Acceptance – A Poem by Norm Wotherspoon


By Norm Wotherspoon, Lived Experience Representative


When I waken, screaming in the darkness

At the early edges of the morning;

When the memories sweep so vivid and so painful

Through my consciousness;


When the day ahead seems all too hard to get through,

And my mind cannot envisage any value in my life.

When I have no dreams, but just their ashes trashing everything

That I have ever done, or said, or thought was good, or somehow worth the while.


When the only goal that I can hold within the fragments of my mind

Is this: to stay in bed a day, a week, a month,

And seek the numb forgetfulness of dreamless sleep;

Although I know that sleep is only possible with pills;


When death seems like the only life worth living,

Because I can’t escape the torment of the past,

No matter how hard I might try, because

Cruel memory is the oldest, and the only friend I have;


Then I hear the silent voice that calls

From deep within my spirit as it travels blind;

‘Be still!’ it gently counsels, ‘and accept yourself,

Just as you are, and this will surely get you through this day.’


Slowly, and with love, my spirit

Guides me from the labyrinth of my pain;

And slowly moves my focus to

The love I share with family, friends, and all the people in my life;


‘Accept yourself,’ my spirit says,

“Just as you are, for this is all you need to be;

Someone who loves, who tries each day, by word and deed,

To demonstrate your caring to the people in your world.’


And so, each day, I struggle from the chains of memory,

I give myself permission to be free, and to accept my value;

By simply understanding that I, too, have choices in my life

In who I am, and what I do, and how I choose to live this day.


I will accept myself today, and smile out on the world;

I will accept, respect, and find the value in all those I meet today;

In the way I treat others, by my words and my deeds,

I will find the path to my own recovery, and my own acceptance.


About Norm Wotherspoon

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