Poetry that allows you to Gaun Yersel!

Section: Self Management and Co-Production HubType: News Item Date Published: 7th June 2018

Dorothea and Audrey from Write to Recovery share their own stories at the 10 Years Anniversary of Gaun Yersel!

Dorothea and Audrey have been participating in Write to Recovery through the Scottish Recovery Network (this link will take you away from our website). Network since November 2017. After eight weeks of different themes – future, happiness, inner critic and more – they were offered the chance to continue on as a self-led group, facilitating their own sessions and choosing their own themes. They credit the groups allowing them to process thoughts and deal with their own difficulties in a safe space.

Write to Recovery is currently funded through the Self Management Fund and Dorothea and Audrey were invited to read some of the writings they had produced at the ALLIANCE 10 Year Anniversary of Gaun Yersel on the 4th June. We’ve proud to be able to publish this and share with you.


All I need to say is
“I need your help.
Please make me a cup of tea, I can’t do it myself.”
You see that all of my limbs are intact,
so you don’t understand why you need to travel half an hour through the city
to make me tea.
What you don’t see is
that my brain has turned deep dark blue.
The air around me has doubled in density, I can’t push through it.
That’s not exactly true,
I could force myself to go to the kitchen,
take the kettle,
find a clean cup,
but latest when I open the cupboard and shakily take out the teabags
I’ll start crying
overwhelmed from feeling so weak
slumping down onto the kitchen floor.
The water will boil but by the time I stop crying it’ll be cold again.
And I just managed to put myself back together
so not moving seems like the smarter choice.

I wish I would actually turn blue when I feel blue, then I wouldn’t have to beg you
please believe me, this is real
I need your help.
It’s so hard for me to say this.
I worry what it will do to you if you see me like this,
broken into a million little pieces,
not myself.

I have practiced all my life
to put on a brave face and smile
while I silently scream from the bottom of my lungs
But what I now understand is that I don’t need to scream
I just need to say
“I need your help.”

But for me, that takes the same courage as jumping out of a plane knowing that there’s a 50/50 chance that your parachute will open.
Just that the parachute, that’s you.
I need to trust that you are okay with me asking for your time
even if I’m not all that entertaining
that you can stand me when I start crying in the middle of a sentence.
That you won’t think less of me when you see me ugly-cry into a pillow.
And as difficult as it is, I know that learning to ask for help will not only keep me healthy

It’s also more authentic, true, and …
So I take a deep breath and I jump.
“I need your help.”


Victoria works on an oil rig
George has just had a kid
Everybody’s looking now to see
What Audrey did.

Mynie, he has a mortgage.
Jennie lives in the Big Smoke
While am o’er here in ma holey sports gear
Counting pennies cos am broke.

Megan just got engaged
Pierre? Just got divorced
When they ask me what my future holds
I answer cos am forced.

I lie, I say I want to
Be a big boss engineer
When in truth, you can sack all that
Cos am just happy to be here.


Happiness is
when you see the blue sky truly as blue
When the sunrays burst through the clouds and reflect on the ground,
creating mirror images of your surroundings.

Happiness is
being invited to the comfort of someone else’s home
to share a meal
and be appreciated as a guest.

Happiness is
being supported in your struggles
by friends, teachers, strangers…
people that offer a helping hand when you fall.

Happiness is
creating things,
accumulating knowledge
getting your hands dirty,
building something

Happiness is
a way to look at life
to compare yourself with yourself only
to notice the good things in your life
and be grateful.


I have this ball of thread. It is bright green. I’m always dropping it; watch it bumble downhill. I pull on the end I hold; it just unravels further. One end to, the other away. I re-wrap the thread around my hands as I chase the bobbin speeding from me. I can’t catch it no matter how fast I run. I have a handful of thread all tangled when the spool reaches the bottom. Empty.

On the hill beside me is a line of silver thread. It too is connected to a spool racing from its owner. Why doesn’t she chase it?! Can’t she see it’s getting away? I wave with my fistfuls of green. She is at the hill top and waves back. “NO! GO! CATCH IT!” I scream, leaping and gesturing wildly. Her thread runs the length of the hill, the cylinder it came from now empty at the bottom. She walks calmly down, rewrapping the thread around a different spool plucked from her pocket. She reaches me. Full bobbin in one hand, she picks up the empty one, pockets it and asks “do you need a spare?”.


Thank you to both writers for sharing their work and showing the need for creativity in recovery.


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