16. The Liberation of Sharon Carter-Wray

Right now,
I feel as though
I have just emerged
through the other side of such darkness.
A place I had been for years,
Sinking, lower and lower,
Feeling, darker and darker.
I, have been surrounded by people
Who didn’t see me
Who had no idea of the private hell
I was going through… all on my own.
Or the pressure
They sometimes added to my load.
But then a while back
I started to really take note of myself,
The people around me,
The situation I was in
And the fact
That I felt so unhappy,
So miserable and so depressed
I had forgotten how to smile
And I felt like this
All the time
The mental ordeal
Caused the physical sting
As I declined
I could not do a thing
My body was racked with pain
From top to toe
I had to lean on walking sticks
Wherever I had to go
There was not a part of me that wasn’t sore
In spite of me doing
A lot less and not more
Very slowly when a new day begun
I was blessed with a saint
A lady I’ll never forget
A lady who helped me
Moved forward on my quest
I opened my eyes for the very first time
And all too soon began to realise
How much stress
Was constantly in my life
Tension that was not mine to own
But more delivered
By some other needy soul
Every conversation that I had
Someone leant on me
Used my listening ears to air their woes
Or tell me of their ills
Each call was full
Of another’s misery and tears
It wasn’t about showing me care
And to every friend I turned
The story was the same
In the end
It became too much to bear
It was only then
That I knew for sure
I needed no further convincing
No one noticed me
No one saw my pain
No one could imagine my pain
No one could feel my pain
Sadly sympathy was in short supply
Even though it was not
The medicine that I desired
I felt so sad, so empty
I was so full of loneliness
But yet, I hid it all so well
Behind my beautiful smile
My lady,
Helped me to see
That it was not really others
Who were guilty
Of being the root of my pain
It was me 
I was self-harming in a terrible way
Every time I took on someone else’s pain
I used their words like razors
Lacerating my own veins
I gave my permission
I had opened those doors
But no one saw it was my blood
Dripping to the floor
That day,
I woke up
For the first time in years
That day,
I opened my eyes
And saw just how blinded I had been
I took a good look
At whom and what I had become
I didn’t like what I saw
It scared me to see
How my skin had been flayed
And my flesh was raw
Somewhere, along my path
During my journey through the darkness
I had lost myself
I had lost sight of who I used to be
The woman
At the very core of me
And all at once
I missed her so much
She had gone quiet for years
As though a part of me had died
I hadn’t noticed when she had left
I just knew she wasn’t there
No longer by my side
I called her ‘My Free Spirit’
Like a ship set to sail
She is the very of soul of me
And she is hell bent on
Not seeing me fail
Every now and then
She would majestically appear
And sparkle quite discreetly
Just enough for me to heed
To let me know 
She hadn’t gone completely
Every time I caught a glimpse
I felt stronger inside
As I grew stronger I became angry
The angrier I became
The more I wanted to rage
The more I learned
The more I knew
Something within my life
Dynamically and desperately
Had sought and wanted change
In fact, not something but someone
And that just so happened
To be me
So, with the help of my lady
I set about my mission
Ever so lovingly
Chip by chip and part by part
I dismantled myself
Starting from the heart
I gathered all the diamonds
And like a puzzle
I put them back as one
The picture told the story
Of my discontented life 
But
It wasn’t long
Before some of those fragments
Showed their truth
They simply didn’t belong 
Where they used to dwell
I could offer no more space
I needed and wanted it for
An entirely different shape
A form that could shift and alter
Allowing me to breathe
As I mused and pondered
Along came the answers
What I finally understood
Is if I didn’t make changes
This would be my life
For good
Now today
Some of that pain still lingers,
My smile is now true
No more will others
Turn my horizons
A dark shade of blue
My free spirit hadn’t left
She had stoically remained
Guarding all my diamonds
Until I was able to tell the tale
A true and honest account of 
The liberation of
Sharon Carter-Wray
Sharon Carter-Wray

(Rewritten 7th January 2019)
(Original 1st September 2013

When the ho ho ho has got up and gone!

Is it me?

Or is Christmas really down to just a day now?

When I was a child, Christmas was a time when families got together to spend time, not just for a few hours or a night, but for a week or so.

It was time to really catch up with distant relatives and friends, and really let your hair down, because the car was parked, and you weren’t going anywhere.

Christmas cards, were filled with real sentiment, almost poetry, not just the few words today which don’t express anything heartfelt.  Cards were important, they said I am thinking of you at this time, and were not just for people you hadn’t seen all year.

Everything, pretty much shut down, except the emergency services and essential workers.  Christmas was a proper holiday for everyone else, shops closed early, pubs were only open for a few hours, so if you forgot anything, then tough you did without it! There was no 24 hour convenience stores or petrol stations open, which by the way, used to only sell fuel and a few car accessories.  And then, the streets would be all but silent, because everyone would be indoors, enjoying themselves.

But now, people have multi-sites to visit within a set time, eating in one place, then eventually settling somewhere else.  Trying to please too many other people, rather than actually just pleasing themselves for once.

Is it all about doing the right thing or being seen to be doing the right thing?  And who is it right for?

All the hype that is built up, in September glittery signs and wrapping paper makes an entry mixed in with Halloween costumes, that’s now also part of Guy Fawkes night! These last two being an opportunity to turn your kids into beggars, and allow them to worship the dead!  I can never get my head round that! I know all around the world Halloween means something different, but that doesn’t apply here.

Anyway, sorry I digress.  I am absolutely horrified at the small fortune that some parents spend on an individual child, just for Christmas.  Worse still, if it is the child specifying something expensive, as no longer are they satisfied with simple gifts that have fun, practical or educational value, everything is fast, hi-tech, and becomes obsolete so quickly.

People have finally wised up the all the chain stores, with inflated prices that get slashed a few days later.  Now, the first sales begin weeks before Christmas, and by 9:00 am Boxing Day they are in full swing.  Having been spurred on by the amazing “Black Friday” frenzy, madness ensues, where everyone just has to have that “must have” item, or they are buying the Christmas presents they didn’t get before.  People are still filling up shopping trolleys at the supermarkets, as though they are planning for some horrific event; how much more can they eat?  And how much of that is wasted?  And once all that is done, we can sit back with a drink in hand and reflect on how absolutely exhausted we are.

All festivities have long gone, Christmas is ‘so’ yesterday!  The ho ho ho has got up and gone, until next year.

For me, this period of time between Christmas and New Year, is ‘quiet time’, nothing much really happens, except maybe catching up on a few people.  But otherwise for me, it’s a time to take it easy, get my house upstairs in order, seriously recharge the batteries, and everything is on a go slow, until New Years Day.  I’ll drink to that!  Sx

Sharon Carter-Wray

(30th December 2014)

 

Unfortunately since I first wrote this piece, I have come to the conclusion that Christmas is down to just a few hours now…

Everyone still comes together to sit at the table, but their minds are elsewhere, focussing on social media outside the home, rather being socially interactive within.  Let’s face it, how many people remain sitting at the table, after the meal has been cleared away?  Or take the opportunity to continue the conversation in a group facing each other?  Instead almost as soon as the meal is over, everyone escapes back to their own little world.  And all the preparations, the worry, and the stress slinks away into nothingness.

The crazy thing, is all the big companies tempt us with their glitzy adverts, enticing us to come see more, come buy more.  But no one thinks about the real cost of making these adverts and how as a consumer they’re going to pay for it.  I would rather they didn’t bother, but instead do price reductions across the board.

People force themselves to do things or accommodate people they would normally do their best to avoid, and all for the sake of … keeping who happy?

I am not anti-Christmas, but I am anti what it has come to represent.  I feel for the people who feel they are compelled to go through the whole process, probably pushing their own financial boundaries, just in order to keep a child happy.  Or to able to give a child something they were denied themselves as children, whatever their reasons, if everything is accessible and afforded them, it’s only teaching children to have no value for money, or for how it was earned. It saddens me that children still have all these expectations in a time when people are surviving on credit, or are literally living hand to mouth each month.

For me, I have a few unhappy memories at this time of year, so it’s never easy anyway.  But for the moment, there is something missing, not just by physical loss, but the whole spirit of how it used to be.   Maybe when I feel that spirit again my outlook will change, but at the moment it’s very hard to see past that. Sharon x

(Updated 30th December 2018)

I keep that beast inside

I have every right to be angry

I have every right

To stand here and beat my chest

Whilst screaming out fury

From the pit of my lungs

I have been lied to and cheated

I have been let down

Believed to be defeated

I have been knocked back

Pushed this way and that

But still I got back up

I have been abandoned

I have been bruised

I have been insulted

I have been abused

And still all I want is truth

I have been stifled

I have been blinded

I have been stunted

I have been haunted

By so many ghosts of the past

I have been verbally savaged

My whole body has been

Tortured, literally ravished

By more than just

The hands of a man

I have been labelled

I have been tainted

I have been shunned no end

I have been betrayed

By those calling themselves

‘Family’ and ‘friends’

They didn’t know

I’d already figured it

To be the end

 

I have every right to be angry

I have every right

To beat my chest in pain

But instead I stay silent

With the raging fury

Burning and boiling

From the inside out

But safely contained within

If I could write away this wrath

Then I surely would

But I fear that each word

That I dare to scrawl

Will burns holes upon the

Pages they are scribed

 

My contempt for feelings

I thought I had left behind

Like doubt, mistrust

And a sense of things

Not being right

Gave me all the reason

To rise up and fly

Words like envy and jealousy

Are the names of the

Ugly black birds that fly by

Up here I’m out of reach

No matter the anchors

That have been

Weighted and tied

Up here, I have no need

Of false-hearted words

I can see through

Many a disguise

 

I have every right to be angry

I have every right

To beat my chest and cry

Maybe it’s just as well

I keep that beast inside…

 

Sharon Carter-Wray

(Sunday 9thDecember 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

What if I told you

What if I told you,

That every time I see you smile

You cause a mini whirlwind

To go spiralling through my mind?

What if I told you,

That the mere thought

Of you not being by my side

Is enough for me to crumble

And fall by the wayside?

What if I told you,

That with your every kiss

My world is turned

Upside down

Into a heavenly bliss?

What if I told you,

That your very touch

You’re every caress

Sends me into oblivion

And spins me into

A delicious mess?

What if I told you,

That I long to see you smile

That I yearn to have you by my side

That I crave your wonderous kiss

That I hanker for your touch

What if I told you,

I want to feel the whirlwind

Share with you my bliss

Be made into a beautiful mess

Just by the thought of you

And you’re oh so tender caress

What if I told you,

You awaken my inner Goddess

Who’s lain, eternally waiting

For an answer to her prayers?

 

Sharon Carter-Wray

(Friday 7th December 2018)

 

15. And so the story continues.

I hope, I haven’t made this whole thing about depression and healing myself sound as if it were easy.   It was far from it.  What a lot of people don’t understand about depression is that there no magic cure, it is not about “picking yourself up”, or “getting over it” or “popping pills” in your mouth.  There is so much more to it than that.

People with real depression only wish that they could do, just that.  But it’s not a choice that we have.  People who ask “What have you got to be depressed about?”, or  say things like “I’ve got a friend (etc), with the same problem and they did this”, or “You need to be getting out more and enjoying yourself”, etc, etc, etc.

The darkness i know so well
Know this feelilng well!

These people, who can voice such incredible words of thoughtlessness, and insensitivity, have absolutely no idea what they are saying to a depressed mind, or in fact to the person they are saying it to.

In my life, they were people who knew me, until I realised they knew nothing about me or my life.  They merely saw the material things I had gathered, the confidence I held in myself, the way I would always be the one to speak up, and who also always got the job done.  They didn’t bear or even consider the pressure I was under, or notice my gradual decline.  They didn’t see what was coming.  Neither did I.  But one day I was stopped.

1badf-when2bthe2bheart2bis2bcutNot by choice.  I had nothing to do with it.  My body had literally decided it couldn’t take anymore, it was burnt out, exhausted, and it was crying out for rest and quiet.

And for a while, in such a weakened state I had tried to defend myself against these people and their words.  But, no matter how many times I tried to explain, why this had happened to me, it fell on deaf ears.  And eventually I stopped trying to explain, and became almost silent.

All they wanted to do was find something else to blame it on:

  • Buying a new house
  • Building work that was going on,
  • Even my recent marriage.

Never did anyone, not even any of my family acknowledge, the stress they’d put me under, or the demands they made of me. And my employers seemed to think it was okay for me to do the job of 4 people, whilst studying and doing staff training on their behalf.  Never, did anyone think that they could be held even remotely responsible.

And that’s when I knew, that for my own sanity, I had to remove these people from my life.  Mentally, emotionally and physically.  They were causing me more damage and more pain than I needed or could cope with, and they completely zapped my energy.

Sharon Carter-Wray

(First written 5thMarch 2012)

I began calling my depression, my own personal journey, because that is exactly what it is, both personal and a journey.  But I am fortunate enough to be able to voice what’s in my head, and record my own thoughts. I can’t always be poetic about my feelings, so at times what I write may come across as being very raw, but it is honest.

I guess that’s why I feel that depression is such a very solitary thing.

People think they understand and have all the answers, as though it were as simple as going to the gym, or getting your hair cut.  But unless they have experienced it themselves, they really have no inkling of what really goes on in our minds.

00177-10462841_673987222689399_3467623837117453863_nSome of us may be lucky to find things that gives us some release, with me it’s my creativity and writing, but it can be a battle in itself to start that process.  For others, they may remain completely trapped, unreachable almost, being lost in their own world, where they see or feel no joy.

Because of the nature of all the illnesses I suffer with I am still depressed, it would strange if I weren’t.  Nobody can put up with constant pain, fatigue and a host off other issues, with a smile permanently on their face!  And I know I will be on medication for the rest of my life, there is no getting away from that, and I accept that.  Just as I have come to accept many things…

But one thing I do know for sure is:

It takes an almighty person, with the right set of keys to unlock the darkness inside someone’s mind and release the light.

Sharon Carter-Wray

(Updated Wednesday 5thDecember 2018)

 

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