With Hope Comes Peace


SKU e-book Category

175 in stock


By Helen Care

ISBN: 978-1-84991-707-0
Published: 2012
Pages: 75
Key Themes: Mental Health, Poetry, personal experience, songer/songwriter, hope


Foreword by Jem Price

Helen died at home in December 2011. It seems that her reserves of hope had run dry. I dearly wish that Helen was still with us but know that she has now found some kind of peace. Helen had read and approved the Foreword which follows. Indeed, she had sent the entire manuscript to her publisher and was really pleased that it had been accepted for publication. I suppose that I could have gone through this Foreword, changing ‘is’ to ‘was’ but I like to think that Helen still ‘is’. So, this is for you, Helen. Cheers, my dear.

I’ve known Helen longer than pretty much anyone else. I knew Helen before she was mad – or at least before she let people know she was mad. I knew Helen before all those professionals (caring and uncaring) whose crazy-paving she’s crossed. Anyway, the point is that I know Helen pretty well because she’s an old mate of mine. And yet I’ve learnt much more about her from these poems.

Helen’s first book was called ‘With Anger Comes Hope’ but I think this collection actually conveys that anger even more effectively. Here, she is externalising her anger, voicing it, almost naming names. Screaming at the real sinners (they know who they are); swearing at the insecurities and struggles they left her with; sharing something of the fucking awful nightmares that they caused. As you may be able to tell, it makes me pretty angry too, on the quiet.

I think Helen thinks too much. I think I understand why she thinks as much as she does but I hope that one day her head will be uncluttered by thoughts of goodness and evil, of perfect love and feared-rejection, of life and death. There are some one-syllable themes in this book that most of us should be able to relate to: love, lies, loss, fear, drink, drugs. Given the subject matter, I found some surprisingly helpful hints among these pages. Helen’s words are matter of fact because they are a matter of fact. This book isn’t a laugh – but you do need to know that Helen is thoughtful and gifted and very funny.

Talking of being funny, people overuse exclamation marks. It irritates me. Then again, I get annoyed when people ask if they can ‘get’ a latte. Helen also uses exclamation marks – but she uses them appropriately, not just to say ‘Laugh Now’. Helen exclaims – and she has good reason to. When she’s been having a particularly difficult time, I’ve often exhorted Helen to seek solace in the wise words, popularised by Ronan Keating: “Life is a rollercoaster, just gotta ride it”. Ok, fasten your safety harness!!!

Book Extract

Secrets Are Deadly

Secrets underlie suicidal thoughts
I can’t easily recall these memories
I speak only of the crisis at hand
Bury me as well as my vulnerabilities
Discount trauma, keep my chin up!
Look on the bright side attitude
But this can lead to fear and shame
Making it difficult to find platitude
Difficult feelings make it hard to give
Don’t feel like I can ask for support
Secrets are deadly, they can kill
Suicidal thoughts I always fought
I need an outlet for the turmoil
That’s eating away at my soul
Please can you give me peace of mind
So I can gather myself up and become whole
Secrets underlie suicidal thoughts
That take over your personality
For this cycle needs to be broken
Interrupt my fantasy that is my reality.


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