Dependency

Driving. It’s out for me right now. No one had to tell me this. In fact, no one has said anything to me about the matter. There is no need. I know that I am currently not fit to drive safely because of my current condition and medications that I am on. So like the old saying goes, “Better safe than sorry.” Yes, it’s better for me and better for others on the road.

I would like to believe that everyone thinks this way, but sadly this is not the case. There are probably thousands of people driving, who don’t need to be behind the wheel, but we won’t focus on them. Right now, I’m just feeling the sting of dependency. I mean, I depend on others to get me around and that is bothersome . . . at least to my ego.

Dependence. What am I supposed to learn from this? Perhaps that I cannot make it completely on my own? Well, no one can. The whole idea of being an island unto oneself is just a lie. Unfortunately, it is an infectious lie believed by (probably) the majority of people. It is born from the hell-spawn ideology of radical individualism.

Well, insofar as I “bought” the whole idea, it is now being debunked in my life. I cannot make it on my own. I depend on others to take me places I need or want to go. I also depend on medications (whether that is ultimately good or not). I especially depend on the love, encouragement, support, and prayers of others. I am not an island unto myself.

Advertisements

Tuesday Update

There are burrows in my mind of the kind not sweet,
And I cannot cheat them and I cannot delete them . . .
By the grace of God I can, perhaps, change them!

Last night was one of the roughest I have experienced thus far with this nasty condition called akathisia. I even went to the Emergency Room – or, rather, I was driven to the Emergency Room – in order to hopefully find some relief. After more than four hours I received two shots that did precious little to alleviate my suffering.

Today has (thus far) turned out better than I expected, and for that I am extremely grateful even as I pray for the night, holding onto hope by faith in God, who is so good. This afternoon I did see my doctor, and he made some changes to the medication I am taking. Hopefully this will prove beneficial. We shall see.

It is odd, though, how one’s mind plays such a powerful role in how one feels. I am discovering this for myself and it is painful. When your mind, particularly your thinking, does not cooperate with good health your whole being, including the physical, suffers. It is really and truly a case of mind over matter, with the “matter” being your body.

Now to end on a good note: I want to thank each and every one of you for your very kind thoughts, understanding and encouragement … and especially your prayers on my behalf. Thank you for saturating me with love and good will. Thank you for lifting me up to God in supplication. This means more to me than I am able to express in words! Special blessings upon each and every one of you!

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!

Passing Clouds Along the Sky

Passing clouds along the sky, who would veil the earth from distant light, hear me now hail the night in promise of the dawn of yet another day. No tear will be shed in mournful loneliness underneath your dark forebodings and ill-promise of storm and terror. The Sun will rise with piercing ray and power breaking dark, speeding gloom far away … and I will rejoice and laugh again.

Death comes now, but as passing friend, not remaining foe ~ no bolted gate, no! an open door ~ and we embrace and exchange the kiss of peace, so long ago did the din of war cease at the mouth of an empty tomb, where once lay the dead-now-risen One. And so it is the Reaper now comes with promise, not plague, in sweet anticipation of the never-ending day when ends his work, and he too shall rest.

Passing clouds along the sky, who would shut out all light and make assault in storm upon the world, would you have me cry? Would you have me beg you disappear, and what with the rain would matter my tear? Would you have me hide in dark from the darkness you bring, when so soon from the Sun everlasting light will spring? And would I myself deny the dawn of joy and never laugh again?

Look east, dark clouds, along the line! Even now shows faint promise round the distant Mount, as black gives way to the golden ray! Dawn is birthed from the womb of night, and hope is cradled in the coffin ~ yes, there if life! For some short season we may bid farewell but you, clouds of doom, are passing; the Sun will appear and we will rejoice and laugh and never again will you veil this earth, for the night will be forever done!

Passing clouds along the sky, who would veil the earth from distant light, hear me now … The Sun of Righteousness has risen with healing in His wings!


Note: First published in June 2015, now republished especially for Eastertide. Blessings to one and all!

How Does the Poet Explain?

How does the poet adequately explain his poetry
Without much pain, at the risk of sounding insane?
If the poet could explain her melodic words
Flowing serenely in rhyme and fine rhythm,
Then she may as well have written in prose
Rather than posing as a poet, you know it?
Poetry is an esoteric world of its own
Where the seeds of thought are sown
To be shown in an exquisite garden
Of variegation of creative creation,
Not in straight farm-like rows to plow,
So how, O how, does the poet now explain . . .
Poetry is potently mysterious
While making mystical sense
To the avid, passionate lover of metrical verse,
And it’s nothing to rehearse,
But to engage and fascinate!
It is to attract and grip and rivet the very heart,
But play no part in essays and academic articles!
Indeed, how does the poet amply explain his poetry
Without much pain, at the risk of sounding insane?
No! Vain is the task of trying and without any gain!


Note: First published in early November 2016, now republished due to some renewed interest as well as for the enjoyment (and edification?) of new reader-followers.