If anyone had told me meeting a very reserved woman from Siberia at a birthday party in Poland in October 2000 would inexorably change my life, I may have disbelieved them.
However that is how I met Yelena, who became a valued friend and eventually my wife.
The poetry in my book records a journey that spans fourteen years of my life, through a selection of forty-seven poems. The poems record the journey that began in friendship, moved through love and passion, with the final three years being the years where I had to face loss, grief, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, the latter of which followed a burglary and triggered the emergence of a traumatic event earlier in my life.
The poems are honest, I didn’t write them with a book in mind. In the beginning, I wrote them for Yelena but after her death they were for me, to know and record where I was on my journey when I felt so incredibly lost and without hope.
The decision to publish arrived when belief in my recovery was reached after almost three years in the mental health wilderness. It is my hope that in sharing my journey and experience I can illuminate some of the dark days for others who may be struggling. I will do whatever I need to do to stay my path to recovery because with hope comes belief, with belief comes courage and with courage comes the strength.
All proceeds from the sales of this book will go to Rape Crisis Tyneside & Northumberland.