Elegiac Fog

In 2009, I went through a “pharmacological brain meltdown,” as my psych doc adjusted my meds after I experienced a serotonin toxicity. My therapist recommended that I keep an e-journal, since at the time I was unable to write legibly. He told me to send them to him; I kept them for myself, too.

When we were given this writing assignment for Writing 201: Poetry, I immediately thought of this email.  These thoughts of fog come from there. I’m formatting it to (almost) meet the requirements of a (non-rhyming) elegy, but intentionally leaving the misspellings – this is the fog I was in then.

you’ll have to read through the lines –
the meds make it really hard
to concentrate,
and so I find
I keeep going bsck to backspace
and fix an errorr, and missing.

sorry.
too much
work to fix them all.

yesterday, i felt
like I was listing
to the left –

today – today, the tide
blows me to the right some.
I’ve lost 3+ weeeks –
don’t feel lkike I’ve gained.

Chrus says he can telll
I’m a little better
every day –
I dont’ see it.

How am I gonna drive
to work? Or ansswer
emails or the phone
or do my jpb?

Just sitting here,
in a bubble
that waves around me and
makes everything foggy
and out of focus –
wait – in focus –
no – out of focus
again.

Amnd what am I supposedd to do
with myseflf in thte menatme?
I’m tired.

I’,m incapabable
of doing anything
faster than a snail’s pace
(even then, I might trip
and fall down
or spill something).

What am I supposed to do?

Alll I am capapble of
is laying down,
and maybe crying
before I fall alseep.

How long will this go on?
I misssed two appoitnemnts with you last week –
I hope you got the messaage that I was
in the hopsital trying to fix meds.
sure wish you had come to see me.

Limerick

A Journey with Jesus through grief:
His company brings great relief.
I won’t walk alone –
He’ll make Himself known.
He asks me to trust and believe

promises written in His Word,
like grace – to me freely offered.
I cast all my fears.
He’ll catch all my tears.
He is Jesus, the gentle Shepherd.

I’ve tried to run ahead of Him.
I’ve been sure that the “this” was the “when.”
But I’m learning to wait,
And to God dedicate
myself to His perfect plan.

He knows the future I face.
He created me for just this place.
Tho’ I don’t understand,
I’ll cling to His hand
And together, but He’ll set the pace.

Haiku

writing 2-0-1
depression in poetry
wordpress blogging class

a challenge for me
like putting on mascara –
easier not to!

how to define it
in only seventeen taps
as I count it off:

dark clouds that descend
bury hope, reason and me.
i am lost inside;

there is no way out.
then a beam of light pierces;
friends tell me “Hold on!”

Jesus is with me.
His Presence is always here.
He never leaves me.

i might not feel Him
but His Word promises me
i am not alone.

He covers me like
a shower in the springtime:
gentle, warm, peaceful.

He pours His hope to
fill my soul with His Light and
gives me peace and rest.

the darkness will turn
to clouds lifting to show me
the clear skies revealed.

Blog For Mental Health 2015 Pledge

Thanks to @michelleweber at WordPress for putting me on to this fantastic website where bloggers who write about mental health can be found in one place!

http://blogformentalhealth.com/

How wonderful to be able to write, and at the same time connect with like-minded folks who want to reduce the stigma of mental illness – I’m thrilled to find such a site!

Depression and me:

My journey into mental illness – depression specifically – started 7 years ago. It began as a diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder, but when it didn’t resolve itself in a “timely” manner, it became Major Depressive Disorder, with some anxiety on the side.

Since the MDD diagnosis, I have ventured in and out of the valley of depression at least 6 times, perhaps more. The thing about depression is – the more episodes you have, the more episodes you will have. All through those years, I asked God to someday use this in my life for His glory. And He has – I’ve facilitated a depression support group at our church, I’ve told my story to the ladies at Women’s Bible Study on several occasions, and I’ve shared one-on-one about the struggle and victories in the battle against this illness. And now I’m blogging about it!

So after 7 years, I sometimes walk, sometimes stagger down the road to mental health, with MDD currently in remission. But it never goes away completely. It taunts me when events in my life are a mess. It threatens to take over my thoughts, to remind me of all of its promises – you are helpless, you are worthless, no one understands, stay by yourself, hide under the covers… all the lies that depression whispers in my ear.

My goal right now, as depression threatens to re-enter my currently chaotic life, is to recognize it if it comes and practice the techniques I’ve learned to keep it manageable until it passes. I need to remember that it does pass, ’cause it sure feels interminable in the midst of the darkness that surrounds me. I want to lean on Jesus, who has been with me every step of this journey, and on the promises that He will never leave me. I know I’m vulnerable – I’m headed towards another major adjustment in my life – moving across country – and I am trying so hard to not be afraid of what might happen.

This is why I blog. In the Old Testament of the Bible, I can see several examples of lovers of God who struggled with depression. In the New Testament, I read that Jesus knew grief when He walked on this earth. He understands the fear that we as humans face. He knows sadness. He died on the cross for our sins and for our sufferings, including depression. Even Christ followers can suffer from mental illness. And I believe that the more we talk about it, in the Christian community and at large, the more we can help each other to wellness.

“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2015 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”