My Story, Yours Too.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Derek Clark & You're not Alone: Fighting Mental Illness through Compassion

The #1 Motivational Speaker in the world, according to Google (and rightfully so), is a man named Derek Clark. Last week, I attended a talk Derek gave in Paradise, CA. Derek rose far above abuses and traumas that I won't attempt to summarize. Plus, he was kind enough to hug me (as he did everyone who approached him after the talk), before autographing his book. Mr. Clark is 6'5" and I'm 4'8," so I am most impressed by his warmth and willingness to put his back out. Unfortunately, I was too awestruck to have gotten a photo of us. Drats!

became instantly known as the cool Rapping Dad, when a rap he threw down while driving with his kids went viral. It's fantastically entertaining; check it out here. His main website, with all sorts of fun information and links to his appearance on Rikki Lake, etc., is here.

Coincidentally, I'd penned this poem the day before Derek's presentation. It addresses the strength of the human spirit, with which he shines. This month marks Mental Health Awareness month. Mental health challenges touch us all. I've lost two people I was very close to, to suicide, and I've battled depression throughout my life. I'm doing great right now, though we never know what the next moment will bring. [If you're interested, I published an article in a local newspaper last year on my fight against depression here.]  Know that, whatever your life's struggles, you're never alone.

You're Not Alone

Please believe
I know your pain
Your broken soul
That smile you feign
You say "I'm fine"
But it's a lie
You dare not share
Your urge to die

I know your rage
And hate
And shame
The burn that set your heart aflame

Consumed by grief
Your life a curse
Cold lonely days
Still nights are worse

Please believe me when I say
Keep holding tight
You'll be okay
Monstrous ills, you cannot halt
Go gentle now
It's not your fault
Mental illness has no cure
You're mortal with a heart that's pure

I know not how
I know not when
But you'll reclaim your life again
Embrace a faith you never knew
You'll be so glad you wrestled through

Please believe
And hold on tight
As strands of pain fade into light
And tender hues transform your sight

You're not alone
Please know it's true
I'm right here
Holding tight 
with you.


  1. Beautiful poem Robyn! I love the compassion that you exhibited here. How awesome that you got to meet Mr. Clark!

  2. That was very touching, Robyn. Glad you got to meet Derek Clark.

  3. your poem has made me all teary eyed. I've been struggling with that dark beast for a few weeks now....esp. last night as I stared at a full bottle of xanax and got the wild hair to take them all at once. What keeps me from doing it is my precious dogs and the thought of them being rehomed at their ages.

  4. Made the poor guy throw his back out, geez haha great poem indeed. Really heartfelt.

  5. A beautiful poem, and we all either know the feeling or know someone going through this. It's all around us. The most important part is that last line, knowing that no matter what you're going through you're never going through it alone.

  6. I watched the video of Derek rapping with his kids. I just can't think that fast. But, more importantly... isn't it funny how a video made for the kiddies went viral and launched something that he never could have imagined??? I just love how the universe works sometimes. I am so happy that you got to go to one his talks. That is so cool. And, of course, your poem is wonderful. You have such a big heart.

  7. Robyn, I'm weepy. Quite often depression touches the people who always appear to be bubbly and happy. I've known it myself, but have refused to take tablets, fighting it with walking, fresh air, friends and applying my mind to anything that is good and pleasant.
    The poem was excellent and far-reaching.

  8. A wonderful poem. Mental illness is such a problem these days, especially with the government cutting back on so many vital mental health programs.

  9. Your poem made me cry, Robyn. It's beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us. The pain we feel that others can't see can sometimes be the most difficult. It's so important for people to know they aren't alone.


  10. Powerful and Cathartic Robyn--Thanks!
    Love ya,

    John Boy

  11. Thank you, dear friends. It helps a lot to talk with each other.

    JoJo, I'm sorry you've known the beast of depression too. Damn thing attacks when we're unprepared. Keep faith and a smile.

    Fanny, yes. Those of us who can laugh with the most gusto are often the same people who've gone through countless tissues. It took decades, but I finally accepted that I need medication. Thank goodness. It's saved my emotional (if not my literal) life.

    Love to you all.
    You're wonderful peeps.

  12. That's beautiful Robyn. And personally, quite timely.
    Thank you.

    You have a beautiful heart.

  13. What a beautiful, deeply touching poem Robyn. Thank you.

  14. Beautiful poem. I know several people who battle mental illness. It seems to touch so many now.

  15. I am a huge fan of poetry that rhymes. Even bigger fan when it has a positive message. Glad you're still feeling strong. I was hit with post partum depression and that brief trip into the land where my hormones were screwing with my mood ande sucking the life force from my body was enough to make me see mental illness in a whole new light.

  16. That's beautiful, Robyn. It sounds like seeing him was so inspirational.

  17. Yo Yo Yo! That guy's got the rap thing down pat.

    Glad you got to hear him speak and say hello. :)

  18. The world needs more people like you Robyn. Many people - they won't admit it - suffer from depression. It is one of the most common mental health challenges. Wonderful poem. Cheers!!

  19. Robyn, thanks for sharing both the rap video (how cool that is) and the link to Derek's website. I wasn't familiar with him but his story sounds really interesting. I, too have a background that includes being in the foster system and it is severely broken in some I empathize with people that have these types of backgrounds. I will check out his information after I leave here.

    Lovely poem..very, very touching. Your poetry is truly wonderful.

  20. My dear human friend,

    The words in your prose doth resonate with the truth. Humans must speak out about their turmoil. There is no shame in being mentally ill. For, as we both know, it can happen to anyone.

    Wise words and one must never feel alone. We are all in this together, my dear human friend.


  21. Lovely, heartfelt poem, Robyn. Very nicely done. Derek is a true inspiration.

  22. What a touching poem Robyn. Thank you for sharing it. I had a really bad bought of postpartem depression after my first daughter was born. Those were some very dark days, and I can't imagine living with chronic depression. I do hope this country gets it together and starts taking mental health seriously.

  23. Nice find. He really sounds like an inspirational person.

  24. Thank you, dear people and Penny.

    Elizabeth and Theresa, uggh. With what pregnancy and childbirth do to a woman's body, I'm surprised more women don't suffer from it. Maybe they do, but they're not talking about it. Thank you for sharing.

    Cheryl, I've worked with the foster care system (as a social worker) for years. I've had my own frustrations with trying to fix the brokenness. It's most frustrating with my colleagues added damage to an already damaged, flimsy system.

    Love and blessings, all.

  25. Wow. I just loved the poem. Absolutely loved it. Your compassion totally seeps through the words and I was biting back tears. Awesome.

  26. My dear mom suffer from Schizophrenia most of her life. It's a beautiful poem.

  27. Wow. Amazing poem. Simply amazing, beautiful, welcoming, touching, encouraging, and so true for so many of us. Thanks for speaking about mental issues, and helping the world understand us a little bit better. Really well done.

    I'm sorry for the loss of your friends, truly sorry.

    Tina @ Life is Good
    On the Open Road! @ Join us for the 4th Annual Post-Challenge Road Trip!

  28. Very beautiful and yes, very fitting. Thanks for the heads-up so I could read it. Dragon Hugs!

  29. So true. We're all in this world together and we should be making the best of it. Hang in there!

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

  30. It's great that you got to meet Derek Clark! He should set your powerful poem to music. Your poem is not only beautifully written, but it brings hope to so many who are struggling with depression. I'm grateful that you've gotten through so many traumatic events in your life, Robyn. I know that you will continue to inspire me through your writing, and your friendship.


  31. Thank you all for showing me, through this wonderful world of blog, the beauty of connection. It is the best and only way to fight loneliness and depression.


  32. Aw, thanks for following my blog. I'm going to have a lot of fun following this one. Just listened to the rapping dad and thought he was amazing. So much to see and explore here. Thanks, Robyn!

  33. Welcom, BJC! Glad to have you come aboard.

    We are in this together, aren't we Arlee? It's so simple and so basic, but we don't tend to think that way. Thank you.

    I'm touched by all your comments, and so glad my poem touched you all. I just read a message from Derek Clark. He really appreciated this post and poem, and - not to brag - but he said I simply rock. I'm smiling.


  34. PS Vanna, I'd like to buy the vowel "e" and add it to BJC's welcom. =)

  35. A thought provoking and moving post Robyn. I think I read your article last year, but will go and see it again. This is a subject that I know something about.

    Days that are only okay, are miles ahead of what they could be. Right?

  36. Beautiful poem!! Hubby suffered with depression a lot in his teenage years and was really close to committing suicide. I tell him all the time how grateful I am that he was able to get beyond that.