"My Recovery Journey"

About: Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Services

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

This is a poem shared by one of our service users who the psychology and DBT service have been supporting through their recovery.

Voice of Hope

Locked into the depths of despair

Seeing inside myself the fragments of the broken child, the lost women, the crying soul

Sleep comes easy more and more each day, lost, dying a little more with each breath.

The darkness is taking me, it’s winning, I cannot go on.

Then I feel it, the shadow of my crying soul, the voice of hope trying to be heard.

She tells me “Lift yourself from your despair, reach for the day, breath in the air, take the first step”

I stay a while in the grasp of darkness, I wait for it to leave me.

Maybe I hold on to the darkness.

Is it time I stopped waiting for the darkness to leave me

Instead do I thank her for her lessons and move away knowing it’s time to step into the light.

What do I fear?

Does the sea fear the night, or does she lie peacefully knowing the dawn will surely come?

I walk awhile along the midnight shore, stop, stand, look upon the sea and say

This night, this hour, this moment, this breath

Look upon the sea, hear her waves roar

The dark sky does not stop her from living.

The moon shines intensely behind a cloud of silver, hiding in the hopes to be seen

I watch the night fade away, the sun rising and then I feel it, the shadow of my once crying soul.

She is now a fire of hope

she says to me “Reach for the day, breath in the air, take the first step”

I feel the sand under my feet the breeze on my cheek

The waves on my toes I say to myself this day, this hour, this moment, this breath.

I am here

More about:


Response from Joanne O'Halloran, Clinical Psychologist, Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Service, HSE

picture of Joanne O'Halloran

I gain immense satisfaction in my role as clinical psychologist and DBT therapist working in Sligo Mental Health Services.

This was so true on a day recently that I received this poem penned by a person I had been supporting who was attending our service. Her words of strength, hope and courage inspired me.

She has kindly given her permission for me to share her poem about her recovery journey. Thank you, may you always notice the sand under your feet and the waves on your toes.

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Response from Patrick Finan, Senior Clinical Psychologist & DBT Therapist, Sligo Leitrim Adult DBT Service, Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Service

What a beautiful poem. It is fantastic to read the essence of dialects, acceptance versus change and mindfulness woven into such a beautiful story of hope in spite of the dark. Keep using this voice, it is very powerful. Well done - fantastic!

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Response from Joy Synnott, Business Manager, Sligo Leitrim Adult Mental Health, HSE

I'm not a clinician but I do love poetry and this poem moved me so much. It is so powerful and thank you for sharing it.

Hope shines on.

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