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Poet Skye Staniford, commissioned for MAD Poetry 2021, reflects on the question: Has poetry/music increased your sense of being connected to others in regards to your own mental health lived experiences?

Yes. The life raft people I’ve clung to in sinking times have been close creative collaborators. 

Things like alcohol dependence, dissociation when performing, crippling doubt, self-isolation, conflicting/confusing diagnoses and past-use of Social Media platforms have decreased my sense of connection. 

The act of continued living and continued creativity, periods of sobriety, returning to the fold, being in nature and sleeping well increases my sense of connection. 

Those life raft people have helped me to catch and release small parts of my lived experience and imagination in the form of songs. ‘Purple Pill Prayer’ is my first published piece of pure poetry and a direct result of one of these important connections. Some of my songs have been helpful and uplifting to people I love and to strangers as well. I know this because they’ve told me. This makes me happy. 

Snake Bites Tail. Snakebite Tale.