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Naomi And I

We didn't know it was all in our mind.
We didn't know we were being unkind to ourselves.
How we let ourselves get bad.
We didn't know that we were cruel
To ourselves.

Why couldn't we forgive our own mistakes,
Like we did the ones that others made?
We never practiced self-defence,
Unless it was to wrap us round in chains.
Why couldn't we be good
To ourselves?

We didn't mean to hurt ourselves.
We didn't know reflection was unhealthy.
How wandering round our minds,
We were letting life slip by,
And now reaching out for help
Is the best thing we can do
For ourselves.



Naomi Ward was the women's acute ward of 'The Retreat, York', a pioneering mental health Hospital with a 200 year history (which is now a Mental Health Clinic, no longer offering inpatient therapy). 
Ironically, it was also where I found paid work as a part time cleaner and mealtime assistant, during some of the year of absence that I had to take from University to deal with my own mental health issues. 
This was the first of a few poems inspired by different aspects of my experiences and feelings working there.


love's tempestmental healthmental wellbeingcompassionself-loveNaomi ward

◄ Incommunicado

A Passing Thought ►


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Aviva Rifka Bhandari

Mon 7th Jun 2021 23:47

Thank you for commenting Nigel.
We go into depression through our weaknesses, but we come out of it through our strengths (whether re-found or new-found)

Thanks also to everyone who clicked 'Like' for this poem

Although I won't post it in love's tempest, since it was already posted in the meditations, the poem 'Inner Strength' was actually written during this time.

Here is the link to the WOL post for those who want to visit (or re-visit) the poem:

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Nigel Astell

Mon 7th Jun 2021 01:03

it seems this time of learning who you had become and the mental battle that you were in helped you so much.

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