(I had to add this poem as a picture as WordPress helpfully kept removing my spaces! Note- WordPress, you may need to consider this feature for the poetic among us)
The Perils of Change
This poem came to me in one of those midnight inspiration moments. The last 6-9 months have been extremely wearing, with a number of events and interactions scraping away my resilience and picking at the stitches of the holes I managed to sew back together in my mental wellbeing. They continue to do so and whilst I am not yet at the point of unravelling I can certainly see it in the distance.
Frequent deep breaths are needed to get through this period of profound change as I know, through years of evidence, that there will be a time when I look back at this time and think “phew, I made it”. I will also look back at this time and see the moment that the changes were conceived, created by my own hand, or in this case, thoughts. The power of “what if I lived my life differently” cannot be measured and the ripples cannot be fully counted. It is absolutely without question the result of “careful what you wish for.”
Change often involves dissolving of ideas, beliefs, relationships and structures in our lives that we may think we are ready to leave behind, but when those changes start to happen around us it can feel like our whole world is falling away. Not only that, we then realise we can no longer go back and even more fright-inducing is the dawning that we don’t know what the world will look like ahead of us. A good friend of mine, Natasha Westover, creator of the Awkward Swan, a blog about her experiences to create change in her life, calls this the Void: a place where we have no frame of reference as to how to get through it – others may have done something similar but no-one can experience an event from your eyes other than you – so all you can do is keep moving forward carefully, one foot in front of the other.
The challenge on mental and physical health cannot be under-estimated. Fundamental desire to change yourself and the world around you creates, well, fundamental changes. It can lead to unexpected and shocking events, feelings of deep grief for what you are leaving behind and relationship challenges where others can either blame, or be blamed for, our choices. Without something or someone to lean on, this level of change can lead to increased anxiety, guilt and feelings of regret and remorse, and, in my case, a desperate need to control anything and everything around me as I sensed the loss of control the changes were producing.
Blessedly, I had the support of a therapist. This was my someone to lean on. She has helped me work through those presentations and find the resolve I need to keep going. “Writing helps” which is often quoted to my friends in messages, is my clarion call to my resolve – the word helps here is a euphemistic code for “is essential to my wellbeing”
Hence the poetry. Here I can delve into my psyche and access the complex and competing feelings within. It also leads me to the conclusion that whilst I pressed that big red button myself and things are decidedly ‘hairy’ at the moment, I will get to the other side…eventually.
6 thoughts on “The perils of change”
This is amazing, and resonant, and yes – the pictoral aspect of it is what makes it work better than a usual layout. I love it!
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I love the visual layout of “trap door under your feet.” It really makes me feel as if I tripped and fell through it myself. Which maybe I did. 2016 was a year that was full of change for me, and I thought it was all good change—I walked through the door held open by Opportunity and was welcomed with open arms by every dream I had had—but apparently I don’t know when to say “enough is enough,” because I kept saying yes and accepting new challenges and tasks and jobs until I was stretched thin and worn out. I fell through my own trap door of sorts and when I hit rock bottom I realized it wasn’t some deep dark lonely castaway hole, but the firm foundation I needed to stand on to see things clearly from a new perspective (from the bottom instead of from the top). Since then I’ve learned to say no when I need to and I’ve learned to put myself first without feeling guilty about it. It’s so hard to remember to think about myself instead of everyone else, lol. Only just this month have I managed to stand on firm ground once again, and I’ve vowed never to fall so far again. You’re right, writing helps. I really hope you reach your firm ground soon! ❤
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This was great. I creativity of the layout really works!
I also particularly related to this line in your explanation below the poem: “… picking at the stitches of the holes I managed to sew back together in my mental wellbeing.”
Thank you for sharing. ❤
Thank you for taking the time to read this Jacob and for your lovely feedback.
Yes I have done a lot of work on repairing some old wounds so this metaphor seems apt. 💫🙏💫
I love this! It was the first page i landed on coming to visit you. And it was perfect and everything i needed to read.
Thank you for reading this lovely and your kind words. Glad it was helpful. Change is hard when thrust upon us but can be just as difficult when we intentionally create change. I wanted this poem to reflect how precarious it feels when you are all the way in it and there is no way back only forward. We all go through this yet somehow convince ourselves we are alone. 💫💫💖💖