River of Doubt

There is one poem I’ve written that sticks out in my mind as my favorite. It is a poem I wrote nearly 8 years ago.

I had just left the twins’ mother. I was living with my brother in an apartment complex literally right next door to the home my wife and I had shared. On a daily basis I drove by that home and I wondered: How are the twins? Are they okay? How is my decision affecting them? Will they understand? Have I fucked up their lives? Should I go back home?

The guilt of what I had done to my children overwhelmed me at times. In my mind I know that staying in a marriage solely for the sake of your children is ultimately not a good decision. I was miserable with their mother. I was mistreated and abused emotionally, verbally, and, on occasion, physically. I struggled – weighing my need to be away from her with my need to be in their lives at every waking moment. It was the first time I’d really doubted a major decision I had made.

I wrote the poem below as a means to release my struggles. To get my demons out of my head and trap them on paper. I think it helped, to a certain extent. After I finished the poem and reread it I realized I actually liked it. It was the first time I had written something I was actually proud of. It was the first time I thought, “Hey, I might be okay at this writing thing.” I posted it to my MySpace blog (hey, it was 2006) and it was well-received there.

For those reasons, this poem is, and probably always will be, my favorite of all the poetry I’ve ever written. I hope you like it as much as I do.

River of Doubt

Nothing’s constant throughout life
Changes come, causing strife
So sure ‘til now of choices made
Doubts creep up, then pervade
My mind at times when I’m not ready
Keeping my thoughts random, unsteady
Sometimes I can’t help but wonder
Did I choose right or did I blunder?
From what depths do these doubts arise?
Do they seek to create my demise?
To ensnare my consciousness, paralyze my mind?
How do I lose this, how can I find
A way to let my confidence thrive?
So I can move on, so I can survive
Without being plagued, without being hampered
With needless worries that lately have tampered
With my life, with my happiness
And violently raised my level of stress
I’m slowly succumbing to a river of doubt
Wandering, desperate to find a way out
Please let it end for the sake of my sanity
And return to me the wisdom and clarity
I held once before these times of confusion
Before I felt the need for seclusion
Hopefully in time this too will alter
Or in the life I’ll certainly falter

*This post was inspired by today’s Daily Prompt.

32 thoughts on “River of Doubt

  1. Wonderful. I can certainly see why it would be a poem that stuck with you, written at the time of life you were experiencing. Your poetic voice should be heard far more often my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, sir. Right now I’m in a pretty good place, which means poetry doesn’t come easy to me. For some reason I only get poetic inspiration while down in the dumps. Stupid, eh?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not stupid at all. I only started writing AFTER my marriage break up. The cliché of artists often being tortured must hold true for a lot of people. And even now, darker, quiter, more contemplative moods bring out better words from me.


  2. Hmm…. Those first two lines, well now I know why you liked my post let it flow so much. 🙂
    The poem and the justification are beautiful. Very heartfelt words. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is a beautiful poem.

    It isn’t stupid that you write poetry when you are in a bad place. That said, I’m glad you aren’t in a bad place even though we may not get to read your poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. very enlightening and well written. Poetry is not easy for me to understand. It gets jumbled up in my brain when I try to extract the meaning. But this was one I did get without getting lost 😀


  5. The thing is, for people whose minds work that way, I think the emotions are too complex to manage without organising them somehow into a format which makes sense. So we process our traumas and tribulations by turning them into poetry, with the added bonus that as we work through them and mould them into rhyme and metre, we also turn them into something beautiful, thereby beginning the process of redeeming the situation.

    Does that make sense? It just kinda struck me, because I know that I also do my best (or certainly MORE) poetry when I’m in an awful place.

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Well, as weird as any poet. I don’t think anyone in the world would look at someone like Edgar Allen Poe and say “Yeah…he was normal”

            Takes all sorts. You’re YOU, and that’s what counts.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. You did SUCH a good job of relaying the hurt, pain and doubt that you felt at the time while also relaying how much you had to decide what you had to decide. Now, years later, I hope that you can remember the pain and the doubt but also know that you absolutely did the right thing. For all of you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You’re definitely good at this here writing thing, my friend.

    I’m glad you wrote these words, and that you had the courage to move on from where you were there, and that you keep on finding that courage to keep on moving forwards.


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