Churn Churn Churn - Ian Schlein

Stare, stare, stare,

Churn, churn, churn,

The air is still;

I am in turmoil.

Heart, brain, soul,

Churn, churn, churn,

I sit a statue;

To the storm within.

Body, mind, spirit,

Churn, churn, churn,

Each aches for;

Lasting peace and calm.

Alone, separate, one,

Churn, churn, churn,

Isolated in mind and body;

With me.

Then:

Surrender to all,

Gone, gone, gone,

All is unreal;

In thought and emotion.

Churn, churn, churn,

Spins into the either,

And I am here;

Now is peace.




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.


#stress #anxiety #depression


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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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