• Becky Whittaker

Same Phoenix, New Ashes by Angela Wilson

This poignant poem has been written by a very brave lady who has made the journey to venture off of anti-depressants after 20 years of them being her friend, her safety and at times her saviour. The poem depicts so perfectly how scary it can be when we let go of the one thing that we think is going to make it all alright again.

If you are taking anti-depressants and feel you would like to make the journey to stop, always do this only under the guidance and advice of your GP, never just stop taking them. A special thank you must go out to Angela for allowing me to share something that is so very personal to her in the hope it will be of comfort and help to others going through something similar.

Same Phoenix, New Ashes shared with permission by the author; Angela Wilson

I had to say goodbye to my dear friend of twenty years Of straight coping without them: let’s just say I had some fears I pulled back gradually at first: it seemed the safest way Emotional amputation proves too much for just one day

Although this friend has been for me somewhat of a life saver Kept me safe and protected, when my sanity did waver To let them go; they of themselves knew that the time was right They’d be okay, they said: would go help others find their light

The first thing that I noticed whereupon my dear friend went Was I had loads more ‘joie de vivre’: was a lot less spent Had crazy, fleeting nightmares though: vivid; frenzied; 3D Would leave the light on afterwards like I was only wee

My hands seemed quite disturbed too: they came out all in a rash My tummy first was churning; I felt dizzy: would I crash? I told myself not to worry, my friend would say: “You’re fine.” And have some faith (my dear old bud would not spin me a line)

I shivered, my teeth chattering: for me tis normal not Much like a coven cauldron I am usually boiling hot This new vigour made me race round; but I crashed into things Brain not caught up to body’s speed: how to adjust my strings?

I chatted far too much, and fast: brain working overtime I knew my friend would counsel: “Keep perspective: it’s no crime.” Hemingway said: “I drink to make other people more interesting.” Well Ernest, if oxymoronic, here’s a weirdly similar thing:

Friends and strangers alike, I can in your speech nuance hear Not that you were boring before! Just my brain is more clear So I’m engaging deeply, for the first time in aeons

Don’t worry, I’m still me though: just with slightly stronger bonds

Hope I’ve not been a bit full on; nor boundaries did I breach (I’m somewhat less inhibited: if only in my speech) I’ll point things out to people, such as: “That’s a nice tattoo.” When previously this was something I’d tend not to do

And, Oh My God, my hearing: I cannot believe how glam A scooter on the seafront now sounds like a rumbling tram! I’m not technically musical: of this I’d never gloat But I swear that in my favourite songs I now hear every note

Food tastes better without my friend; colours bright not mellow It’s daft, but I had no idea that Lemsip was that yellow! I now can stockpile energy, from going on a walk Before, just kept my status quo: now feel sharp as a hawk

So yeah, without my friend: my brain and body reunited More organic; less synthetic: so that neither part are slighted When racing uphill with shopping, a sweet lady said to me: “Haven’t you got a lot of energy? Isn’t that lovely?”

Could be a honeymoon stage: I’m hopeful; if not a saint Like: life might get hectic crazy; to my friend I’d reacquaint At least for now my cup’s flowing: be it half full/half empty And I mean my friend no disrespect, when I say I feel free.


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