Richard attended our Writing to Recovery Group

Content warning: the poem may cause emotional triggers.

The Land beyond Despair

Sometimes when I think despair is really inescapable, then it makes one feel that nothing, absolutely nothing will work at all. And yet perhaps despair, even despair, the most horrible and loathsome evil of all can withdraw to leave something in its place that is unearthly, beautiful and serene – a landscape whose vision cannot be recognised or understood by any who have not seen the most wicked visions of complete, unbearable and unendurable suffering.

To see, hear and feel such pain as that which one can no longer withstand, and to still have the capacity to walk, to march further into the new and unknown realm.

This must be a mark of courage. This must be the point at which the heavens lift; to see the desolate land with its rare sparkle, the shine that cannot be seen by daylight.

I think such roads lead to a contentment that is beyond enlightenment, to an understanding of life which probably makes most wisdom look foolish. It is not happiness that is gained; instead it could be something deeper, perhaps more profound. And only those who have walked beyond, to the Land beyond Despair can describe such sensations. Unearthly, beautiful, serene?

I hope so

But will I ever reach such a place? It’s not worth the speculation.

I might despair of ever finding it.

It’s surely much better to stand where I am. Because I do understand that it really can be more courageous just to learn how to be happy instead.

Because there’s so many lovely lovely things to be grateful for.

I am happy.