I never expected to write or publish a poetry book, I had never even written poetry until a few years ago, but in the darkness of severe chronic illness, writing poetry became an emotional release and the only creative outlet I could physically manage. After 3 years of slowly writing and compiling my collection I am very excited and proud to have self-published my book called ‘The Words That Saved Me’.
It is about my experiences and the emotional journey of finding hope and courage whilst living with severe chronic illness. Although written during an extremely painful and challenging time, I think it has an overall message of hope and the potential to help a lot of people by validating their experiences and helping them feel less alone in what they are going through.
Below is an excerpt from the introduction, which explains more of my story and how my book came to be:
At aged 28, after 13 years of slowly declining health, I reached a point of being completely bed bound and reliant on my family for everything. I spent hours alone in my bed stuck in my head with only what I could come up with in my imagination to get me through each day. I fell into a deep depression and no longer wanted to live because I had such a low quality of life.
This is when I first started writing my poems, I needed a place to get out some of the pain I experienced, so as I lay there, I started writing poems in my head and when I had the energy, I would type a few lines at a time into the notes section on my phone. After spending 9 months surviving this darkness I slowly began to see some small improvements in my health. I was also working extremely hard on my mental health, trying to find some sort of peace with my situation, starting to realise that fighting it was only causing me more suffering, but not yet knowing how to reach any form of acceptance or peace with a life and body I so desperately hated. I started writing poems that were the words I needed to hear to help me get through my situation, writing with kindness and compassion and trying to learn how to give that to myself. Hating myself for the pain I was in did not make it any better, maybe loving myself would. I wrote about the change in perspective I wanted to find.
I think I found writing at a time when I needed it, it gave me a purpose and the possibility of a future, it made me feel like a part of me could exist beyond my four walls even when I could not.
I hope the words in this book remind you that even during the darkest times in life there is a place of peace within us, and that happiness, contentment and light can and will return.
Most of all though, I hope that whatever you are going through in life and whatever your circumstances, that by sharing these pieces of me I can help you in some small way too.