Debora shapes depression into poetry

Debora Guedes has found an antidote not just to the stressful days of life but to help her move on from the enduring depression she has suffered for much of her young life. A Mosaic Clubhouse Member, 25-year-old Debora recently took part in the Young Adult Poetry Project – a six-week sojourn into the spoken word funded by the Sir Walter St John Educational Charity and Arts Admin.

Debora was also present with fellow Member Josh at this month’s Lambeth Living Well Collaborative breakfast on September 13 where they both gave moving testimonials. Debora said

“My childhood scarred me both physically and mentally. This experience impacted me in a very negative way. I was isolating myself, never wanting to leave the house, feeling worthless, and pressuring myself to be a happier person without dealing with my past. CBT was one of the most important aspects of my life, talking therapy is amazing. Also, changing the way I think has not only been helpful, but it’s been life changing. It’s given me the chance to be the real me.

In 2016 I was referred to Mosaic Clubhouse by my social worker at the time. I love Mosaic because they’ve made me feel special and they’ve made me feel like I am worthy of achieving greatness. I love helping others at Mosaic because not only does it help their mental health but it also helps mine. I often choose to be tasked with more challenging roles and responsibilities such as financial admin work, designing leaflets and being able to engage with other young members. I have been able to go to Sweden with Nicki (Young Adult Coordinator) to do colleague training. I’ve always loved animals so much so that I researched into getting a therapy dog for mosaic. Doug the Pug therapy Dog now comes to Mosaic once a month! 

My story did have a happy beginning but I am still overcoming my past and present like a warrior! In December last year I broke my leg one day before I was meant to start my TEP (Transitional Employment Placement) at Mosaic. You think thyroid cancer stopped me, you think mental health stopped me, you think stammering stopped me, well it hasn’t! I can proudly say that I’m starting my new TEP at Public Health England next month.”

Poetry flows

Mosaic Clubhouse held a poetry special for World Mental Health Day on October 10, 2018, the theme, Young People and mental health in a changing world, organised by the young people’s committee.

Debora spoke to Karen about why the poetry course was so important to her.

“One of the most important things was learning alongside working poet Deanna Rodger. She taught us a lot about how to make your poems more personal, and about timing,“ says Debora who uses depression and her favourite Willow tree as inspiration in her work Mine, printed below.

“I love all trees but She is my favourite… “. And, as her poem outlines ‘the one who inspires me to write’.

Debora explains that her enduring depression comes from childhood trauma… “a lot of bad things happened to me when I was a child and as a result I started to self harm…

“I guess coming here helped me to understand how I was feeling, I met others who understood and were just normal like me,” she says reflecting on the words of her favourite poet, Charles Bukowski

The area dividing the brain and the soul
is affected in many ways by
experience –
Some lose all mind and become soul:
Some lose all soul and become mind:
Some lose both and become:

Future plans

The poetry project is just one of the innovative ways that Mosaic works with young people, other plans are on the horizon, so watch this space…

Mosaic’s ethos to help people stay resilient through the tough times means that Debora is “staying strong… I don’t have a choice; I broke my leg, I have battled cancer and I am still here.”
Karen Hooper

Debora’s poem

She may be wrinkled with a thousand scars,
and though she may not speak,
she will always show you her memoirs,
Some may be infused with happiness,
and some bittersweet.
She’s rusty and majestic,
with a noble descent,
she is the epitome.

She holds wisdom and might,
the one who inspires me to write,
Enlightenment and stability pours from her.
Forever keeping me humble,
she’s never out of sight.
She is all, 
substantially different,
they come as a pack.
Roots rigidly entwined raising raw emotion,
she obtains an unspoken ocean.

She is infinitely mine,
she is my life line.
She tells me,
that she can always see,
what my heart wants me to be,
Just be like me,
Inhale a sapling,
exhale a willow tree.
Debora Guedes

The course was held during Mental Health Awareness Week.

For more information on Mental Health Awareness Week click here

Evening Sanctuary in the news for Mental Health Awareness Week

Check out the stories on iNews here

Here’s a video Mosaic shared on its Facebook page during the week.

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