Healing Poems

I wrote thousands of healing poems during the 14 years when I lived bedbound with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

Muscle fatigue meant I lost the ability to write more than a few words at a time so I learned to use a dictaphone. 

Writing and reading poetry helped me in the following ways:

  • to express myself
  • to receive my own understanding
  • to come to terms with my situation of illness,
  • to process spiritual and psychological insights I received along the way.

Introducing the first of the healing poems -
The work of living alone with illness

Back in the year 2000, due to disability, I hadn't had a holiday for 7 years.

I had not travelled away from home. But more significantly, I hadn't had a holiday from being in a situation where I was never sure I would get enough to eat each day.

I couldn't feed myself and I couldn't make a phone call without aggravating the head pain and other cognitive symptoms, so trying to organise care was stressful.

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I lived in North London at that time (in a place called Hornsey). A friend who lived in Devon offered to have me to stay if I could bring a carer with me.

It was tricky, but I found a private carer and made the holiday happen.

It meant a lot to me to spend time with a friend who had known me before I got ill, who could reflect back to me who I was as a person.

At the same time, it also felt slightly dangerous. It gave me a taste of an easier life which was not going to be available to me once the holiday ended.

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The Holiday

Arms that reach out

to catch me if I fall,

to steady me and let me stand alone,

to comfort,

soothe.

 

Eyes that see me,

that fill with tears at my sorrow

and laugh as I laugh;

that ask questions

about who I am,

and how I am;

wanting to know,

wanting to help,

willing to share.

 

What business have these arms,

these eyes, in my life of

set times and rigid routines,

regardless of needs that remain

when time is finished and

I am left alone?

 

Why do they tease me with

possibilities beyond my reach?

 

But I shall not build barriers

against these gifts;

I shall receive the warmth of these arms

and the kindness of these eyes;

I shall take them in and store them in my heart,

to know my worth,

to fuel my hope of a future

different from the past.

 

I shall let them feed my soul

for the times of shortage that may lie ahead.

I shall let myself remember

what it is to be loved,

and accept the consequence –

the sharper recognition of a lack of love

in places where I so wish to find it.

 

I will melt and

let it be summer for a while.

I will open my heart and

sing my thanks.



© Katherine T Owen - please ask for permission to reproduce this poem

Read more poems by the author of www.healingcfsme.com

Healing poems - number two.
How do you shift your focus from the symptoms of chronic illness?

One of the challenges of living with severe chronic illness is to find a way to shift your focus– at least some of the time– from the symptoms.

If you try not to focus on a symptom you are likely to do so all the more. So what do you do to send your thoughts in the direction of greater health?

The second of the healing poems represents one of my attempts to do this.

healing poem


What If?

What if this symptom means
I’m getting worse?

What if I can
no longer keep things going?

What if my carers get angry at the extra work
and leave?

What if I die?

What if this symptom is
gone by morning?

What if this symptom means
I am getting better?

What if I can soon
look after myself?

What if I go on to lead
a full and active life?

Sometimes the mind needs a push
in the right direction.


© Katherine T Owen - please do not reproduce this poem without permission.

Read more poems by the author of www.healingcfsme.com

The last of the healing poems shares a theme with the first. It touches on the healing power of relationships.


There Is Nothing Wrong With You

My carer and I are laughing.
She stops and looks at me,
eyes shining.

‘There is nothing wrong with you, is there?’
she says,
‘I mean apart from being ill.’

My goodness,
how words can heal.


© Katherine T Owen - please do not reproduce this poem without permission.

Read more poems by the author of www.healingcfsme.com

If you want to submit your own healing poems for consideration, please submit them in the healing forum.
Please do not be offended if I do not publish your poem. It does not mean that it is without merit.

Move from healing poems to learn more of my healing journey with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome /Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

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Disclaimer: I am not a medical practitioner. The articles on this website are not to be taken as medical advice. Please consult a medical practitioner as necessary.