Come the Morning

Nervousness of new
And newer
Makes me sick to my stomach

We’ve got this
I say -not believe

We’ll make it through
Is more truthful
And I tell it to myself

I balance you on a memory
Have you recite all the words
The weeds with their gossamer heads
Explode into view
Memory begets memory begets memory begets you
Here with me now

Safe and sleeping as if the dragon’s den did not await us

Safe and sleeping as if your journey will not be long and solo

Safe and asleep as I long to be
Come the morning I will miss you

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Apostles

Breathes of once tsunamis
These men neatly lined up
in deck chairs

Chasing a sunset with faded eyes
Still have the whiff of adventure
In them

Something of God’s power
In the rearranging and arranging hands
End clasped over folded scripture

Then head bowed in something more than sleep
A refrain raises
A whisper of all the thoughts of a great man
The weather turns
For such as them

On a Long Line Common

Fields and feasts turn over

A world spun free and rotten

The hair and gas of dog

On a long line common

A world still soaking

Its bunions and stresses away

Past clover and cover and Mammon

On a long line common

Savage as wolf

Starving

Peculiar as man

Starving

Biting down

On a long line common

Faith and Mental Illness

I struggle with mental health. This is going to be a bit of a rocky post, but bear with me as I go from mental health ally to mental health advocate.

Important note: Not a medical doctor, just a fellow sufferer with experience in social anxiety, major depressive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and bipolar type 2. Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

These are three things I do before I go down into the rabbit hole of depression-

I ask, Am I doing the things I can to be more in touch with Heavenly Father? Remember, for those of faith, being depressed can make you feel as if the spirit isn’t with you. If you know you’re doing what you can to be in touch with God, rest assured He is with you. For me these acts of faith include prayer, scripture study, reading or listening to sermons and attending church.

I consider my physical body. As with heart disease- I try to do what helps my condition. Diet, exercise, rest, meditation and medication can be life-changers for a chronic condition. Remember, you do what’s right for you. Not everyone with heart disease needs medication, but some do. Diet and exercise alone may not be what’s right for you.

I consider my allies- But when these things don’t seem to be working- when life seems irrevocably dark despite my best efforts- I remember this is my illness. And I hang on for the ride. I may have no energy for mental health beyond uttering a prayer. During these times, understanding is needed from my allies- friends, family and my therapist. Depression is a battle. Sometimes we need a shieldbearer. Sometimes we just need a hand there for us when we reach out.

As a final thought, I quote Jeffrey R. Holland, “we are infinitely more than our limitations or our afflictions!” The rest of his talk, Like a Broken Vessel, is hopeful. On bad days, I play it over again. I’ve linked it below.

We are more than our depression or anxiety. We are more than our burdens. Yet we do struggle, we do stumble. And that’s okay.

https://youtu.be/kNAx2Rgq-uI

God will not always take the burden from me, but He can lighten the load.