Rolling in with the Waves

Updated: Sep 11, 2019






As with all life experiences, recovery (from trauma, illness, addiction or anything) has some features that are common to many, and others that are unique to each individual. Here, Matt and Alex combine their stories into a poem that voices their different experiences of roads to recovery, stages of the journey, and setbacks or roadblocks inevitably encountered on the way.


When I made it I couldn't believe it

Rolling in with the waves

Lived to tell the tale


Been on an alcohol binge

survived it all

what doesn't kill ya

makes you stronger.

Recovery was on the agenda

Lived to tell the tale

been drinking far too much

need to keep all that in touch


Hurt but alive

Rolling in with the waves

Lived to tell the tale


Look back with pride

finally safe alive

when I made it I couldn't believe it

friends lost or gone

friends I ran from

feeling frightened

I had survived - despite my best efforts

had to leave people behind

I had survived - still don't believe it

The road to recovery lies ahead

do I see it?

perhaps as horizon

I can't rush or run -

I'm not ready

damaged but not broken

hurt but alive

I must bide my time

live in limbo land


When I made it I couldn't believe it

Rolling in with the waves

Lived to tell the tale


wish I could always move forward

unlock the door and let the sun wash in

but I have a drawer full of weak excuses


When I made it I couldn't believe it

Rolling in with the waves

Lived to tell the tale


Recovery is like a flower

that blooms again in June

survived the storms of life

saw the dark side of the moon

walked on broken dreams

through lousy housing schemes

trying to find a way

to see a brighter day


When I made it I couldn't believe it

Rolling in with the waves

Lived to tell the tale


Trim off the excess fat

relish the excess fat

survive, revive, recover, discover

replenish from excess

roll in with the waves


Group Writing Prompt

If you meet with a group of others to write, you can combine your efforts into a collaborative piece. Start with a free-write on a chosen subject. Read out what you've written, and pool ideas and phrases that seem to work well together. You can do further writes at this stage, maybe taking a phrase or idea from another person and putting your own spin on it. You can go on to think about sound and rhythm, as in this post - or introduce a metaphorical dimension by asking, for example, 'if [recovery ] were an animal [or piece of furniture, or dance style or country or . . . have fun making up your own categories] what would it be? Then discuss the best order for the material you're using. Building verses around a chorus that uses a line from each contributor, and using repetition, can work well.

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Heart & Sound

As part of Survive & Recover, we delivered three sessions for the wonderful Dunfermline youth organisation Heart & Sound. Sixteen brilliantly creative young people, most of whom had experience of com

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