How poetry saved my life by Daniel Kay

When somebody becomes a poet, there is no two ways about it, it changes your life. In my case, although I wrote my first poem when I was 10, I didn’t begin to take it serious until I got to 27 or 28 when I went into university and by the time I left there three years later, I knew I was going to be a writer for the rest of my life.

The same doesn’t apply for everybody, and poetry I know in some cases as today’s guest Daniel Kay discusses it literally save your life

“Poetry changed my life!” He begins answering my question above “That’s right… poetry has saved me many times from relapsing. I struggled for years with pain and coped in various unhealthy ways. I felt like I tried everything. Until I dived deep into the world of poetry. I’ve been able to stop repressing the emotions I was trying to cope with for so long. As well as, see the fruition positive thinking has changed my situation through a simple change in perspective. Poetry gave me an outlet to express myself in anyway I desired.”

“Poetry has always been an interest to me, but I always disregarded it as something that just wasn’t for me.” He reflects mirroring my own initial interest in poetry back when I was young too “It was fun to read, but I couldn’t figure out how it would be helpful for my life. It just seemed mundane and complicated. However when reading other’s poetry, I loved how poets could express themselves and you can feel their emotions through only a few phrases of rhythm and rhyme. I never took poetry into my own hands until I had diverticulitis in 2017. I landed in the hospital after years of habitual alcoholism. At one point I used to drink a bottle of whiskey at night. I looked back and I suppose it all started when I started playing Powerchair football 10 years prior. That hospital visit changed my mindset. I was in the hospital and I just thought to myself I don’t want to drink anymore. Thankfully, I got out of the hospital but it was a battle to try to stop that was the hardest challenge. There were days that relapsing felt so near, but I still try to find a way to cope. Poetry came to my mind as a way of expressing how I was feeling.”

“My first step as using poetry to cope was rocky! As I would express myself I noticed I was digging myself into a negative hole.” He admits on his early attempts at poetry “The more I wrote anything remotely painful it was like a hamster running in circles on a hamster wheel. I was getting nowhere. So, I thought to myself what if I change the tone I was writing in? What if I decided to only write positive things to help me reaffirm positive thoughts?

The subconscious mind is powerful. Slowly but surely these positive affirmations seeped into my perspective. Of course the negative thoughts never really go away but you can always battle them with positive thoughts. The words I wrote became my mantra. I believed and wrote that things would get better. And eventually, life did get better. I changed my way of thinking and had an expressive outlet to tell my story. Poetry changed my mind and life from the inside out..”

“I love the way that poetry connects people. I aspire my poetry to be entertaining, relatable, and vulnerable.” He concludes on the journey with his work “It’s an art form that can easily be expressed to the audience that’s willing to listen. Because in everyday life, people are so busy to listen to each other. Poetry reaches people in a new way. It’s captivating and catches the audience when they least expect it. It’s entertaining and lets others know they are not alone! I’m thankful for the way poetry has connected me to others, my story to their’s, and for the countless times it’s kept me from relapsing. My story is still being written.. and just like my poetry, I aspire to see positive change every day. I will keep writing positive thoughts and mantras. And I will continue to see the results unfold around me. I still play Powerchair football, but the negative thoughts are quashed by the positive ones. “

You can read one of Daniel’s poems on

His website is

Andy N is the author of four full length poetry collections - the most recent being the Streets were all we could see. He is also the host / creator of 'Spoken Label' - a author / writer chat series as well as Podcast series such as Reading in Bed, Comics Unity, Wrestle-Up and the Koll, Andy N and Amanda show. He also ambient music under the name of Ocean in a Bottle. His official blog is Occasionally he does sleep.