Writing poetry through the pain

A few days ago, I received an email from a sweet woman named Becky. She and her husband had found our organization randomly on social media, and they were watching our shows on YouTube together. They were so grateful to have found us. Several years ago, Becky's husband had suffered a very scary, and very sudden psychiatric break, followed by a long period of severe depression. So severe, she didn't think he'd ever recover. 

When someone is facing a mental health crisis, it can be extremely isolating. The same can be true for loved ones. Becky turned to writing as an outlet to help her manage her pain.

Luckily, Becky's husband has been able to pull through. They've had a really good year, but she confessed sometimes she feels like she's holding her breath. Like the depression come come back at any moment and steal their new found happiness and stability. It's only natural to feel that way when you've been dealing with something as traumatic as a serious mental illness. Her husband has recently started writing about his experience to aid in his healing.

Becky sent us some poems to share and I immediately was drawn these two which I know will hit home with our readers.

You Can't Know

Unless
You’ve picked
Your spouse up
From a mental hospital
At least
A couple
Of times
You can’t know

Unless
You’ve driven directly
From the hospital
To the barber
Or to a restaurant
To delay
The going home
You can’t know

Unless

You’ve had to practice
Standing peacefully
In each room
Of your house
To erase
The memories
Made there
You can’t know

Unless

You’ve sat with him
Hours, weeks, months
During confusion
You can’t know

Unless

You’ve kept
Both of you
Afloat
While you waited
For confusion
To lift
You can’t know

Unless

You’ve felt the chill
Of seeing
I Give Up
In his eyes
Yet again
You can’t know

Unless

You’ve sat
Extra minutes
In your driveway
Gathering courage
Afraid this
Might be the day
He’s done it
You can’t know

You can see

The very tip
Of the massive iceberg
Underneath

You can catch

The faintest
Glimpses

But unless

You’re the one
It’s happening to
You really
Just can’t
Know

Pieces

Brain broke
Hearts broke
He broke
She broke
God broke
Life broke

Into pieces

So tiny
And jagged
Never
To be glued
Back together
Again

And the scattered

Pieces sat
For years

And later

The pieces
Pressed together
Where they lay
To form
Something new

Something

That tells
The story
Of being broken

And sometimes

When the light shines
On the fragments
Just right
You can see
What was

See a striking

Resemblance
Of the old

In the shattered

Pieces
Of the
New

*****

Photo by Thom Ciulla

Photo by Thom Ciulla

About the Author

Becky LeBlanc writes poetry about her experiences with grief, blindness, mental illness, and faith on her blog, Thoughts on Grief and God, where you can read more of her poetry. Becky's hope is that by writing honestly and sharing openly, others won't feel so alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We share our stories on our YouTube channel for people like Becky and her husband. So that we can be found to help inspire and encourage people to not give up. For anyone who is struggling with a difficult situation to know that they are not alone. That we've all been touched by mental illness and there is hope. May our stories be like lighthouses during the storm. Forever present, sending out a signal of light through the darkness. To be found, to help guide the way. It gets better. Hold on.

Our 2016 Spring Shows will be announced this Friday, along with our upcoming auditions. We hope you'll consider sharing your story with us. Follow along on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to sign up for an audition slot. Live Brave with us in 2016 to end stigma and save lives through storytelling.

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