Band of Brothers - Ian Schlein


Thank you,for accepting me,

For your honesty,

Even when it stings,

Your commitment, is in the truth,

Which you risk our friendship,

To honour,

This is love.

I am still me,

But better because,

Of you,

I lost myself in being a better man,

I faltered,

You were there,

With everything I needed,

To survive,

To thrive.

To come out the other side,

In the dark,

I feel you,

I am held by you.

You walk beside me,

Pushing from behind when needed,

In front,

Clearing the way when

I am overwhelmed.

Without your counsel,

I am stupid,

Destructive, and

Trapped with myself.

You have been there,

Through all seasons,

All reasons,

And for my lifetime.

You are,

My Band of Brothers,

I love you.

#Recovery #Support #Depression #Anxiety #Stress

"I first started writing poetry as a teenager then over the years was constantly drawn back to poetry and over the years would occasionally put pen to paper when inspired. For my entire career I was a ‘first responder’ and eventually it took its toll and I retired on invalidity due to stress, anxiety and depression. I thought in retiring I would be ‘cured’.

I was also and orphan adopted out to a wonderful family and brought up in a loving home - upon retirement, still haunted by depression I found my birth family and have had wonderful reconnections. This didn’t ‘cure’ me either - although it filled my life with joy as do my 3 daughters finding their way in life.

In late 2018 I suffered a brain aneurysm and shortly after my marriage broke down. The combination of that with years of stress, anxiety and depression resulted in a stay in the ‘rural and Remote’ ward of the Glenside Psychiatric Hospital in Adelaide Australia. I was lucky as being from the country they found a bed for me and I received excellent treatment. During this humbling stay I started to write in earnest, mostly poetry describing my thoughts and experiences while in care.

Upon being well enough to leave I returned to my home in Berri, The Riverland, South Australia some 220 km from Adelaide and continued my writing. I have been writing my own blog for some years and looking back most of my writings have been a mask for my depression, stress and anxiety. I have found the change in my writing now being more honest, from the heart and helpful in my recovery. I think my recovery will be a lifelong trek. My writing has helped me mend the relationships which were damaged by my poor mental health, failing to admit it to myself, and not getting the treatment I needed.

I am now 58 years old and believe I am in the best mental and physical health I have been in for years, if not ever. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my poetry and maybe in the future some short stories and hope more than anything else, they help someone on their trek."

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Perspective Project is a trading name of Perspective Mental Health Ltd, a social enterprise tackling mental health stigma through creativity.

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