t realise it at the time but I wasn’t allowing the grieving process to take its course. The next few months were like riding an emotional roller coaster and the month of June arrived before I felt anything like ‘normal’. In September we were told that both our jobs were no longer required, mine after 20 years and Linda’s after 15. I stuffed the feelings tightly for this was all I knew how to do.
By February 1994 I was back on antidepressants, the same month my own grandmother died. A close work colleague passed on followed by another relative. In all I attended 3 funerals all in the space of a very short 4 months. March saw the close of the department and move to new premises to where I was to play no part.
In May I joined the Roselands Resource Centre (part of Care in the Community) unknowing that this centre was to be as much a turning point for me as redundancy. Here I found the support I needed and ‘found’ poetry, a gift I never knew I had. Poetry allowed me to wallow in these intense feelings while using them constructively in creating very meaningful (to me) phrases. Once these emotions were on paper they could no longer simmer just beneath the surface and change over time.
By August the relationship with Linda was becoming untenable and she left to live elsewhere. We are now searching for our own individual paths. If we are destined to continue our lives together only time will tell. I am now living on my own and have done since September 1994.
At the end of September I joined Personal Growth and Transformation, an evening class. This has shown me my ‘new’ road and this seems to be Spirituality. Emotions brought by this path, for me, are very new and sometimes confusing. This is something I will however, allow myself to experience and not turn away.
For 1995 I made 3 important choices. In January I left the group, (The Tuesday Bunch). In February I stopped the antidepressants and in March, I left Roselands (Ode to Roselands).
I didn’t stop completely writing poems having found a more enjoyable output by writing technical documents and software. I only needed to write poems once I really had something to say that poetry felt right medium to express. One does never truly stop writing because there is an inner need to convey the feelings of the soul.
Poetry for me is a means to an end – the thought processes behind the task of rhyme and flow brings out the best in searching for the right words for expressing the deep psyche and essentially fixes the feelings on paper so that they are no longer within but are now without. If pain remains within it just festers; outside it is fixed and cannot change. Write poems, release the pain.