Gift

Love Letter to TCFT

To TCFT,

I was a shell when I met you,

Waiting to be cracked open,

Released,

Set free into the world.

Closing myself off,

Not seeing my potential,

Believing I was good enough

Or able to reach my dreams.

Fearful of everything –

Rejection,

Being vulnerable,

Isolation,

Looking a fool;

But with you,

I cracked open,

Potential spilling out,

Fears released;

You taught me how to fly.

A confidence began to grow,

A confidence I never knew I had,

Breaking out of my comfort zone,

But feeling comfortable,

The good replacing the bad.

A place where I could be vulnerable,

Reveal the inner me,

Act a little weirdly,

Laugh loudly,

Or openly express my grief.

Learning how to fly

Just scratches the surface

Of what you mean to me

TCFT,

I never imagined two years ago

In Bosnia,

I’d have another huge family;

Like a lamb thrown to the wolves,

I didn’t know where to turn,

But I was adopted in,

Joined the pack,

Found a home away from home.

The love I feel is like no other,

Support beyond compare,

Hugs, kisses, kind words

Around every corner,

Bright smiles

And touches of care.

It started with my house sisters,

Nomes and Ellie,

Who shared a room with me;

Then Filip and Rory made me feel part of the pack,

Voice-noting the sister who means the world to me.

The care shown by Mikica and Robert,

Nevena and Ljubiša when I felt anaemic,

Bonding over dinner with Nina and Marko,

Sitting down to talk with Sandra.

Also having a heart-to-heart with Naomi,

A never-ending handshake with Miguel,

Chatting for hours with Saaf,

Dancing with Saša.

Thank you Tina for being my constant champion,

Thank you Darren for your thoughtful advice,

Thank you Mary for coming down to Croydon

And filming my poetry night.

I love you Francesco for being so full of life,

I love you Ismir for your beautiful smile,

I love you Luka for being so cute and sweet,

I love you Carina for your kind heart.

The list is endless,

I could go on for hours,

You’ve all touched my life in some way;

We’re family,

You’re in my heart,

Forever there you’ll stay.

You’ve given me a place to belong,

Which I never thought I’d find,

You gave me a gift

And so much more to write;

An answer to a prayer

I had no idea I prayed.

So this letter is to you TCFT,

My life-changer,

A gift from God,

My family;

I love you with all my heart

And always will.

Love

Shaniqua, Shefika, Shani

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Not Caring to Live

“Let’s stay in our bed and die.”

“I want to lay down and die.”

Just two of the selection of things I casually say without thinking, not really wanting to die, but not caring to live either.  I guess I need to be careful about making these sorts of comments, because one day God will make my words a reality and I’ll have breathed my last breath.

I don’t like life though and I find myself constantly tiring of it, no matter how hard I try and no matter how much I fight to stay positive.  It’s a frustrating battle, where I usually feel like the loser, watching so many others on the winning side.

I know it’s not good, because life is a gift and I’m here when so many others aren’t, but I can’t help wondering how much I’m really contributing.  I feel that I have a purpose, yet I’m not fully living up to it and that my attempts to make a difference are not making any real impact.  So often I want to give up, but I know it’s not the right thing to do, so I keep pressing on, and on, and on.

Some days are better than others, when I’m rearing to go and ready to conquer whatever tasks lay ahead of me.  However, there are so many down days and dark moments, when I want to cry, do nothing and sleep forever.  Sadness overwhelms me and I question, “What am I doing?”  Ostracising myself from others seems like the only option and no matter how much I attempt to talk myself around, the negative thoughts keep batting me down.

Wondering if I suffer from depression, but I have no idea.  I know that my PMS brings on depressed feelings and self-harm has been my uphill struggle.  I know that I wrestle with confidence and I have incredibly low self-esteem, but being clinically depressed – I don’t know.

All I know is that I struggle to believe in myself and what I do.  I find it hard not to compare myself to others and feel inferior as I watch them reaching new heights.  I feel lonely, let-down and lacking.  I’m tired, wondering if my goals are worth working towards.  I feel a sense of hopelessness, doubting my dreams will ever come true.

Most of all, I feel horrible, because I don’t want to feel this way at all and I want to have faith in all God has in store for me.  I want to genuinely believe that He’ll make my dreams come true, have hope in all that He has for me and trust that all I ask for will come from Him.

Yet I can’t shake off that feeling of wanting to “lay down and die”…

Writing

Writing is my way of expression,

Of letting out emotions;

It is the avenue to my soul.

Through writing I am able get out the words,

The words that I want to say from my mouth,

But instead get confused or muddled up.

So I write the words down on paper,

Or type them on a keyboard,

Letting them run freely from the avenue of my mind,

Expressing myself better than I could through speech.

It is writing that has gotten me through the hard times,

And writing that has allowed me to speak my mind.

I’ve been able to tell people things,

Things I’d never thought I’d say,

Because writing it down make it simpler,

Allowing me to think the words through.

Writing is my first love,

I don’t know where I’d be without it,

But it’s also a gift from God,

And I won’t ever forget it.