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Why Poetry Saved My Life

By Mel Haagman

Finding peace and solace within you is a journey of constant discovery, failed attempts, and surprises. Some people may go a lifetime in search of what brings them comfort and inner peace and may never find it.

I feel so honored to have found my peace and solace within writing poetry from such an early age. I can honestly say that I think at times it has helped my mental health. Life is complex and things happen that we can’t process immediately or if ever at all and it is so easy to carry on and suppress the emotions that come from these difficult times. We may feel ashamed to talk about how certain situations have made us feel or we simply don’t know how to express how we feel. It is not something we are explicitly taught at school, and if our parents suppressed their emotions – what chance do we stand?

Poetry or writing of any form gives us an outlet to express ourselves, air our feelings and attempt to make sense of what the world throws at us. It is a choice whether these words are shared or just kept private. Either way they can offer invaluable support and self-therapeutic methods.

Any strong emotion that I feel whether that be sadness, anger, happiness or excitement I channel this into a poem and always feel better than I did before when it’s finished. For me, poetry flows out in one and can take anything from four minutes to fifteen to write. Anything more than this and I tend to stop and never finish. I don’t edit because I like my poetry to be raw and reflect the exact feelings of that moment.

Poetry has occasionally even been the topic of my poetry.

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