After the terrible tragedy of the loss of two teens in our community to suicide recently I’ve been thinking about ways to share messages of hope and encouragement.
When people suffer from depression they quite often feel as though they are removed from themselves, as though they are viewing themselves from the outside. In some ways it is like looking in a mirror, they see a reflection of themselves which is separate from their true self. This is the part that is unlikeable, unlovely, unworthy or even hateful.
Suicide may result from a person’s ernest desire to destroy that part of themselves that they dislike or hate even. Sadly though, they end up destroying all of themselves. They take their lives when they should only be destroying that false self, the reflection they perceive.
They should be breaking that mirror instead of the person standing in front of it.
Therapy can help people find their true selves again, to help them discover that original inner man or woman, girl or boy that is truly them. Every one of us is valuable and loved, our lives have more worth than anything you could possibly buy on this earth, but not every one is able to recognise that and need help realising it.
If you are in that struggle at the moment, please ask for help.
And know that you are fully loved, your life has value even if it doesn’t feel like it. If your mind tells you life is not worth living, don’t believe it – it’s a lie!
I wanted to share this poem with you by Derek Walcott, I hope you enjoy it.
Love after Love
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
By Derek Walcott
A little bit about Derek Walcott
Derek Walcott was born in 1930 in the town of Castries in Saint Lucia, one of the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. The experience of growing up on the isolated volcanic island, an ex-British colony, had a strong influence on Walcott’s life and work. Both his grandmothers were said to have been the descendants of slaves. His father, a Bohemian watercolourist, died when Derek and his twin brother, Roderick, were only a few years old. His mother ran the town’s Methodist school. After studying at St. Mary’s College in his native island and at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, Walcott moved in 1953 to Trinidad, where he has worked as theatre and art critic. At the age of 18, he made his debut with 25 Poems, but his breakthrough came with the collection of poems, In a Green Night (1962). In 1959, he founded the Trinidad Theatre Workshop which produced many of his early plays.
In 1992, Walcott won the Nobel Prize in Literature. The Nobel committee described his work as “a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment.”
www.nobelprize.org and www.poetryfoundation.org
Derek Walcott died on 17 March 2017.