Going back to the old skool again today for Throwback Thursday. Here’s a piece of poetry from my late teenage angst years, circa 2006/7.
I’m pretty sure I wrote this when I was a Learning Support Assistant at my old high school.
I was going through a break-up (the first of many with this particular girlfriend) and happened to be supporting an English Language class where the girls were tasked with writing a poem.
Clearly, I was inspired to write my own (and therefore neglecting my supporting role duties in the process!)
Lying here on the floor,
Can’t help but feel there’s so much more.
More to come, no-one to blame,
Much more to take from all this pain.
You did this to me with your smile,
Just laid me out for a while.
I thought that spark was just for me,
You used it before, brought her to her knees.
Your warmth has gone and now we’re cold,
The ice between us begins to unfold.
All these words I want to say,
“I Love You” just slips away…
Your bright green eyes now turned to black,
Your soft skin now begins to crack.
All those things, so right before,
Have left me bleeding… helpless, on the floor.
And so the red river flows.
And no-one knows.
As you walk away.
The mess you made, that’s what stays.
The end of the poem hints at self-harm, though at the time I don’t think I was actively self-harming. I’ve struggled with self-harm in the past but by 2006/7, the year before I went to uni, I hadn’t self-harmed in some years.
During my low times, I’ve always used writing as an outlet — a first-point-of-call for an emotional release. In the darkest of times, sometimes writing wasn’t enough and I turned to self-harm to get the emotional release that I needed.
I want to be clear — I am by no means advocating for self-harm. It is never safe to self-harm, even if you do so regularly.
If you read the blog you’ll know that I volunteer with Papyrus, a suicide prevention charity, and self-harming is widely recognised as a potential ‘suicide behaviour’. That’s not to say that all self-harmers are suicidal — the vast majority of people that self-harm are NOT trying to end their lives, they are simply seeking a way of coping with their feelings (I know, I’ve been there).
I guess what I am saying is that writing has helped me in many dark times to manage my emotions and ultimately lead me away from self-harm.
Often, when my emotions got too big and I started to feel overwhelmed I would reach for the scissors or the compass… Now I reach for the pen (or keyboard) instead.