A New Year Poem For Times Of Crisis
Posted by clairerpb
7th Jan 2018

With the help of my therapist, I have written a clear Crisis Plan as well as a document outlining my triggers, how to avoid them and ‘first aid’ to deal with it if required. In an ideal world, using these would eliminate the chance of me ever experiencing an extreme crisis again. But this isn’t an ideal world because I am human. I make mistakes. I get caught off guard. I get carried away by my emotions. Or I rebel. Whatever the reason might be, I know I won’t always refer to those documents in a time of crisis; and I certainly won’t remember what I should do if I don’t read them.

So, as the new year starts, I’ve decided that I need to tackle it in a way that is more ‘me’. For years I have written poems. Poems for weddings and funerals; poems for special birthdays or significant occasions; and poems to support, inspire or encourage those I love. Writing them helps me to communicate in a clear and meaningful way, often expressing the emotion I find hard to show face-to-face. It suddenly occurred to me this morning that I have never written a poem to myself and what better time is there to do it than right now? A New Year has begun. I’m about to go back to work after a twelve month absence. It will certainly be a ‘significant occasion’; and I have never needed support, inspiration or encouragement more than I do right now.

I have to be realistic. There will be times when I don’t avoid those triggers and others when I will need my crisis plan. And some of those times I won’t want to read through carefully planned steps that are devoid of emotion. But maybe, just maybe, I will want to read the poem I wrote to myself in a moment of mental strength and positivity.

This has undoubtedly been the hardest year of your life,
In which you’ve faced much trauma, pain and strife;
Severe depression dragged you down to agonising lows,
Your tears, it seemed, would never cease their flow.

You could see it as a year in which you’ve lost so much:
For example, those ‘friends’ with whom you have totally lost touch;
The teaching job you love that you’ve simply been unable to do,
And the trust from some, for all you’ve put them through.

Yet there is a great deal more that you have also gained
And during a crisis you should tell yourself that again and again;
Focus on the words that are about to follow,
And hold on to them until you no longer feel so hollow.

This year you have shown that you are incredibly strong,
With the way you have coped with a battle so long;
You’ve taken endless knocks along the way,
Yet you have survived and you’ve kept those demons at bay.

It’s true that you have lost a number of ‘friends’,
But you’ve also gained a special few who’ll be there til the end;
They’ve been constantly with you, right there by your side,
As you’ve messed up, been silent or simply cried.

After months of resisting, you have learnt to slow down,
To appreciate the small things to help lessen your frown;
Simply being with your family has become precious time,
And a weekend of doing nothing is now divine.

Your therapy sessions have taught you to think, talk and feel,
To not dismiss traumas as if they were no ‘big deal’;
You’ve also learnt to truly listen and to empathise,
Others’ intense feelings no longer come as a surprise.

Your husband who you thought you knew inside out,
Has shown you after eighteen years what he’s really all about:
Intense loyalty, love and never-ending support,
In the middle with you for every battle fought.

You’ve met incredible people in the mental health sector,
Who’ve been your constant allies and willing protectors;
They’ve shown their skills and care can help so much,
Never be afraid to ask for their supportive crutch!

You have also been reminded how much your whole family cares,
Their love for you is profound, deep and rare;
Don’t allow yourself to question it or to put it in doubt,
Remember that family, not work, is what your life is all about.

You CAN do this, you CAN get back to the familiar you,
And after this experience you’ll be a better person too;
In moments of crisis, just make sure you read this and hold on,
You WILL make it another day, you ARE so strong.

Right now, I am hopeful that this poem will help me next time I have a crisis. At the very least, I will stick to my resolution and make sure I read it. As for you, if it could help you in anyway at all, feel free to tweak it and make the poem your own.

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