Men Tell Their Stories

Survival Song

So my name is Edward Micheals, I'm a retired military professional and currently I'm a gas engineer. I'm a father of four children and devoted husband to my wife and soul mate Lisa.

After beating a life threatening illness in my early teens (Guillain Barre Syndrome), I decided to join the British Army in 1997 and served six years traveling the globe, including two peace-keeping tours of Bosnia and Kosovo.

After leaving the forces, due to injury, in 2003 I became a Registered Gas Engineer, working for several energy companies.

In 2012, after a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and landing on hard times, I decided to write my first book titled “Poetry, PTSD, My Family, And Me” (linked below).

PTSD is very hard to explain, especially its path and how that impacts me, but I'm proud to write this new poem for Men Tell Health that might just help to describe it.


I never saw it coming, blind-sided me all the way.

A shocker of a diagnosis, feared it was here to stay.

My mood turned dark, like a cloud that made me weep,

Just thoughts of military trauma, and a mind that never sleeps.

 

A married man and a father of four, those i love it hurt the most,

No more Dad at breakfast enjoying morning toast.

No more hubby at night time, no more snuggles on the couch,

No more of me anywhere, just a snapping, snarling grouch.

 

The family that knew me well they saw the inky smog,

They got me bang to rights, always angry like the dog.

Time was up, needed help and i had to go, i had to see the doctor,

Take my head out of the snow.

 

Because it was cold man, lonely and often dark,

Where did the beach go, and picnics at the park.

I wanted me back, the demons i need to press,

And that’s how i turned it round, with the help of Combat Stress.

 

They told me all about it, what was wrong and why it hurts,

And id soon be back to me, admiring my wife in her summer skirts.

Talk therapy, mindfulness, self compassion and more,

Meditation, self belief would iron out my War.

 

I had to learn to live with it, accept who i now was,

Learn to try new things, to open a brand new box.

And i love it dude, its like a shiny new me,

Rhyming words that make me laugh while spitting out me tea.

 

Help is often close so close its hard to reach,

But i know that it is possible, the mind we need to teach.

Keep going guys, keep focused, together where strong,

Take pride in the lyrics, and dance the survival song.


We are so honoured and humbled that Edward took his time to write a new poem exclusively for us. Putting PTSD into a poem gives a whole new way of looking at it. Do you write poems about your own mental health? If so, we'd love to hear from you.

You can find out more about Edward on his own website at www.thenorthernpoet.com. You can follow also him on Twitter, where he's @then0rthernpoet.

If you want to read more of Edwards poems (and who wouldn't), he has his own book of poetry available on Amazon, we've put the link just over there so you can buy it quickly and easily.