Week 5 – poem

Week 5 is about depression & bipolar disorder. Here is a poem shared on the first day.

I Am

I am—yet what I am none cares or knows;
My friends forsake me like a memory lost:
I am the self-consumer of my woes—
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shadows in love’s frenzied stifled throes
And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life or joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
Even the dearest that I loved the best
Are strange—nay, rather, stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.

John Clare (1793–1864)

My Thoughts

For some people, when think they of PTSD think they of people who have been to war. PTSD is now more than just shell shock, it can be for people who have suffered all sorts of different traumas like miscarriage, rape, car crash, assault, etc.

When I was younger, I thought PTSD was just shell shock but as I got older I started to learn that it can encompass a lot more.

In class, this one doctor was talking about how most of her patients have been suffering with PTSD for 10yrs+ without any help or treatment. I can’t imagine having to suffer that long with PTSD & not having any help. I understand why it happens though, society has told us it’s a weakness & that we aren’t supposed to talk about our emotions, especially the negative ones.

I believe that going to counseling doesn’t mean that you are weak, it actually means you are strong. It means that you want to address what is wrong & overcome it.

I also believe that everyone should go to counseling, it should be the norm. Starting when we are kids, we should see a counselor several times throughout our lives. We change as we grow & because we aren’t taught to properly handle our emotions, we need help navigating these changes.

PTSD poem

A poem about the loss of a child from our PTSD week.

 

On the Death of my First and Dearest Child, Hector Philips, born the 23rd of April, and died the 2nd of May 1655

Twice forty months in wedlock I did stay,
Then had my vows crowned with a lovely boy.
And yet in forty days he dropped away;
O swift vicissitude of human joy!

I did but see him, and he disappeared,
I did but touch the rosebud, and it fell;
A sorrow unforeseen and scarcely feared,
So ill can mortals their afflictions spell.

And now (sweet babe) what can my trembling heart
Suggest to right my doleful fate or thee?
Tears are my muse, and sorrow all my art,
So piercing groans must be thy elegy.

Thus whilst no eye is witness of my moan,
I grieve thy loss (ah, boy too dear to live!)
And let the unconcerned world alone,
Who neither will, nor can refreshment give.

An offering too for thy sad tomb I have,
Too just a tribute to thy early hearse;
Receive these gasping numbers to thy grave,
The last of thy unhappy mother’s verse.

Katherine Philips (1632 – 1664)

 

Dulce et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.
Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
By: Wilfred Owen: The War Poems, ed. John Stallworthy, (Chatto & Windus, 1994)

Poetry – Grief

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading – treading – till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through –

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum –
Kept beating – beating – till I thought
My mind was going numb –

And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space – began to toll,

As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race,
Wrecked, solitary, here –

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down –
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing – then –

Emily Dickinson (1830–1886)

I need your help

My fiance turns 34 on May 11 this year. I have decided as part of his gift, I want to collect birthday wishes for him from around the world. I can’t work due to having multiple illnesses, so I have to get creative for gifts.

My fiance is my world, we’ve been together for 6 years & he has stayed by my side despite all my health issues. He loves the sound of my laugh so he makes me laugh so much, especially when he knows I am having a hard day. He takes great care of me, even doing small things like making sure when I go to nap, there are two blankets on the bed waiting for me. All my friends stopped coming around when I got sick, each canceled event was a nail in the coffin of our friendship. It’s been very isolating but my fiance has stood by me through it all & helped me get through it all.

I’m still figuring out where to have all the videos sent so he can watch them. (If you have any ideas, please let me know)

 

If you would like to take part, thank you so much in advance! In your video, please include what country you live in. His name is Cory. (Sample message: Happy 34th Birthday Cory, from Canada)

Thoughts

I’m taking a course through FutureLearn.com called ‘Literature & Mental Health: Reading for Wellbeing’.“Find out how poems, plays and novels can help us understand and cope with deep emotional strain in this free online course.”

In the first week we talked about stress & using poetry as a way to cope with stress. In the second week we talked about heartbreak, making use of both poems & novels as a way to feel not so alone. In the third week, the one I’m currently on (yes I’m behind) is about bereavement.

It’s been slow going, not like the other courses. It’s not cause I’m not interested in the subject, I’m just finding it harder with all the videos.

In May of 2016 my Aunt suffered a Vertebral artery dissection due to going to a chiropractor. It hasn’t fully sunk in that has passed away. I see so many people from a far who remind me of my Aunt & then I have to remind myself it’s not her. Any time I see a truck that is similar to hers I look to see if it’s her & have to remind myself it’s not her driving around.

My Aunt really loved the song ‘FreeBird’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd & it’s a perfectly fitting song now.

“If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me
For I must be travelin’ on now
There’s too many places I got to see

If I stay here with you girl
Things just couldn’t be the same
‘Cause I’m as free as a bird now
And this bird you cannot change
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
And the bird you cannot change
And this bird you cannot change
Lord knows, I can’t change

Bye and bye baby, it’s been sweet love, yeah yeah
Though this feelin’ I can’t change
Please don’t take it so badly
‘Cause Lord knows, I’m to blame

And if I stay here with you girl
Things just couldn’t even be the same
‘Cause I’m as free as a bird now
And this bird you cannot change
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
And the bird you cannot change
And this bird you cannot change”

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month

I & 176 Million other women around the world suffer with this horrible disease. That’s 1-10 women in Canada, U.S & U.K. However, for some women, they have no symptoms, and for another large group, they are misdiagnosed with something else, so there could be a lot more women with Endometriosis.

It often can take anywhere from 8-10yrs to get a diagnoses. There is little information on the disease & even hardly much in the way of treatment. Treatment often involves hormone therapy (like taking birth control pills non stop) to removing organs. However there is no cure, there is no guarantee removing organs or having kids will stop endo & sometimes it can make it much worse.

1-5 women with infertility issues has Endometriosis.