Personal Blog: Icarus

I feel today like Icarus.

Though I found my wings with them I have flown too high, too fast and with no heed to that which lies beneath me.

Now as the wax melts, and my feathers float from my arms one at a time. I see each one and acknowledge how far it has carried me.

I weep, not because I am falling, but because I know that for a moment I was free, and that freedom may never come again.

Zanze: Moving Forward

Am I moving forward, or not?
This question is hard to answer
I thought I knew, but I forgot
Indecision feeds like cancer.

Am I moving forward?
Have I been left behind?
Must I travel towards,
A goal I’ll never find.

Am I moving,
Or standing still?
An iron will.

Am I
Left here to rot?
What is there left to try?
Am I moving forward, or not?


Personal Blog: 2018 A Quick Reflection

Christmas was hard this year.

It hasn’t been easy or wholly enjoyable for some time, but this year was the first Christmas without mum.

Life, for the past few months, has felt a little like going through the motions. So it was no surprise that Christmas managed to sneak up on, and then past me before I could really process it.

Those that got in touch over the festive period I very much appreciated hearing from. Even now though, the thought of replying and acknowledging reality leaves me with a knot in my stomach that is twisting and making me feel more and more ill as the days go by.

Anxiety is crippling me lately, and in the last few weeks, in particular, it feels like it is shutting me down both physically and emotionally until the very idea of trying to function leaves me a wreck.

I cannot go it alone, I understand that I need help, but asking for it is hard. Asking a stranger is ultimately easier to do than a close friend. The closer a relationship the more likely that rather than being able to pretend or hide how you are, you will be forced instead to be who you are at that very moment in time.

2018 wasn’t a bad year, far from it. But it was the hardest year I have ever faced, and it has taught me more about who I am as a person than I could have ever hoped to learn. It wasn’t always easy, and I am thankful for the support network I have. Even with such a strong set of friends and support though I admit that it hasn’t been easy.

After my mum passed I began thinking again about suicide. Not as a course of action, but as an option. One which I acknowledged, but more as a reflection of my past. Like getting hung up on old thoughts. As well as my support network of friends, I have been working closely with a counsellor for almost 18 months. Thankfully I can detach myself from these dark thoughts, knowing them as memories rather than desires.

I started going to counselling after losing myself to life in 2017. I had to take three months off of work to get my head straight, and it was in this time that I began to address what was important to me. I looked at my life and did not recognise how I had gotten to where I was. I looked at my life and did not recognise the person I had become. This was the hardest thing in the world for me, to realise I had spent so much time looking after other people, that I had no idea who I was as a person.

I felt insignificant, worthless, and of little value. Yes, I have great friends, but I didn’t feel like I was worthy of their friendship. I began to avoid people because in my head I was protecting them from my company. Depression and anxiety lead to irrational thinking, you can tell yourself you are well, but this is a lie, and until you recognise it as such, you will perpetuate negativity in your own life, wilfully living a harder life than you need to, seeking this hardship as a self-imposed penance for your own existence.

Gradually I came to realise which of my thoughts were rational, and which were not and slowly I became calmer. Not all of the time, but generally.

My life changed considerably over the course of 2018 whether I was ready for it, or not. The end of a long career, the loss of the same part-time job, twice in the space of three months. Moving to a new flat, but never being there. Becoming a full-time guardian and carer, again, and having to put someone else needs first at all hours of the day; providing waking night support. The complexity of a relationship and ultimately the end of nine months spent with someone I grew to love. Recovery from surgery, two weeks of quarantine, and three weeks of Tonsillitis, my first broken bone. Then, of course, there was the loss of my mother, this was the hardest of all things, and something I still find myself in disbelief of often.

But the challenges weren’t all bad. I applied for and was accepted into college, despite everything else going on. I got in and have so far not only completed work but done so well. I have learned more than I ever thought I would and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am doing what I should have been doing all along. I joined a band, and after eight months of rehearsals we played our first paid gig, and have more lined up. Despite the relationship not lasting, 2018 was also a year in which I fell in love, and was loved in return; getting to share my life with someone in a way I never had before. The best part of this last point was when my mother met my ex and got on well with them. Considering how little time I have given to relationships in my life, I was so thrilled my mother got to see me being loved before we lost her.

And of course, I wrote. More than I have ever written in such a small space of time, and intend to keep on doing so.

I hope that 2019 is a continuation of all of the good things I have had in 2018 and that the harder things push me onward, serving as reminders of just how far I’ve come.

The one thing I hope people take away from what I’ve learned is that there is always help available you just have to have the strength to ask for it and the patience to accept it. Life is hard, and it will challenge you whether you are ready or not.

If you are feeling lost especially, don’t give up. It’s harder to make good decisions all of the time than it is to make bad decisions just once. But some bad decisions can only be made once, and if you just persevere I promise you will find something worth continuing for.

Sometimes you have to give up on the things that you are comfortable with or that you are good at, these things may be easy, but if they do not offer you fulfilment, you will invariably never find what you need the most. Be selfish, do things that are just for you and no-one else. Try things you haven’t done, push yourself when your first reaction is to throw in the towel. But if you try and it hurts, walk away and hold your head high knowing that you gave it everything you have.

Love, yourself before anyone else. Be beautiful, be yourself.

All the best when it comes.


Free Verse: Why I Write II

The most annoying thing
About being a writer
Is that unless you write,
You cannot really consider
Yourself to be a writer.

I usually write
Everything I do
At least five or six times
In my head
Before I ever try
To commit to paper.

This means that a lot
Of information
Lives in my head alone
And a few
Of the really good ideas
Or musings, have gotten lost
Through no fault of their own.

I’d like to think
That with some real patience
And perseverance, I can make
Writing a daily habit.

Like most ‘good’ habits
Which one would like to adopt
Into their life,
Writing is something
Which I have always put off
Until tomorrow.

I do think though
That the commitment
Which I seem to lack
For writing,
Has more to do with

Lack of confidence
In the things I write,
Rather than not having
Anything to write about.

I have always written
From a place of pain,
Emotional pain
Which leaves me
Feeling empty
Most of the time.

Then when I write
I slip, back
Into this mindset.

The biggest problem with this
Is just how draining
This can become, but secondly,
Just how awful it is
To realise you are only able
To do the things you want to do,
If you succumb to the person
You do not want to be.

Finding the right balance
Between channelling inner darkness,
And controlling it is hard to achieve
And rather than try to find
The balance that I so clearly need
To attempt to instil within me
I often find myself instead
Leaning into Darkness.

I think
The thing which most concerns me
About finding this balance
Isn’t so much that I don’t know
Where to start,
But that I don’t know
Where it will end.

I am going to be forced
To explore aspects of my inner self,
Which I have suppressed and ignored
For a very long time.

Some things I already
Know about myself,
Others I worry
I might discover
For the first time.

Fear is never a reason
Not to do something,
Just a catalyst
To try harder.

The only thing
To fear
Is fear itself.

I think
That can be interpreted
To mean many things.
But on a personal level,
It has meant coming to terms
With the aspects of myself
That I don’t want
As well as developing
The aspects of myself
That I like and am proud of.

Humans should be defined
By their actions
And not their nature,
For evil is part
Of the human condition,
And lives within the soul.

But not all humans
Choose to act
On the evil that resides
Within them.

Some humans
Who may have had
An innate darkness within them,
Can choose to overcome this
By embracing light,
And giving out
Only love
To the world around them.

Free Verse: Why I Write

I write
For all the wrong reasons.

I have
So much within me
That I want to write,
But never feel able
To transfer to paper.

When I am at my best
I throw myself
Into all things
Which require it,
Leaving no time
For something
As trivial as writing.

When I’m busy
Writing feels
Like a selfish,
Waste of time.

I write
Mainly for myself,
And rarely share
What I create.

I think
It’s finally time
To admit to myself
Just how unhappy I am.

I am in a position
Where I feel powerless.
Like I’m living a life
That is not my own.
I am powerless
To change anything
Without ruining the lives
Of those around me.

I am
In a position
Where I must choose
Between my own personal happiness,
Or the happiness of my family.

Worst of all,
I don’t even know
If my family
Are truly happy.

They perpetuate
The existence
That they have lived
But for no reason
(That I can see)
Than the fact that
That is the way they have
Always done things.

But if the life I lead
Is not my own,
Then the decisions
That I may have
The power to make,
Are not just my decisions.

As long
As my family need me
To sacrifice
Myself for them,
I must do so,
Without hesitation.

For it is only when they
Are able to see the need
To free us all
From the situation
They hold us in,
That we will ever
Truly be free.

Without the blessing
And agreement
Of the family,
We can never move on
Or apart,
As the structure
Which we currently have
Will never return
Once abandoned.

And while we will no longer
Be bound by responsibility,
We will still remain
Bound by guilt.

Free Verse: The Truth

It’s hard
To be honest with yourself,
When the truth
Comes from a painful place.

I am unhappy.
I have been
For a very long time.

I have repressed
For so long the things
That I find difficult.

And now that I have
Acknowledged this truth,
I cannot ignore it,
Any longer.

Too long already
It is time,
To be honest with yourself,
And move on.

Sonnet: Struggle

One of the hardest things I have to do,

Is admit when I am finding it tough.

I would rather struggle ever onward,

When life gets harder, or when feeling rough.


If I stop, I may throw in the towel

Giving up not just the worst, but the best

Of me. I feel as though I am drowning,

I would slip under if I stop to rest.


And yet. No. I cannot go on like this.

The struggle I faced to find my voice,

The introspection, and the sleepless nights,

These are the things that have given me choice.


Who I am exactly, I do not know

With time, patience, and friendship I will grow.

19th May 2017

One year ago today, I was at the very beginning of a mental breakdown that led me to write this.

I shared it on Facebook at the time, but the words seem so powerful still that I wanted to share them again. This time as a reflection, and a reminder of where I have come from, and how far I have come to get to where I am.

Life is so hard to evaluate at the time, but rather than saying “is it better?” It has helped me to say,

“What is different?”

In the time since writing this so much has changed for me and likely will continue to do so, but I feel ever closer to the life I should be living. It doesn’t matter what I do, as long as I remember to do what I do for me and no one else.


Two days ago, I became so overwhelmed I cried at work. On that same day the exhaust fell off my car, and when I finally made it home it was to find my washing machine had broken and the kitchen floor was very wet. But the time I was done cleaning it up, I was laughing at just how ridiculous a day could be.

Since then I’ve done very little. I’ve pressed pause, and I’m currently evaluating. I’m going up North with my family for a couple of days, and in that time I’m going to try and figure out what the next step forward is.

Sometimes it is about stepping backwards from the things that upset you and looking at the bigger picture. Once I have a better idea of what is really going on in my life I can consider what I do armed with information, clarity and hopefully for once in my life, my own interests at the forefront of my decision making process.

There have been more than a few people who have helped keep me together over the past… how long has this really been going on? It’s been a while.

Thank you for your ongoing support and thank you for giving me the space to get to grips with things in my own time. It can’t be easy being friends with someone with depression, but know that even when I can’t speak to you directly or when I cancel on plans that took far to long to put in place that I love you for your support and will always do my best to come back to you when I am ready to try again.

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