Fog of War ~ Cry for Help

It is the fog of war and I cannot see clearly as I am nearly blind,
And so I bind me to you, my Beloved, clinging to you kind hand,
And you tie your band around my waist lest I here waste away
In this foreign land with battle trenches dug deep into the earth
From which every soldier must show his worth even in dying,
Crying for mercy and peace and I, too, beg the warfare to cease;
Oh, my Beloved, give me new lease on life and let all strife end!

Here is my heart and all of me, too, to do with as you might will;
Take and seal me for eternity in fraternity with you forevermore,
But bring relief now as well as the bell chimes out this late hour,
And show your power to heal, and to fill me with your great love
Above the cacophony of this world into which I’ve been hurled!
And write my own name on your palm and calm all of my fears
Which lurk ever near to my very soul and so wholly fill this hole!

And grant me sweet serenity even now . . .
Oh, grant us serenity even now, my Beloved

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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!

Calm Me, O My Beloved

Calm my heart, relax my mind, and rest my soul
From the battle’s high toll this moment in time
With chimes of heavenly peace that never cease
Even in the crease of pain and let me gain entry
Into your train of serenity, my dearest Beloved

Let me feel you near to me and disperse all fear;
Dry my tears and let me hear your song over me,
Sung in harmony with choirs of angels on high
To soften my cry of anguish here on earth below
Where low lays my spirit now . . . Oh, be not slow!

With All the Bells of Heaven

As I’m reeling from feelings of uncertainty and anxiety,
You come to turn my mourning into dancing, prancing
Like the deer across the mountain slopes of your love
From above, even as you give me a newer song to sing
Long into the night free from the fright of every blight
With promises of more than a share in unending care,
So how can I not sing in the comfort you bring to me?
And with this, joy wells up with all the bells of heaven!

Battlefield Heart

Where have all the birds gone with their morning song?
Why are the days so long and the winds cold and strong?
And why does my spirit belong to the night with blight?

Rise up, O heart, and take your part in the battle fought!
This war has been brought to your own doorstep so fight
With all of your might even with no termination in sight!

Struggle with determination to victory over damnation,
And surely your Beloved will come to you in battle array
To lead your soul to bright light and the victor’s crown!

Come with the dawn, mighty Warrior
Into the foyer of my heart with sword
And reprimand this sickly, thick dark
By your powerful Word of command!

And my Beloved shall bring to me again the morning song,
And fill my days with love from above, so warm and strong,
And in my spirit there shall be no more night with blight. . .

When Life Makes No Sense

Sometimes my days and nights make no sense at all,
And I find myself beating my head against the wall,
So I cry out and shout into the vacant air in despair,
But this is when I need you to feed my hungry heart

Hold me closer, hold me tight and be my guiding light;
Let me see your face, your eyes and behold your sight,
Because I cannot win this fight; I need all your might!

Sometimes my life seems like some vagabond waste,
And I taste the bitter gall and just run away in haste,
But I have nowhere to go except to you, my Beloved,
So I am crying out to you, trying to reach your bosom

Hold me closer, hold me tight and be my guiding light;
Let me see your face, your eyes and behold your sight,
Because I cannot win this fight; I need all your might!

Papers lay crumpled on the floor,
Loneliness strikes me to the core,
But it’s only you that I truly adore

Hold me closer, hold me tight and be my guiding light;
Let me see your face, your eyes and behold your sight,
Because I cannot win this fight; I need all your might!

Yeah, I need you in this fight; I need all of your might!

Sometimes my days and nights make no sense at all,
And I find myself beating my head against the wall,
So I cry out and shout into the vacant air in despair,
But this is when I need you to feed my hungry heart