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Turning My Pain Into Poetry

Editor’s Note: If you’ve experienced domestic violence, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline online by clicking “chat now” or calling  1-800-799-7233.

I love April.

April is not only my birthday month, it’s National Poetry Month here in the U.S.

I’ve loved and written poetry for as long as I can remember. To me, it’s as necessary as the air I breathe. So it was natural for me to incorporate my illnesses into my writing when I started progressing from episodic migraine to daily chronic, when it felt like depression had the upper hand, when traumatic memories came knocking, and when life in general dealt out lemons.

It’s also my self-therapy (I despise journaling personally) and a part of how I reach out to others… nothing says “me too” like reading your own thoughts, struggles, pain, loves or triumphs in blazing emotion from another person.

And there’s nothing like that “I’m not the only one” moment. I know because I’ve been there — from being an abuse and domestic violence victim to motherhood to depression to chronic illness to life in general to beautiful moments.
Illustration of woman's profile with rainbow colors next to her face and poem that reads: Migraine, Brain Misery, Suddenly Amplified, Lights Are Screaming, Sounds Are Too Bright, Everything Is Too Much, Words Jumble, Air Hurts, I Am Pain Personified, And They Call Me Just a Headache. Copyright S.M.W. 2016


Collage of shoes, photos of the author's family, an open book, and toe socks next to poem that reads: Toe socks and hoodies and fingerless mittens, Oversized sweaters and my Minion kittens, Leggings and combat boots with long shoestrings, These are a few of my favorite things. Fall leaves that crunch under my Converse sneakers, Warm woolen peacoats and rings on my fingers, My goofy grandspawns and my family, These are a few of my favorite things. Poetry flowing from my fingertips, Hot chocolate that's a little too hot when I sip, Reading a good book that makes me dream, These are a few of my favorite things. When the migraines rage, when the pain rings, When depression is too bad, Remembering all of my favorite things helps me not feel so hopelessly sad. S.M.W. 2016

Turning my pain into poetry, into a blog post, into art, into outreach, into advocacy, into connection with others.

I have never subscribed to the belief that our struggles are given to us as part of a mysterious greater plan/purpose or to better us, but I do strongly believe that we can turn anything into an opportunity to help others.

In doing so, we give it our own purpose.

This National Poetry Month, I’m celebrating that purpose.





If you or a loved one is affected by domestic violence or emotional abuse and need help, call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

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Thinkstock image by 4maksym