Love Pain & Poetry

Write for Life

Write for Life is a Love Pain & Poetry initiative to encourage the world to write for 15 minutes a day for mental health therapy. Everyone is encouraged to participate. 

Poetry gave me life again

Writing Saves Lives


There I was sitting in my office with the lights out head down in one the biggest law firms in the world with one thing on my mind. Being normal enough to walk around with a level of confidence I carried a year ago.  I had just lost a custody battle for my daughter. My romantic life somewhere between a New York City dumpster and train track 50 feet beyond the stations dimly lit city grime platform where New Yorkers patiently wait to slug home.  You know the spot where the rats hang out toward Jersey.  The bills were piling up and creditors started calling. I had a job, a little money but I could not for the life of me mentally stop the collapse. I lost everything, I mean everything.  Through everything I learned ended up working a deal to develop a women's clothing line with 16/sixteenlife|Newvintage.  I had worked a collaboration with the current Ms. Africa USA.  Life was going good it looked as if I was diving head first in to fashion.  But then disaster struck, my grandfather died. A friend and i had a big falling out. My family tore itself apart. To give you context they argued over the obituary being accurate. The accuracy advocacy commission won that fight.  But somehow listed me as the third grandchild not the first. Yes, I hope that made you laugh. I found it hilarious at the time.


Day to day

Afterwards, I literally spent weeks in my bed. Only if, I didn’t have to work. I would have spent seven maybe ten hours a week out of my bed and less than three out of my apartment.  I moved only to eat and use the bathroom.  With a popular organic supermarket that was recently purchased by a large internet marketplace downstairs my depression was expensive.  I didn’t care, I was comfortable.  I didn’t think, decide or determine anything. I was in complete receive mode.  You could have punched me in my face I wouldn’t have done a thing. Not a single thing.  I was certain I needed help.  The doctor prescribed me medication that I had refused two years prior after returning from a tour in Afghanistan. SSRI’s, at that time they were being blamed for crazy behavior of their unsuspecting hosts. I didn’t know it yet but that was a very wise decision to leave those drugs alone when they were first offered.

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The second time around I was so lifeless I didn’t have a choice. This was the first time I had to swallow my pride and accept the fact I had a mental health issue.  The meds caused an immediate effect on my cognitive abilities. The next day I was functioning and my brain was able to send and receive. In other words a bad day to punch me in the face. They have some nasty side effects. Over all I can't say I'd advise you use these long term for depression based on my experience. I refused to be medicated my entire life for anything.

The most interesting thing about these drugs were I was suppose to be the opposite of that.  My mood was suppose to increase but I wasn’t suppose to be as sharp as I felt. I almost felt brand new except when I would forget to take the pills and I often did.  Selective Seritonin Reuptake inhibitors have some nasty side effects. I am not some fancy doctor so I recommend you google that.

Time passes

After sometime the medication leveled out and had a flattened affect. My symptoms got worse. I was still unable to do anything but the basics. My doctor recommended, I go to an outpatient program. I entered this program thinking I am in the crazy house.  I opened right up and I don’t think I shut up for 4 weeks. I talked and talked made friends until I noticed the facilitators behaved as if they were better than the patients. This lady said the nastiest thing to me. I forget what it was but I gave her 30 seconds of me.  I don’t think she will ever look to fix her mouth to disrespect me again.  These people wanted me to accept responsibility for the incident. I laughed in their face and realized I am fighting for me and that was a positive development.

We have to backtrack a little bit because we have to talk about how we got there. Every tuesday or thursday we did creative writing.  I would always write poetry and

I wrote:

Racing from Depression

I want to wipe away the pain

Like my mind has wiped away my gains

I don’t really want to leave and walk away from my fame

Exhausted from the games I work for no reward

At work and there is a void

No love no leadership or life

It’s been destroyed, I walk so empty, I hope my loved ones forgive me,

I can no longer take the stress, I have to admit I’m a mess

I feel this is the end of the road a turn or a bend,

I simply must confess just to get this off my chest, I really need to rest

In this pursuit of happiness, I have more but i gained less,

Material items mean nothing people are amazingly wealthy, aren’t they something

I’m not going to make it, not coming, I have my track shoes on I’m running,

The pen is out of ink so I’m done but the poetic bug is still humming.

              -Charles Stokes


 That is when I found life again.  I remembered who I was.  I left that program a short time after.  I was motivated by the young lady who facilitated that work group. Her name was Sema Reeza and she possessed the most beautiful voice.  I could write poetry to her sound all day.  No meds no doctors no amount of money could have done for my life what poetry and this young lady a fellow poet did for me.  I would write about 60 poems in 10 days the month after leaving the program.  I only stopped writing to build a website and format the book both called “Love Pain & Poetry.”   I want to do everything that was done for me for people long before they need a doctor.  A mental health day really needs to be a thing. 15 minutes of paid creative writing in the workplace should exist.  So we are creating that 15 minutes at Love Pain &

You can find exactly what you’re looking for throughout the site, photographs of dreamable places to get lost long enough to reset your day.  We also have music, brief history lessons, guided imagery, and prompting from our contributors. Stop by enjoy photographs and our community.  Until next time take care, stay aware and write away the pain.


Book 1


This book ends where this blog post begins.  






Charles StokesComment