dahlia in my garden: Rio Fuego in Coleus leaves

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Recovery : My poem of hope

I was going through some old files today and I found a few poems I wrote years ago, when I was struggling to cope with my chronic illness/pain and my life was out of control.  

When I wrote this one I was trying to convince myself that although was stuck in a painful depressing and terrifying place, I had to hold on to hope that things would get better: I would find doctors who could help me, I would find ways to manage my pain, I would find a new life which would still be full of joy and happiness - different than the life I'd planned, but still very much worth living. I was clinging to that hope as if it was a life preserver and I a castaway on an ocean of uncertainty, because I just couldn't believe in any of it.

But oh, how I wanted to! I knew it was the only thing which could save me. So as part of a therapy exercise, I tried to express my emotional struggle and reach out for that hope. This poem is what resulted. I hope it will bring you hope in your own situation as well.


Recovery is a far distant place.
If I reach it, I'll be free.
Sometimes I can't believe it's there,
Though I know it must be.

The struggle to reach there takes pure strength.
I long to reach the goal.
I grapple with the thoughts and fears.
I'm fighting for my soul.

I carry my hope within a sieve.
It leaks as I hurry on,
hoping to reach the finish line
before it all is gone.

My ankles are bound tight in chains
and mired in quicksand.
I strain and pull to free myself
I can barely even stand.

How can I press on toward that place
I want so much to find?
It seems an impossible, hopeless task
And I lack the power of mind.

Still I continue to plod along
the path, trying not to stray,
With much needed help and support at hand
to keep the disease at bay.

The horizon remains just out of reach.
It seems so far away.
But a glance behind reveals the truth:
I've come so far today.

The past is past, the future, ahead.
I must focus just on me.
Be in the now, make the moment count,
each step leads to recovery.

~by Shannon Walker
March 23, 2001

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