charm of depression (haibun)

Depression can mean many things.  We tend to overuse that word meaning, sad, moody, down in the dumps and wiped from work or school;  all these last moments to days or weeks but depression is not quite the same thing.

I remember seeing the face of depression when I was a teen for the first time.    I observed the grey tint to her face, the emptiness in her hazel eyes and that consistent  pout.  Of course, what did I know at thirteen?  I thought there was a cause and  that was the effect.  One person causing a broken heart, which in turn turned those hazel eyes into depression.

And yet, I know now that it is far more complex than that.  Yes, a broken heart is grieving a love that one had. I like to call all grief a “necessary depression”.    And that sadness can conjure up old wounds and offer an opportunity to reflect and perhaps heal some of them.

Depression does not have to be the result of a particular cause.   It can surface for no reason at all outside of the person.  “A chemical imbalance,” a doctor may explain.  I remember getting calls from youths shocked that they could possibly be suffering from depression when they were in a loving family, they had good friends at school and they were doing will academically.    But this does happen.  Sometimes there is a genetic component that may increase the risks of depression.

I also recall working in home-care and seeing some of my colleagues (nurses or personal support workers) who were suffering from “burnout”.  I had not realized how that can creep into your life like a snake…very slowly.

That may be why I never saw it coming for myself. Working at two part-time jobs, taking two courses per semester at university, member of school committees at my children`s school, along with other volunteer positions.   I learned what it meant to “burn the candle at both ends”.

Depression allowed me…no forced me…to take the time to reflect on my life.  It was like I was driving on the expressway and never taking the time to stop and visit the towns along that highway.  Depression forces you to take the scenic route, although you may not see it as charming at first. Truths are never too pretty to face sometimes but the weight alleviated makes your perception on life so much prettier.

depression
depleting life’s fragrance
fetid black hole
semantics adorn truth
eau de mélancolie

&&&

rising to darkness
blinded
glare of the sun
struggling to decipher
imitation from realness

&&&

dawn to dusk
one long steady sweep
of grayness
children playing in a park
specs of colour start bouncing

&&&

depression
my sunshine poking me
never giving up
finding my lost treasure
my self-worth

©Tournesol’16

Written for Chèvrefeuille’s Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

This started off as a series of tanka and I decided to personalize it more and shall share it to my other blog StigmaHurtsEveryone

Daily Moments Jan 7 2016 (Shame on you! -haibun)

Does greed alone rule the world? Must one make money on the sufferings of others?  This is not a statement about being politically correct…no indeed!  It is a cry of frustration and disappointment that, yet again, the greedy vulturesw takes over common sense, compassion and savoir vivre.

Screen shot -sold at Amazon
Screen shot -sold at Amazon

shame on you
worst kind of selfish vultures
make a fast buck
no concern for those hurting
seeking only their own gain

© Tournesol ‘16/01/07

Read more: StigmaHurtsEveryone and here CBC News

What if I don’t remember?

B questioning me nov 13

la sénescence ne pardonne pas
La mémoire
est une faculté
qui oublie.

Senility is unforgiving.
Memory
is a faculty
that forgets.

*********

What if I don’t remember?

Every time

I don’t remember

a name, a street even a number

I do get queasy

inside my tummy.

what are my fears?

have my fair share.

driving about … anywhere

what if I lose my way out there?

I do get frightened

I’ll not come back

get lost in thought

take two wrong turns

and then I fear

I’ll lose my way…

but what about

my thoughts, my words

your face, your voice,

and all my memories?

that blasted

evil enemy

may visit me

some day …

  and stay!

That shameful senility

may rob me of my dignity.

© Cheryl-Lynn, 2014/05/02

Submitted for: PookyPoetry Daily Prompts – What scares you?

You are stunning!

I looked at the clock and noticed there was an hour left on my shift. It was a busy evening alright. But I like that because time passes quickly.  I had done two hours of Live Chat and I was now back on the phones after my dinner break. It is odd to call our breaks anything but “breaks” because we can have lunch at 2p.m. and dinner/supper at 10 p.m. depending on the shifts we work and how we have arranged to make sure the service is adequately covered.

The phone rang…

“Hello, you’ve reach a counsellor.”  I could hear faint sobbing, soft whimpering…

“Take your time, it’s okay; just take all the time you need…are you safe?”

I hear a weak “yes” and she tells me her story. She was just discharged from hospital for her eating disorder. She weighed well under 100 pounds…I winced at the thought of her wasting away and thanked the Great Spirit that she was, in fact, alive. “They fattened me up so much I can’t stand it!” she wailed.

The change for her was difficult to bear. She needed support in slowly accepting her “healthy” body.  We talked a bit about what she could do to distract her thoughts and then she shared some sad stories of her past. Such sadness I choose not to share here, but this is what I wanted to remember …  her fight to live even if for a brief dangerous time in her life and how she tried to become invisible…literally.

We explored her passions.  She was an artist and singer/song writer. I was blessed hearing her sing briefly and for a fleeting moment, I could hear her smile…what an angelic voice…such beauty, it managed to transcend through the wires of telecommunication.  She promised to try to focus on her beauty…voice, passions, art, inner and outer beauty and would call back if she felt overwhelmed.

When got I home late that night,  I could not help but imagine this beautiful person and wrote a brief message I imagined sending to her:

Image source: Thestir.cafemom.com

Do you know that you are stunning?

the last few years, I could barely see you

so frail were you, hugging seemed daunting

what if I’d crushed your bones,

you were really so very tiny;

I remember seeing you back then…

the wind was blowing and I could swear

it was pushing you farther from where

I was sitting on the park bench waiting

watching, silently observing you wasting

away and praying for a miracle.

 

That was a while ago my friend,

now the miracle did transcend

you are beautiful just as you are.

Pity you don’t yet see that far long

but hopefully in due time

with your gifts of beauty and song

you will sing the words that rhyme

and you will finally see

what’s so clear to me.

I pray someday your insight

will see your beauty transcend

as well as in the light

of day…blessings, my dear friend.

© Cheryl-Lynn, 2014/03/14

 Inspired by my original post at StopTheStigma You’re Beautiful

Inspired too reach out (haibun)

We Drink Poetry Inspiration – Prompt #012 What Inspires You

This is not poetic in nature, and to call it a free verse is using the term loosely. However, I wanted to share where my writing all began at Alecoute-Ntouch, a site informing folks of workshops I was offering on life skills and professional and personal development. But then I got acquainted with WordPress and the world of blogging and discovered I had a lot to say too…

(haiku)

An idea simmers.
Words produce an awareness
conscious convictions.

Street Art Montreal Summer 2013
Street Art Montreal Summer 2013

I began writing to voice my thoughts
with Cher Shares, that was my first start,
voicing opinions, I sure did have a lot;
And then I was inspired by Herding Cats 
that’s when my vision shifted a tat
I got on my soap box hoping to make a dent
at Stigma Hurts Everyone I wanted to vent,
yell out to the world that which is important
to me, things just needed to be heard,
nothing exceptional because some
may even have a knack to say it better
but maybe if we shout out loudly together
our voices may be heard that much noisier.
And then Cher Shares became a comfort zone
to write a story here, there, or even a poem
And, that’s the tale of how it all started
my story of a humble love affair
of words that I write from the heart
of passion, love and sometimes conviction
that’s why I blog, where I got my inspiration.

© Cheryl-Lynn, 2014/02/25

There is hope

deadlygothicdesigns.webs.com
deadlygothicdesigns.webs.com

Despair became her friend
sadness wrapped her like a blanket
Drinking, harming her new trend;
death seemed like her only target,
woke up mornings and saw grey
looked outside and just saw clouds
Praying, hoping was her way
now the pain just screamed too loud.
had no clue that there was hope
there are people who assist
teaching different ways to cope
seeing lifelines on a list
she decides, give life a try
called a youth line late one night
realized she needn’t die
Gave life a chance, saw the light.
Sure am glad she called that night.

Don’t give up when times are bleak
Talk to someone soon this week;
if you’re scared, check a helpline
they may become your true lifeline!
They’re always open, day and night
They never close…so call, alright?

*

Check for further resources at Stop the Stigma

*

© Cheryl-Lynn, January 18, 2014

&

On January 28, let’s talk.
Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives for every:

Text message sent*
Mobile and long distance call made*
Tweet using #BellLetsTalk
Facebook share of our Bell Let’s Talk image

*By a Bell or Bell Aliant customer only

Don’t forget, January 28th, to share those Tweets and Facebook shares will donate 5 cents…so share, share, share and so folks  talk about mental health to remove the stigma so more people, youths and adults will get help.

Compassion heals Pain

Cropped Photo: Mural street art - Montréal, October 2013 Cheryl-Lynn Roberts

Cropped Photo: Mural street art – Montréal, October 2013  © Cheryl-Lynn Roberts

Pain has become my best friend forever
that actually makes me feel alive…
without it?
I’m not sure I would survive.

Acceptance is the magic key
prognosis of a puzzling condition
he who has a medical degree
diagnosed a painful affliction.

But rather than sink into despair
I simply trudge on anywhere
and work with passion at my career
filled with compassion that is so dear
and knowing that my fate is clear
destined to help , soothe a hurt soul
I  feel blessed fulfilling this role.

Nothing better than to give…
listen, care, help them  forgive
yet not regress but
live again
and moving on, learn to let go
of their past hurts and childhood pain.

To feel a physical pain inside
simply confirms that I’m alive.
And when I think of those who stride
in war and poverty, still survive;
how dare that I consume self-pity
and whimper meagre aches and pains
when those who suffer ‘round the world
of hunger, rape …do they complain?
They only ask for peace … petty portions
of cease-fire, gain some liberation
and tranquil minds, and scanty rations
what so often we take for granted.

Pain has become my best friend
that actually makes me feel alive
without it?
I’m not sure I would survive.

I feel so humbled to assist
these youths who suffer silently
and reach out to us for a list
of ways to live more positively.

And then I try to instill hope
that will in time conquer despair
and offer skills to help them cope
until they learn to truly care
and turn their life ‘round for repair.

I feel so humbled to assist
these youths who suffer silently
and reach out to us for a list
of ways to live more positively.

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, January 5, 2014

Poetry share, prompt 37 for MindLoveMisery – Unavoidable Pain 

Exploiting for ratings!

me sideways

This man has a degree,
of a higher level decree
yet he’s slipped in the arms of fame
money may also have been his claim.

How does one get caught in such games
and losing integrity for a bit of cash
to show melodrama and T.V. trash
exploiting the pain and suffering
of people who are actually struggling?

They are all human interest shows
but must they always air their woes
in front of a huge live audience?
on occasion there’s no public appearance
just the camera and this host with a Ph.D.
Global home viewers don’t count as a presence?
I find his approach an atrocity
he makes a long process look way too easy
when we all know counselling is a long journey.

He may give the impression of informing
or a pretense of educating?
Well, I beg to differ.
why exploit those who suffer?
that’s what I see when pain is publicized
this exploitation is really insulting
and it should be criticized
rather than be glorified.

So that’s me diffusing, my heart spills
after watching a few minutes of Dr. Phil.

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts

This is just my opinion on some exploiting the suffering of folks; On Christmas Day an old September episode of Dr. Phil interviewing a grieving mother was aired.   He went through details of the last moments she spoke with her daughter as she took her life. 10 minutes of this was enough for me to change channel but I felt sad 1) for having this poor mother feel her guilt, as if it was not bad enough  for her to process the grief she was living 2) for showing such an episode on Christmas Day when there are so many vulnerable and suffering on this day. So I decided to voice my frustrations on shows like this.   Cheryl-Lynn

It spoke to me

(Haiku – Huitain)

(Haiku)

A lovely post spoke
to me; started to self-reflect
such a humbling feat.

me jan 2013 B & WI read a poem this morning and it made me think.  I love when that happens.  You know, when you read something and it speaks to you?  A Thousand Mirrors did that to me.  Maybe it’s because I work in counselling but I think it triggered something more personal.  Last night I was attending my 8th workshop on Borderline Personal Disorder. It’s for family and friends of someone who has this condition. It is not to just know more about what a person with BPD is going through;  it is to understand what a caregiver or loved one can do to help and also take care of themselves.

So I was  no longer in the counsellor’s seat learning how to better assist someone with BPD but rather I was in the “mirror” looking straight inside of ME.  I am forced to see how I react to certain behaviours and how I may, sometimes, unintentionally perhaps, have added fuel to the fire. It has been too many years that our relationship has almost severed but I still love this person very much…I just don’t like how this person treats me. But, by looking inside that mirror, I was seeing things I don’t like too much about me too.  Oh boy that’s a humbling experience!

The dynamics with a significant other with BPD can  get explosive but it can also implode. I am learning so much that my brain hurts and my heart aches. So much is simmering inside of me but how long it will simmer?  I don’t know.

Since working in my field, I have come to have more understanding and compassion for my relative.  I’ve told family members to be more understanding and tolerant. But me?  I have withdrawn…run a way in many cases when I felt attacked giving over so much power to this person that I love because I’m a chicken in the face of conflict.

Last night I learned that I give all this power to control and “hurt” is not really what a person with ANY condition wants. And not be chicken, I may, in time find the courage to try to communicate with my relative.  I know it won’t change overnight.  I know my relative has no clue that I have love and compassion…there are so many misperceptions, so many judgements. {sigh}

And when I think of times I have suffered tough times…depression, loss and insecurities, I was also often misunderstood. People assumed I was just fine because I usually am the giver, the person taking care of others. I look assertive and self-assured, they know not how broken and shaken I can be inside. And this lovely poem I read this morning made me think of all of this.  So I have attempted to write a new form (huitain)  in poetry I’ve just learned to summarize my thoughts on this.

(Huitain)

How easy it is to assume
not try to ask, investigate
we judge, expect, predict, presume
 not bothering at any rate;
empathy, heart would educate
we’d show a little compassion,
we know not what can irritate.
Listen! they may share a portion.

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, December 10, 2013

Inspired by: A Thousand Mirrors