Depression is a strange beast, isn’t it?
It sneaks up on you disguised as melancholy and mild stress and before you know it, you’re struggling to get out of bed in the morning.
I never planned to tie my poetry collection to mental illness. Many of the poems were written at stages in my life when I was feeling on top of the world but many were also created when I was in a dark place.
The poems in Night Flutes were written over a course of roughly 7 years.
A poem titled ‘There Is No Other Drug‘ reminds me of the illusion I built up around getting high as if it was some sort of internal utopia of which I should be proud.
‘Potential Holes‘ reminds me of the feelings I felt reflecting on the murder of a school friend.
The thing about depression – for me – is that I didn’t realise I was depressed until I began gathering poems to include in the poetry collection book.
I thought I was just temporarily sad. I was burying my depression under a mountain of drugs and casual relationships.
As I sat down at the computer and began to read my own poetry, it felt like I was reading someone else’s work.
Who was this person writing about addictions, unbridled lust and loneliness; was it me?
It was at that point that I decided to examine my mental health.
I began to eat better, I started to work out in the gym, I changed my 9-5 job, began meditating and continued to write poetry.
When I returned to gather more poetry for my collection, I observed that the poems were now of a spiritual nature. I saw a person that was still trying to find themselves but was noticeably stronger and more focused.
Initially, I was going to create two books out of the collection. One for the dark poetry and another for the more enlightening poems but I eventually decided to put them in the same book.
As I read through ‘Night Flutes‘ today, I can see my own transformation from a person who was ignorant of my own mental well-being to someone who was completely aware of the need for self-care.
I haven’t written any poetry for a while now, as I have been working on my debut novel ‘A Monster in Harlem’ but when I do return to poetry, I hope that it will reveal a more strong and contented being.
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