2023 Poetry Contest Winners
Click the titles below to read the full poem.
Resilience by Jessica Pagan
Amidst the twists and turns of life,
You faced a challenge, one of strife,
A vestibular disorder, a constant battle,
A journey filled with highs and lows, a daunting saddle.
The world spun around you, a dizzying dance,
Balance lost, a struggle for every stance,
Nausea, vertigo, a constant companion,
A test of will, a journey unbidden.
But you did not falter, you did not yield,
You took on the challenge, refused to be sealed,
In a prison of despair, a victim of fate,
You fought back, took charge of your gait.
With grit and determination, you pushed ahead,
Through the uncertainty, the fear and dread,
You found your footing, a new sense of self,
A warrior in the face of an invisible stealth.
Your journey may be ongoing, with ups and downs,
But know that your courage, your spirit astounds,
You are a beacon of hope, a source of inspiration,
A symbol of resilience, a triumph of determination.
The Invisible Assailant by Theresa Cochrane
My assailant visited one late night
Invisible, disruptive, then took flight
My head was put in its vice like grip
Spinning, turning, nauseous I trip
Stole my confidence and self esteem
Took my job, my car, all my dreams
Asked the professionals to find the foe
Scratching their heads they all said no
MRI, bloods and ENT
Audiology, physio and VRT
The road is long the journey bumpy
Acceptance of this new reality
Coming years down the line
But ask me how I'm doing
I will smile and say "I am fine"
Normal by Jane Wallace
We look normal don't we? To others I mean,
Our world can be chaos but it's mostly unseen.
A world full of distorted noise causes me pain
I no longer recognize sound and it drives me insane.
My balance is a struggle, I feel disorientated for sure
Like I'm walking on jelly, not solid floor.
The noises in my head can vary all the time
From wailing sirens to hissing, on the outside I look fine!
Fatigue and brain fog are always in the way
As I battle these challenges, each and every day
The fear of vertigo is real and profound
Especially if it happens when no one's around.
The spinning and the vomiting can bring on shock
Hot and cold sweats, eyes rolling, refusing to lock
The vertigo can last for hours my head glued to the floor
I really don't trust myself to be safe any more.
Each day can be different, symptoms vary greatly each day
So when I awake each morning, 'how am I?' I really can't say.
Rising From a Fall by Stana Peete
It's been five years since I hit my head
I thank God every day that I'm not dead
It's a rollercoaster ride with highs and lows
What I physically feel nobody really knows
It seems vestibular is here to stay
I embrace it as I continue to sway
Loud noises are really troublesome
Vestibular without a doubt is cumbersome
Extreme heat or cold affect me badly
It is what it is ... very sadly
Pungent smells are a real trigger
Nothing deters me and I'm full of vigor
Eyes play tricks on me with different lighting
Good thing I'm stubborn and keep fighting
Not allowed to drive as I'm legally blind
I prefer to be chauffeured and really don't mind
The walker is my constant friend
My tenacious spirit knows I will mend
Physio and drs appts are numberless
Vestibular journey has taught me true humbleness
Wobbles, disequilibrium, and missteps are real
With time and the right mindset I believe I will heal
FALLEN BY AMY PHILLIPS
What fell to the ground was not me. My job, the firm muscle beneath my sleeves, fiery and firing synapses. I tried to hold on. My grip was pried open.
Across the fallen tree of memories and dreams, I teetered with arms outstretched for balance, the promise of solid footing ahead.
SPINNING TO SHORE BY LAURA ROSE
Drunk without intoxication,
Swimming in a sea of medical navigation.
The water churns, rain begins to pour,
I paddle, progress on my journey to shore.