My Journey

Cerowyn Brown

These three poems illustrate a journey I have been on with my mental health in the last few years. Although the journey is one of growth and recovery, as I hope these poems demonstrate, it is an ongoing process. I believe everyone is going through their own journey with their mental health, whether or not they have ever been clinically diagnosed (I have not). It is important to respect how far you have come, as looking back on the first two poems here has really shown me. Reading them made me feel both sad for my past self, and overwhelmingly grateful that she kept going, which is what prompted me to write the third. I also recognise however that there is always more I can learn, there will always be days I feel back at square one, and that is ok.  

I wrote this first poem in the summer of 2018. I had just graduated university, during most of which I had been struggling with depression, even though I (and those close to me) did not realise it at first. I sent this poem in to flourish earlier this year, but anonymously as I was worried about “outing” myself in terms of how depressed I had been. Now however I feel ready to share it openly. 

Another Morning 

Another morning just waking up to a sense of dread 

Mist fogs my view of the mirror 

Who is she I see? 


Heart is in a cage 

 No longer even trying to escape 

Somehow that is even more terrifying  

Is it possible she died?  


No, the brain needs the heart to survive 

I hope that holds true for me  

That survival proves my heart is still alive 


There are sometimes flickers of life 

Voices in the white noise as I tune the radio of my life 

An evening spent in hope 

A jump into fresh water that feels like… fun  


Sometimes though there is only white noise  

The memory of hope makes despair even harder 

I feel like a house sitter 

This body is not mine 

I do not care about its outcome 

But I shall water its plants and I shall stop it burning down  

Because one day the owner may come home  


I wrote this second poem in early 2019. I had just had a big hit to my confidence which showed me how fragile the positive mental state, that I had worked so hard to create, was. 


Falling again

The blow hits 

Shock waves jolting to my core 

Everything is fragmenting  

Shards of my self just falling to the floor 


Who knew such happiness, 

Such hope, excitement, strength  

Could so easily be torn away 

So easily be wrenched 

And leave me… wingless  


Only one thing is different 

Only one thing has changed 

But it’s like someone’s turned down the dimmer switch  

And I can no longer see how anything was ok 


As I’m falling my heart screams 

Don’t let me go back there again 

I can’t bear to drown once more 

In all that hopelessness and pain 


I’m fighting, calling in the troops 

I shall not go down easy 

I grasp at the shadow of my happiness  

And whisper, “please don’t leave me” 




This last poem I wrote this December (2019). I have spent this year trying to lose the negative thought patterns and pointless expectations I had built up over years. I have given myself the space to breathe and to find the things which really feed my soul. There’s still times I take on too much, times I fall into self-doubt or compare myself harshly to others. But I have learnt a lot about how to look after myself, how to be strong, and when to let myself be weak. 


She is alive 

Another morning, just waking up to a sense of loss, of joy, of anger, of hope  

Waking up to life 

With a living heart 

I can feel her blood flowing through my veins  

There is a buzz right through to the marrow in my bones 


There are still blows that hit  

Shock waves jolting to my core 

But everything doesn’t fragment  

My self doesn’t shatter anymore  


The mirror is less foggy 

I still don’t know exactly who she is  

But she is strong, she is clever, she is creative, she is kind 

She is still working out most things 

But she knows how to take care of her mind 


My heart has come home 

Filling each room with life again  

And I’m so grateful for the house-sitter 

Keeping going in all that hopelessness and pain 

The plants she watered have grown so beautiful  

And she stopped the house burning to the floor 

Now I have a taste for living again 

I am hungry for my future once more  


The dark days aren’t gone 

Sometimes I feel the doubts creeping in  

I’ve jumped into a river 

But I’ve forgotten how to swim  

I hold my breath  

I know that I will not drown  

Something will save me 

Something, somehow