Depression · Health · Life · mental health · Poetry · Writing

Building My Castle

I used to stand with one foot in the past;

The future was too far to reach.

The other foot dipped in the present;

Uncertain at the edge of the beach.


Now I stand here in the present,

both feet firmly on the sand.

The past roars behind me,

an ocean of memories close at hand.


I’m facing the future at last,

but not running to meet it just yet.

Tomorrow is never a promise –

Today could be all that I get.


My shoulders are lighter,

my head finally cleared.

I let go of the worry,

and the monsters I feared.


What went before,

has played its vital part,

What will come, will come,

Like a living work of art.


Right now is what I have to play with,

So I will hold it in my hand

and mould it and warm it,

like wave-dampened sand.


I will build my castle round me,

The past can crash behind me,

The future stands before my gates.

But here, now, today is where I’m going to be.



2016 was a horrible year but it managed to do something nothing else ever has – it helped me clear my head and lifted a weight from my shoulders that has often been almost too heavy for me to bear. This wasn’t a sudden thing – I didn’t notice it happening at all. I just felt different and after a few months of noticing this every now and again, I have realised that so many of the things I struggled to let go of – things that haunted me, beat me down and dragged me three steps backwards for every one I took forward – they have faded. They are still there but they have lost their drag – I don’t think of them with a stab of anxiety that takes my breath away or stings me to tears. They’re memories. They have stories and feelings attached but they don’t control me all the time.

I let them go.

I had to spend a large chunk of 2016 living in the RIGHT NOW because everything else was suddenly unimportant and unknown. That brought its own weight and worry but it pushed other things into perspective and now they’ve slipped away I am determined not to pick them back up.

Thinking of the future makes me anxious but not paralysingly so any more. Thinking of the past mostly makes me smile, not guilty, sad and afraid.

More than anything, I have started thinking about now. This week, maybe next week or the month after but nothing too far ahead. I’m enjoying now because otherwise I won’t be able to look back on it and smile because there will be nothing there but fog.

I’m not fixed. I have bad days. It’s not all magically going to go away. But something has given and for the first time in years I don’t feel like my soul is made of lead.

I’m not out of the woods but I have found a trail and a stream to rest by and for now that will do. It is better.

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