The power of words

I do not remember the first time I wrote. It is something I have been doing as long as I can remember. At primary school I remember writing adventure stories, which were probably inspired by my love of the Famous Five and Secret Seven books. I remember one story I wrote about a hidden cave with a tunnel to an island and the smugglers who used it – inspired by Kirrin Island no doubt.

It was in my teens that I started writing poetry. Obviously for school work to start with, but I was soon hooked. At the time I didn’t know why I loved it so much, but looking back I think it was the freedom it gave me to express myself, especially as someone who was so painfully shy. I wrote a whole series of poems entitled “Adolescence” covering such topics as boys, exams, identity and annoying parents. Typical teenage issues, but I would have struggled to convey my feelings about these vocally, and writing poetry helped me to not bottle things up or dwell on them too much.

In adulthood I have written a lot of poetry inspired by life events and big emotions; love, birth, death; joy and sorrow. But a significant amount of my poems have been written when I was at my lowest ebb. I was 16 when I was first diagnosed with depression. It was to be the first of several bouts, including 2 lots of post-natal depression. When I am depressed there are times when the words just flow out of me, but they are not always pretty! I have written some very dark verses during these times, but they have been a way of getting it out, helping me make sense of the turmoil in my head. A release. Writing at these times can be cathartic, but also quite revealing, as I get to know myself a little bit better through the words I string together.

Sitting bent over my notebook.
Scribbling, scrawling,
words flowing from my mind.
An unending stream 
of verbs, adjectives, nouns.
Telling their story.
Sharing their knowledge,
their understanding,
their insight.
Opening to the world
my innermost secrets.
Displaying
my private pleasures
and pains
for all to see.
Once started they spill on out 
a continual cascade,
try as I might to catch 
them with my hands.
So slippery,
they slide through my fingers
onto the page,
and I am forced to confront
this truth 
in black and white before me.

One thought on “The power of words

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