I’m going to talk about the love and peace created within my family and myself. Self, being key, which is important to me as you can not love and be at peace without the two residing within yourself. This subject nicely compliments the up and coming event of Remembrance Day and what I believe should be being remembered.
My name’s Ellis Robinson, I was born and raised in Walsall until I joined the Mercian regiment in 2012. This was an interesting time for infantry recruits as we were essentially joining to go straight to war. At this point in my life it was a job I needed. Upon completion of training, which, in itself was mentally taxing, my family and I were posted to Germany. I spent most of my time on pre deployment training followed by a 6 month tour of Afghanistan. The events in Afghanistan, as well as the events throughout my stint in army life, led to a knock-on effect, eventually concluding with a PTSD, GAD and OCD diagnosis a year after leaving the forces. At this point in my life I was in a very dark place and suicide was on the cards. My children kept this at bay with the love they gave me daily, all while I was keeping my problem hidden from them. They never judged me once, even when I was leaving on a whim to be alone. My wife and I have been together since School. Her unconditional love for me, being my rock, cushion and walking aid all in one was the catalyst to my mental state today. For me, the day the penny finally dropped was when I realised that love and peace is the be all and end all.
Upon leaving the army, there was little support when it came to the crunch with my mental health. I was eventually put into contact with Birmingham mental health services who provided me with the help I needed for my condition. This led me onto several charities, some, to be honest were pretty useless and even made situations worse at times. One charity that really came through for me, even simply having someone to talk to who I felt I could trust, were the Poppy Factory. My support worker at the poppy factory is a lady called Rebecca Thorn, who, over the last year or so has been pretty important to me and my family. I could not ask anything more from her. Just knowing that she will be at the end of the phone and willing to help in any way she can has helped me enormously. “Thank you Beck.”
Off the back of this point, brings me to Remembrance Day, which most people attach to the fallen of world war 1 and 2. I feel people of the nation and the world need to realise that conflict has not ended. Peace has not been achieved. Even after conflict as early as the Boxer rebellion of 1899, right up to conflict still raging on in the likes of Syria and the current occupation of Palestine. Lives are affected by war every day, not only soldiers, civilians and families pay the biggest price, for nothing or peanuts. In my humble opinion, I would rebrand Remembrance Day as war awareness day to promote love and peace to help prevent the needless deaths of the many. Remember, the dead suffer no more. On the flip side, there are thousands in this country suffering in silence, maybe millions in the world, without recognition.
I believe there is spare love and peace in tons around the planet. People of all nations need to dig it up, find it wherever they can and pass it on. Love from my beautiful wife and children solidified the peace in my mind and life. Love can save this world along with respect. Please be aware, always, not just when the calendar tells you to. We need love not war! Peace can only be achieved when the fighting stops. It can be done. Take Iceland (not the frozen food store) for example. Just one small island on our planet, takes no part in war, has little to no violent crimes and love blossoms here.
Light or dark
Like the bulb of a flashlight
Let it go
Flickering like mercury
In the November sky
It shall not pass you by
Tap the torch
Link the bulb rightly
Not too tightly
And the present will shine
By Ellis Robinson
Unchained Wisdom ©
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where you can find blogs on my experience with mental illness and a little amateur poetry and art.
If you would like to donate to a charity helping veterans who are in need, please donate to The Poppy Factory.
The Poppy Factory,
20 Petersham Road, Richmond,
Surrey, TW10 6UR.
Member since: 4th February 2019
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Award winning poet and playwright