IF.
If you had seen what we have seen, upon the field of battle,
If you had watched as comrades fell, and heard machine guns rattle.
If you had heard the scream of shells as they hurtled overhead,
If you had wondered deep inside if you may end up dead.
If you had heard the bullets whine as they travelled to and fro.
Not knowing if the one they sought were either friend or foe.
If you had known the taste of fear, whilst lying in the dirt,
If you had prayed aloud to God that none of yours were hurt.

If you had seen the devastation every war can bring,
And felt the tears well in your eyes as they began to sting,
If you had known how silence falls when the shell have ceased to drop,
Youíd know without the slightest doubt that every war must stop.
If you had suffered later on when your time was served and signed,
If you had suffered flashbacks, dreams and terrors of the mind,
If you had lost your way in life, through illness none can see,
If you had known just what itís like to suffer mentally.

If you had lain awake at night when you had come back home,
If you had worried, wept and terrified that you were all alone,
If you had lain there in the dark, convinced that no one cared,
And asked yourself so many times why your life had been spared,
Your mates had gone and others too, some you did not know.
The guys who fell and would not see their tiny children grow.
The fatherís brothers, cousins, sons all lost before your eyes,
Return in dreams or other times and leave you asking why.

If you felt guilt, remorse and pain, that you returned unhurt,
Whilst other souls had been struck down their blood spilt in the dirt,
If you had known that through all this, the pain, despair and hell
There are those who care and strive to show that you need help as well.
The demons now that visit you and fill your heart with pain,
They can be banished, all of them and one need not remain.
If the dark and painful path you take, seems a cold dark lonely night,
Seek out the help that you deserve to help you see the light.

There are those whose wish and call remain, to heal your wounded mind
Their help and love and strong support, is unconditional, true, and kind.
They know your hurt, and how you feel, their wish to help your plight,
They need your help to make this work, for alone they cannot fight.
If you could open up your heart and let out all the pain.
Release the hurt and suffering, but let the good remain.
If seeking help is difficult and a painful thing to do,
Fear not for you are not alone there are others suffering too,

If you find it tough to ask for help in this your darkest hour,
You cannot deal with this alone, itís not within your power.
Just speak to those who offer help, lean on them for a while.
Regain your strength, and catch your breath and learn once more to smile.
This time will pass, the memories fade and things will then improve.
If you can find that inner strength to make the most important move.
Your days of pain will soon be gone the darkness turn to light,
The nightmares fade, the terrors dim, no demons in the night.

If reading this has made you think these words apply to you,
Take heed of this, I know it works, for I have been there too.

 

 

Rob Wharton
December 2013