First I Dreamt the Journey – Part 12 – Battlefield 5

And then there are the four horsemen. Circling in the distance – tall, straight figures mounted on different coloured horses they are an imposing, threatening presence.

The harridan on my right shoulder will draw on their presence. Attiring herself in a dress to match the colour of a particular horse she will feed me with untruths.

Dressed in white she tells me that the world is a frightening place, that other people are out to get me, to do me down, that the unknown is populated by strange monsters and frightening creatures who are all out to destroy me. She conjures up demons and green dragons with horns on their heads and sharp pointed teeth, making me terrified even to exist. She persuades me that the only safe option is to bury myself, hide away, refuse to enter into unknown territory because to go there is far too dangerous. If I believe her I feel isolated, frightened, alone but

She lies!

Dressed in red she baffles and confuses me. Creating fabricated images which would persuade me wrong is right, black is white. Using my history and twisting it to persuade me that what I thought I knew I did not, that lack of knowledge is constant and that I will never understand. If I believe her I feel fearful, uncertain, frozen but

She lies!

Dressed in black she creates the illusion of blockages, barriers at every turn, hurdles and obstacles, roads that lead to nowhere and are not worth following, mazes from which it is impossible to escape. She persuades me that the difficulties are too great for me ever to overcome. If I believe her I feel blocked, at an impasse, unable to move but

She lies!

Dressed in grey she persuades me that the torch of hope has been extinguished, that I am in the dark, that there will never be light and that when all is black there are no edges. That I might as well give in because I am worthless and that therefore the only option is self-destruction. If I believe her I sink deep within a pool of self pity with no hope of rescue but

She lies!

She always lies; she is a practised and accomplished liar and although, in the four horsemen, she has powerful allies, I must always be aware that she lies. I have the tools to accomplish this, I merely need the courage and fortitude to use them.

I must recognise, and keep being aware, that fear is not absence of courage, that anxiety is not the same as fear, that facing the fear is an act of love and that the antidote to fear is love. I need to consider my actions, my behaviour – for if I am operating out of fear I will always finish up in the wrong place, whereas if I am operating out of love the destination will be okay.

I must recognise that the journey towards knowledge is via confusion, that confusion is a necessary staging post on the way. Sometimes, in fact, I must seek that particular place because often, in order to learn, I must first unlearn.

And I need to learn that she will use my impatience to go forward as an enemy against me. Instead of pressing myself harder and harder against the brick wall while she creates presences behind me trying to harm me, I need to step sideward, seek a secluded place under a tree and reflect on the bigger picture.

And I must remember too, when she would persuade me that I am bereft of hope, that the torch of hope never goes out. The beautiful fairy promised me that, and the beautiful fairy never lies.

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γ€€Audio version available at http://youtube.com/user/DavidAgnewpoet

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16 Responses to “First I Dreamt the Journey – Part 12 – Battlefield 5”

  1. I absolutely love this poem. It is rich with imagery and feeling. I have been such a slave to fear that I feel like I could have written this myself. It’s wonderful. The beautiful fairy never lies…

  2. This chapter / poem shows how you have struggled and overcame. I deeply admire your ability to turn this period of your life into such a beutiful form of art!

  3. christine Says:

    I love the vivid imagery here. It is so deeply moving and I can relate to it so much. It takes me back to a very dark place where I didnt even think such a thing as hope existed. I can till be drawn back there if I spiritually nod off.

    The comment you made on my poem today about getting a poem out of a difficult day applies to this too. Out of darkness and despair you have created beauty.

    Lots of love

    Christine

    xxx

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Christine,

      Hope does exist and the torch of hope never goes out – even if sometimes we think it does!!

      Writing poetry about difficult times allows us to see them differently – that was one of the reasons I so liked your poem πŸ™‚

      Lots of love
      David
      xxx

  4. We have traveled a parallel road at times, David… I still thank God for the strength that I never knew existed.. You are a wonder!! Hugs!!

    • belfastdavid Says:

      It is part of that strength Sandy to know that others are walking the same road.

      One of the great joys for me in being on the internet is to have met others from all over the world and to know we are walking side by side.

      Big Hug and much love

      David

  5. David,

    I do like the hard-hitting force of your words here. Also, the imagery is focused and accessible.

    As I have said, I have no history of addiction. But, the grey and black voices are very much a part of my life just now. You touched a chord with me when you spoke of confusion, and of impatience. One always seems to lead to the other.

    I think an important part of any battle is to have good allies–friends and loved ones to help settle the wind and quiet the storm so you can see a clear path. That has always helped me a lot. But, sometimes we fight alone. Those times are when it is easiest to be caught off guard by demons like your ‘mistress’. I am reassured by the knowledge that winning those battles I fight on my own makes me stronger. Here’s to a big win!

    Much love,
    Shirley

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Shirley,

      At the end of the day we have to fight alone, although the support of good allies-friends helps give us the courage to do that.

      Here’s to you having that “big win”.

      Much love

      David

  6. Hi David,

    I have greatly missed your blogs and I look forward to catching up on what I’ve missed.

    I really like your metaphor in this section. presented in his way the first impression that comes to my mind when reading is that altohugh you’ve written from the perspective of sobriety your description too in many ways decribes the viscious cycle of depression if one lets it get a hold of them.

    If you listen to the wrong part of the brain misery awaits, but if you fight with the right part of the brain, recovery awaits and you know know no matter how the day or the weeks ahead seem, you will arrive to a day where you feel “yourself” again, where being alive and a part of the world is a good thing once again.

    The other impression that struck me was learning and that sometimes you have to unlearn in order to learn anew. One of the biggest lessons I learned was to be okay with saying “I don’t know” and being prepared to find the answer, being okay with not knowing an answer, even being okay with being wrong or mistaken and being prepared to be corrected.

    I deeply appreciate that your insights and journey as you’ve presented it, you not only offer a light to those who have walked a similar journey to yourself but your journey also offers a light and a path for people who walk similar roads of other kinds of addictions and mental illness. For myself at least anyway.

    I hope you have been well?
    Arohanui
    (((BSH)))
    Tikarma
    xxxx

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Tikarma,

      It is good to have you back in the online community again. I hope you are beginning to feel settled in your new environment. You have taken a big step and are now on another leg of your journey – I am excited for you – Trust the process and above all enjoy!! πŸ™‚

      I am always pleased when people can identify with what I am writing when they are coming from a different perspective. I have long believed that the journey of recovery is similar for us all irrelevant of the starting point.

      As for “dont know” – In my previous life I was prone to say “I know”. My Aunty Penny challenged that – She said “Will you stop telling me you know. What you know got you where you are today – up to your neck in shit and in a treatment centre for alcohol dependency! You kmow nothing!!” I hated her that day – but she was absolutely right. I can still hear her today. I find it is a good start to every day to remind myself that I know nothing!! That way my mind is open πŸ™‚

      Arohanui
      (((BSH)))
      David
      xxx

      • Thankyou David, ((hug))

        Life is slowly returning to a normal routine. It has indeed been a big step, but one I am very happy to embrace. Trusting the process is what led us to where we are right now, so most certainly yes, I will be continuing to trust, have faith and embrace each day. πŸ™‚

        I like your attitude to starting each day. *lol* Aunt Penny is certainly a wise woman! πŸ™‚

        My best to you for the rest of the week.
        Arohanui
        (((BSH)))
        Tikarma
        xxxx

      • belfastdavid Says:

        *Smile*

        I can still hear my Aunty Penny’s voice in my head – just as clearly as when she first said it (and that’s a few years ago now) πŸ™‚

        I look forward to more epistles from this stage of your journey πŸ™‚

        My very best to both you and Jamie
        Arohanui
        (((BSH)))
        David
        xxx

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