Cry from the Dark Maze

Slice me and dice me anyway you like and I’ll still bleed!
For however distorted now, nevertheless, I am still man;
Yes, I am still a man, though running through this maze
Like some rat – lab fed and fat – less than what is human;
See me and hear me as I try to climb these walls and cry,
But don’t stand and stare; rather, help me repair my life
So rife with pain and seemingly no gain; let mercy reign!
After all, I am none other than your brother, not another!
. . .
Dominus eleison! Dominus eleison! Dominus eleison! 

Monday Update

Thankfully I was able to sleep through most of the night, though I woke up earlier than I wanted or intended. The morning has been very rough, yet not as much as other mornings. I have put in a call to my psychiatrist concerning the akathisia from which I currently suffer. Hopefully, I pray, he will call me back. Of course, I will call again if he does not call me this morning … and I will keep calling until I get ahold of him.

Holding onto hope by faith is very difficult at times, but I keep trying to tell myself that “this, too, shall pass.” It is, as I’ve said before, an extremely tough row to hoe. The effects of akathisia (at its worst) practically paralyze me on the inside, but God has been very gracious and good. Generally speaking, the days and nights are getting better and, like now, I am able to write and read without feeling like I’m coming completely unglued.

Of course, there must be an answer – in other words, cure – for my plight or, at least, I keep telling myself. And naturally I keep praying for some cure and return to normalcy. This leads me to once again thank my family, friends, readers and fellow-bloggers for your thoughts, encouragement and continuing prayers for me. Words to adequately express my deep gratitude allude me. I can only offer my sincere, heartfelt thankfulness.

More later…

Now in the Sacrament of the Present

Feeling tired and, at the same time, wired in the morning is seemingly just part of akathisia (as well as depression and anxiety). By the grace of God, I was able to sleep through the night, though, and the days are slowly but surely getting better. All of this is new territory for me. I’ve never experienced anything like this before and would not wish this on anyone.

Sharing my struggles openly and honestly is therapeutic as long as I can keep my thoughts straight. Otherwise I am just spitting in the wind. (God help me!) But can I count this as merely one part of my life journey? And should I ask myself what I am supposed to learn? But it’s difficult to know what the purpose is and what I am supposed to learn when thoughts race through my mind with no cohesion.

At the very least, I know that I am becoming more and more sensitive to the struggles of other people. Perhaps this is the lesson, if there is one, and so maybe in the final analysis I am to be more empathetic with others and reach out to help them so far as I am able. Certainly I am willing, and if I can do nothing else, at the very least I can pray for them.

Thus far in my own predicament many people have surrounded me with love, encouragement, and prayers. For this I am deeply grateful, knowing that it all has and continues to help immensely; therefore, I hold onto hope by faith, believing that this, too, shall pass. (I mean, of course, this unique predicament in which I find myself.)

For now, I can only take one step at a time, moment by moment, day by day, without fast-forwarding into the future. So, perhaps, another lesson I am learning is to live more fully in the present, trusting almighty God to carry me along this path in love, mercy and grace. For this, I am also learning to be sincerely thankful – that is, to be grateful in what might be called the sacrament of the present moment.

More later. . .

An Openly Honest Comment Upon My Condition

Dealing with depression and anxiety is no laughing matter, to be sure, especially when prescribed medications begin working against you. Not that medication alone is the answer, but when what has been prescribed no longer helps but, in fact, begins causing negative side-effects, then you are moved beyond frustration to the point of tears.

This has been, and continues to be, my own experience. Several weeks ago, it seems the antidepressant prescribed to me lost its effectiveness and then actually caused akathisia – that is, continual restlessness, agitation, sleeplessness and heightened anxiety. This has been enough to drive me to tears, as I am fighting on two fronts: depression and akathisia.

After numerous visits to the emergency room and three hospital stays, my psychiatrist wisely removed all antidepressants and even cut in half the dosage of the mood-stabilizer I have been taking. Alas, though, largely removing the culprits – that is, the psychotic medications – has only partially subdued my akathisia, for which I am now taking medication.

What am I to do? In many ways I believe I am actually taking too much medication, mostly to address side effects of other medication, but without the medication for akathisia I am caught up in a whirlwind of nervousness, agitation, restlessness, and high anxiety. Will I ever know freedom from all of the above? In other words, will I ever be free of depression, anxiety, and akathisia? Of course, this is my ongoing prayer.

But let me get to the point of sharing all of this: One who does not struggle with these internal problems, or ailments, should be very careful not to judge those who are experiencing this (or other physio-psychological difficulties.) Really, unless you have experienced this, or another condition, yourself then you really don’t know the awful reality of bearing this burden. You cannot understand just what devastating effect it all has on the victim.

However, you can show love and compassion, encourage and offer to help to the extent that you can help, and you certainly can pray for the person who suffers. This is a point well-worth stating, remembering, and putting into practice. Sufferers need kindness, sympathy, and help rather than suspicion and condemnation.

Moreover, it is really beneficial – potentially, at least – for family and friends to acquaint themselves with depression, anxiety, akathisia, and other conditions. Learning is the first step toward authentic sympathy as well as the ability to truly help the one suffering. As you begin to better understand the condition(s) then the better equipped you are to actually provide much-needed, genuine, and courteous benevolence.

Personally, as I suffer I realize that most people in my life just don’t have a clue. Depression and anxiety are largely “unseen” afflictions. The akathisia is more evident because it is more physiological, manifesting itself in constant, erratic motion – i.e. extremely jittery nerves, inability to concentrate or carry on a sustained conversation, etc. – but even still, people wonder why I just don’t settle myself down.

I feel a certain sense of hopelessness because I cannot adequately explain my depression, anxiety and akathisia, and I am worn to a frazzle anyway. As moment follows moment, and day slips into night, my whole person is seemingly at war with itself . . . and I seem to be losing! Thank the Lord God I have been able to hold on to hope born of faith that this too shall pass; otherwise, I would despair to the point of giving up altogether.

On the brighter side, though, there are those who do understand, either from personal experience or through a loved one (or close friend), and so they are able to relate. Of course, this only goes so far; after all, they are unable to alleviate my actual suffering. Still, it is an astounding blessing to know that I am not alone. Now if I could just find the cure for it all! (And I say this sincerely.)

Right now the war is thick and every battle has its own special aspect with which to deal. Right now I hardly know which end is up and which is down . . . but I do know the suffering and am well-acquainted with the wounds resulting from the fight. I also know how tremendously grateful I am to God, who has sustained me thus far and promises never to leave nor forsake me!

No, none of this is a laughing matter. It is serious and I would not wish any of this on my worst enemy. God help me! And God help those around me – those within my network of friends and family – to understand (to the greatest extent possible), and to be patient while encouraging and praying for me. Finally, may I learn to be even more empathetic toward those gripped by depression, anxiety, akathisia, and other difficult ailments while longing and waiting for my own redemption from this awful pit! Lord, have mercy!

Blocked Path Ahead

My soul has locked my gaze on the blocked path ahead
But I try to remember what you said as I lie in my bed;
So do I tread carefully ‘n lightly along this nightly way,
And strain to hear what else you might say to me today;
For now the trail seems to fail me; I hail you from afar!
My heart cracks and back is breaking beneath this sack
Of worries and concerns as I scurry all around looking
For the right path, unlocked and unblocked, and yet not
One opening appears . . . only one overgrown is shown
To me as I wonder how I blundered so badly, so madly
Into such a situation and ask, ‘Where are you presently?’
That I might bask in your beauty and feel your security;
Ah! My soul has locked gaze on blocked path ahead . . .

Do Not Despair, There is Hope for Repair

Terrified soul curled up in the corner like a foreigner to life itself,
Your very own emotions have caused an unbelievable commotion
Inside your mind to bind you in confusion and rank desperation;
Ah! But there is reparation for all of your pain and your suffering,
And there is One who understands and cares, who can help you
Bear your burden, bringing bright light into your darkened spirit;
And there are many, many others who care and will help you bear
With piety your burden of overwhelming depression and anxiety;
You are not alone though you are prone to feel exactly this way . . .
But, maybe, you’ve not been shown that others’ll hear your groan
And respond in compassion, support, affection ‘n love from above;
Do not despair! There is help to repair your ill-damaged psyche!
Pray, pick up the phone and much-needed help will be on the way!

Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255
Veterans Suicide Hotline: 800-273-8255
Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233

Anxiety

You feel him rising up inside, though you’ve tried to keep him down,
Drowned in alcohol and pills — you’ve been thru it all — and you fall;
You can’t even stand, and the band in your mind plays an insane tune
That kind of makes you want to take a chance, dance in full frenzy
Like a bull in a china shop; yeah, and you chop the air with your arm
Not far from harm, but the dæmon’s not here to charm but to alarm,
And so you feel him rising up even more; not surprising, you’ve been
Here before, right? Now it’s night, but the dark inside is far more stark,
Right? And you’re out of sight; no one sees you but nobody believes you
Anyway, right? And so you fight alone, again; begin again and again
And again, and you begin to fall from your tall perch on your big bed,
You hit your head, nothing’s said as the dæmon’s fed more and more;
It’s nothing but gore, and you feel like an emotional whore, and you
Can see where he tore into your heart that’s racing in its frantic pacing,
But you can’t stop it, see? Frack the bills, where are those damn pills!
More pulsating elevation from the television in escalation of tribulation;
Pills! More pills; the real deal to heal, right? Make the dæmon go away
Tonight, just for tonight, but there’s only one more left, that’s all
And it’s so damn small, and so you scream — it’s a nightmare dream —
And you call for help like a little whelp but no one answers and silent
Enhancers from neurogenic shock-waves that paves the way to insanity
As you battle anxiety, so very cold and unseen, so very bold and keen;
One small pill to fill your night with peace, eh? Will this ever cease?

You Are Beautiful

art,beautiful,black,and,white,cute,drawing,eye,lashes,eyes,painting,woman-a5b0899f63bd1ae4319e202f155f4377_mYou are beautiful, whoever you are, wherever you are,
however and in whatever situation you find yourself;
You are not a number, not a blunder; but an awesome
Wonder untold, ready to unfold, to hold the whole
World in your ever-expanding spirit, commanding
Animation; dictation of a new creation, an elation
Of the spirit-pantheon, child of God, free and wild,
Nothing mild nor reviled, for heaven itself has smiled;
And you are beautiful, magnificent, brilliant, elegant,
Benevolent in development ~ profusion of evolution ~
And your star shines brightly in the nightly sky
Of heaven on earth, place of your birth, now mirth;
jesus-hugging-girl2You are beautiful, not shallow, callow, nor sallow;
You are unique, perhaps meek but not weak; dæmons
Shriek at your look and brook the Styx in an mix
Of fear and horror, so near such power in your tower
Of divine resemblance and their unpleasant remembrance
Of brighter days when bore they semblance to angels
On high now so nigh to you, my dear; you are beautiful!
No need to cast yourself away in bay of hades, nor say
No worth are you to family, home and hearth; no, my love!
You are the sweet dove from above full of love and life,
And none there are like you, whomever you are … wherever,
Whenever, however; you are admirable, incredible, desirable;
You are beautiful…

.

Unseen Hand: You Are Worthy

Fetal-curled in the corner of your room, you wail,
Want to bail your way out of life so rife with pain;
But there is an ear that hears, my dear, and an eye
That spies your body shaking and quaking with fear;
An unseen hand brushing gently that strand of hair
Hanging loosely down your face so smeared with tears.
There is a voice whispering gently a better choice,
And arms to hold from harm, so bold and comforting,
Adorning you with grace; there is much more in store
For you, for you are precious, and the night is new.
There is an omen what casts the gnomon for dreams
Of sun at noon time in your heart for aesthetic part
Of beauty so unique in mystique, not weak, oblique;
In fascination you were born, infatuation of angels,
Incarnation of divine creativity, ovation of creation;
You were conceived in God’s own womb ere you were born
To scorn of world cruel, with drool of dæmonic ghoul,
Who would fool you with his trope that tis no hope,
And have you crying neath his lying rather than flying
Up into celestial realms where is your home and tome
Of your life so grand and magnificent; so now stand
And be confident and free! This is not the end, no!
But now transcend false care, for you will well-fare
On your feet square; strong, straight back and no lack
Of might and clear, bright sight, for you are yourself,
And there is the unseen hand ere to help you withstand
… and eye that sees, and ear that hears …

.