Struggle (in Rictameter)

Fighting
Ghosts frightening
And haunting memories
Sending me again to my knees
Beckoning in prayer for heaven to care
While triumph in combat I seize
Sailing turbulent seas
Without drowning
Fighting


Thank you Tanya Cliff for introducing me to Rictameter verse! To learn more, see Rictameter Verse here.

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Crazy Life: My Testimony, Part I

My oldest sister says she thought she’d lost me forever. To tell the truth, I’m kind of surprised she hadn’t, what with the audible and visual hallucinations coupled with what my dear Angela described as “talking backwards.” No, my sister, Ann, couldn’t even begin to understand me while I was going through what I now a bit lamely call “The Ordeal.”

The Ordeal began a little over one year ago … well, about one year and four months ago, to my best recollection. To this day I cannot say exactly what caused this agonizing nightmare, but I believe that at least part of it had to do with the medications I was taking at the time for bi-polar, depression and anxiety. Perhaps this was the total cause of my slip into an awful unreality, but I do think there was more to it than the pills.

Looking back on the Ordeal, and considering where I was at the time — mentally, emotionally, and especially spiritually — I have come to seriously believe the “hand of God” was involved in my demise. Oh, I know this is an unpopular, unpalatable, and certainly controversial statement to make, yet I believe that, somewhat like Nebuchadnezzar of ancient lore, I was “struck down,” ultimately for my own good.

During that time I was in and out of the South Alabama Medical Center emergency room (ER) and Behavioral Medical Unit (BMU), finally landing in the New Day BMU in Ozark, Alabama. After a two-week stay at New Day, it was decided by my sister, my psychiatrist, and a local therapist that I would do well to move into one of the SpectraCare (the regional mental health agency) group homes. I agreed.

I can still recall the fear that I felt, and just how absolutely overwhelming the world around me felt. I needed some kind of safe haven, some place stable and secure, some home “fenced off” from everything else. So the group home was an obvious necessity, but it was still a difficult transition, and my fears did not immediately go away. There were times during the first couple of months that I felt like I was coming unravelled.

Really and truly, I wondered if I was going to make it, or if I would end up being confined to some psychiatric hospital for the remainder of my life. I was terrorized by this possibility, and literally fought (emotionally and psychologically) to stay in the group home rather than being transferred to another, more restrictive, more “serious” facility. I was already at the low point of my life… I did not want to devolve any further.

But what did God have to do with this? Despite the pretense of humility — and I truly believed I was humble — nevertheless I was proud … arrogant, at least in my own estimation of myself. No, it perhaps did not show outwardly, not glaringly so, anyway; however, I was haughty. I was also quite contentious … opinionated … religious without really being spiritual. And so through degradation, God remoulded me, making me new.

“When my sanity returned, my honor, my majesty, and the glory of my kingdom were given back to me… And now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, honor, and glorify the King of Heaven. Everything he does is right and just, and he can humble anyone who acts proudly.”

~ Daniel 4. 36a, 37 (GNT)

Of course, I did not come out perfect, but I did come out changed for the better … truly thankful for stability in life, mental and emotional health, grateful for the seemingly small and ordinary things of the world, more staid and gentle, seriously and simply spiritual rather than religious, and far more empathetic with those who suffer, especially the mentally ill — that is, those like me.

This is, admittedly, a very brief overview of my life experience over the last couple of years, but this is enough for the time being. (It has been quite difficult to write this much.) But I would like to return to this from time to time, as I believe that it’s good (and healthy) to openly, honestly share… This, then, will be like an open journal. One more note, though: My recent Ordeal has led me in the direction of counseling. Very simply, I want to give back some of the good I’ve received from so many caring people, and to this I genuinely believe God is calling me.

Noble Manifesto

I will read to plant seeds of knowledge to breed wisdom untold,
And so bold, I will continue burning with a passion for learning
To be made no one’s fool or hapless tool in the long school of life
In which I will sing the living song so strong
As I carry along within a throng of humanity,
And I will be lovely for all to see, giving smiles to miles of faces,
Playing in rhythm with angels, marching through the cataclysm
Of apocalyptic terror, while fighting ‘n writing for full freedom,
And I will drop to my knees in an unadorned attitude of gratitude,
And stop to enjoy the wonder of fields flowing with bright flowers,
And even though I may blunder what I should say along this way,
I will never rue the day I was born, nor will I be at all forlorn,
But I’ll adorn myself in happy apparel as heaven leavens my soul,
And I will love with love from above, and cheer the cheerless,
With none to mourn, but all to give to live this apropos manifesto

Note: This manifesto was inspired by Patty and her own manifesto. Please read and enjoy … and thank you, Patty!

An Unambiguous Reason for Living

Why am I living this life, so filled with strife, which cuts like a knife?
It must be I am playing a part day to day in a way only I can play,
While knowing I’m throwing in my cards with so many other bards
Of reality, fighting banality and lightening flashes of some finality
Against which I am powerless, save to be thankful for the tranquil
And abundant happiness that comes sometimes in the adventure
Of which splendor is an ever-present promise for such endurance

Note: Fellow blogger, Kabeer, asked, “Why are you living life?” at the end of his post entitled, I don’t know why.” The above was my answer. Perhaps you might answer, too! Blog your answer and kindly refer back to My World: The World I See.

Shelter

O shelter from the stormy blast, hold me fast;
Quick! Speedily take me neath your covering,
Hovering over me against the tempest raging
And engaging all humanity in utter calamity
With no break for mercy’s sake – we quake –
O hide me and abide with me, (do not chide)
And save me from the rage all around about
That writes itself on each page of our history;
O shelter from the stormy blast, hold me fast!