POEM: Men & Monsters

TRIGGER WARNING: Depression, suicide

The Answer is already here,
Over and again,
When we’re ready
To hear it.


‘Shut up.’
‘You never listen.’
‘Not everyone thinks like you.’
‘You expect too much of people.’
‘You’re not always right, you know.’

Somehow I always confused
People’s honest advice
For personal criticism
Of me, myself and I
And took it to heart
Or turned it to rage or tears;
I mistook their love for my ego
And so for thirty years
I missed the lessons
I can’t perhaps
Live without.

I hope they all know
I was trying my best,
But for a very long time
I was very depressed;
I’m sorry I didn’t listen,
But I couldn’t hear properly,
I’m sorry for the outbursts,
But the world had overwhelmed me,
I’m sorry for the endless raging,
But I felt there was nothing left inside,
I’m sorry for the negativity,
But my problems seemed bigger than you or me,
And I’m sorry for the moralism too,
But behind closed doors I was at war
With a masochist.

I’m sorry I hid so much from everyone –
It was to protect you from Me.
I’m not a monster,
I know this now,
But for a long time
I believed I was.
I’m not a monster,
I know this now,
But for a long time
I thought the monster had won.
In the end, all of us win
Because the monsters we fear
Were never really here.

So, just hang on.

There is no final victory,
No final or fatal step
Into the unknown,
Just a chance to begin anew,
To keep walking on our path
And now that I feel my heart beating
When I awake each day
And sense my core
As I walk, sit, talk,
And breathe
And breathe
And breathe and
Now that I can see
Beyond myself
And know the fire
Burning within me,
It is time for the truth.

I’m tired.

I’ve been battling
This imaginary monster
Since I was only a young boy
Always scared
Of sticks, stones, broken bones,
But now I’m a man
And not as much scares me,
I’d like to ask for some help –
Just a small reminder
Now and then
From those who care
To help me remember
I’m a good person –
Sometimes a reminder means
Everything to a wounded being,
Like a butterfly from nowhere
Appearing after the storm.

There are still days of melancholia
When I consider I could end it,
But these thoughts aren’t a problem,
As they used to seem to be.
When a person has suffered as we have suffered
Passing the pain on to others –
To Loved Ones –
Becomes impossible.

Now, it is different –
In these moments when hidden depths rise
And my calm surface is disturbed,
When I start to believe
In the monster inside again,
I breathe for as long as it takes,
Though it never takes too long
For me to realise again
How much of finite life exists at its cusp,
How one action has too many consequences
To fathom in a lifetime cut short,
So I hang on a little longer
And wait for what comes next –
Tears & laughter, chaos & calmness,
Even a poem like this
To lift me up again
On invisible wings.

I know a weightlifter
And he once said,
‘I’ve walked through the fire
And come out the other side
Smelling of smoke’
And oh brother,
These are the kind friends
That surviving life is made of,
So I always hung on
Just that little bit longer
And eventually I found
The fire within me
And so kept hanging on
And keep hanging on
For as long as I can.

I burn
Even as I learn
To let go.

I’m better now
And even though
Living life & loving life
Aren’t always easy,
There are moments
When all of it
Makes sense

So, just hang on.

The Answer is already here,
Over and again,
When we’re ready
To hear it.