A Heartbeat of Hope by Kat Heydon

Not long out of hospital again, where I received little care.
Feeling powerless and hopeless and so full of despair.
My ‘life’ has been traumatic, distressing, I long to be free.
Yet, I don’t deserve kindness from others, let alone me!

I noticed an event called Compassionate Mental Health.
With support from others, I booked it and found strength.
The thought overwhelmed me, I have no words to explain.
But I knew I needed to begin to free myself from my pain.

But how could I get there? the journey would take forever.
A lovely lady went out of her way, and we travelled together.
What an act of overwhelming kindness to start the first day.
Car sweets, chatting, laughing and bonding the whole way.

The tent, the beautiful people, the real life human company.
The joy in morning when someone made me a cup of tea.
How different it felt when there was just no preconception.
Sitting round a log burning stove we made a real connection.

No ‘them and us’, no mention of illness, disorders or labels.
Instead, equals, human beings, were some of the phrases.
At this gathering I felt the true warmth of so many caring folk.
This feeling enveloped me like a kind of empowering cloak.

No~one afraid to show their emotions, I felt incredibly safe.
Mirrored in the faces of others, my worth I began to embrace.
Telling part of my story in a circle, was ‘held’, heard and loved.
I cried, wasn’t judged and even allowed myself to be hugged.

The power of the deep emotional human contact was so real.
Within me the scared little girl knows now she deserves to heal.
I realised I matter, the people in the forest helped me to see.
I’ve begun writing a list of small steps to care and be kind to me.

I sit alone again but with the memories of the camp in the wood.
The feeling is still there, that feeling of being totally understood.
Three days of unconditional humanity, something in me awoke.
I know what it is, I’ve had time to reflect it’s a ‘heartbeat of hope’!


This poem was written by Kat Heydon after attending the Compassionate Mental Health gathering in October 2017.

If you’d like to be part of the Spring 2018 gathering, please register you interest by joining our Mailing List

Thanks to all came to the gathering at Fforest. We’ll also be launching a new closed Facebook group to create a safe digital space for attendees of the gatherings to stay connected.



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