Olivia Opara shares her poems and explores how writing helps her mental health during these turbulent times
The pressure to suppress negative feelings is real, especially in a cultural age that’s pro-positivity.
According to research by the Royal Mail, in partnership with Action for Children and The Prince’s Trust, 46% of young people aged 11 to 21 in the UK find that writing down their thoughts and feelings about difficult emotions makes them feel better.
If you struggle with stress, depression and anxiety – like I do – writing poems, prose or keeping a journal is a great idea. It can help you gain control of your emotions and improve your mental wellbeing.
I find writing helps me create order when my world feels like it’s in chaos.
If you’re feeling consistently sad and you’re struggling in your day-to-day life then you can get help. Please check out the Samaritans.
For me, poetry creates intimacy with emotions that I struggle to comprehend, emotions that plague me. But through poetry, my emotions – like myself – become multidimensional. They become metaphysical.
Here is a collection of my latest poetry:
WHAT IS A CHILDHOOD? Is it when it’s bath time Before Tea Nap time then dinner followed by Some TV of frolicking faeries That almost lulls you to sleep But you are carried with the upmost care To your bedroom Adorned with toys that smile with Delight at their master’s return.
They stay as they tuck you In as Mama and Dada sing You a lullaby till your Sleepy eyes kiss So your mind dances with the Stars and the Mr Moon at night That becomes days spent running Laughing, screaming, falling Knowing that somebody will be there To catch you.
For someone always does.
Look out for you as you Wear your naivety like A stain of protection And love. Paternal? Eternal?
Knowing there is a home where you belong And as you belong You are cared for as you care For others who would steal heaven For you to have peace A tranquillity of mind to make Mistakes that would mould you Slip ups that would shape your Amour of confidence to brandish Your heart for all.
For they cherish you Even when you’re all grown up.
˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ AM I BROKEN? Like fragments of crystals That forms the rings of Saturn Yet are of no worth for They are far away
But still here Watching, waiting, listening Angry? Yes. Condemning? No.
Finn has recently graduated with a Psychology degree from Liverpool uni. He writes music and enjoys creating images in Photoshop. He has been working with Exposure for the past few years, collaborating with other contributors and friends to design visuals for their creative projects. He has also edited audio for Exposure Listens podcasts and produced music for videos.