Tag Archive | Depression

A River of Hope

waterfall

On some days

the cold rains don’t stop

 

A stormy torrent 

of pains

colliding

with hard rocks.

 

I cling to Your grace

and Your cross

a little tighter

My knuckles are raw

I am a fighter

 

You are my sturdy boat

keeping my head held up

and my life afloat

I hear you gently say,

“Keep your eyes on me”

“Don’t be afraid”

 

And I do believe

that with You

I can be free

 

No matter the day

where or when,

I see….

 

Your saving hope

will always 

stay

with me.

“Walk on the Water”

You look around, staring back at you
Another wave of doubt, will it pull you under? You wonder
What if I’m overtaken? What if I never make it?
What if no one’s there? Will You hear my prayer?

When you take that first step into the unknown
You know that He won’t let you go

So what are you waiting for? What do you have to lose?
Your insecurities, they try to hold to you
But you know you’re made for more, so don’t be afraid to move
Your faith is all it takes, and you can walk on the water, too

So get out, and let your fear fall to the ground
No time to waste, don’t wait, and don’t you turn around and miss out
Everything you were made for, I know you’re not sure
So you play it safe, you try to run away

If you take that first step into the unknown
He won’t let you go

So what are you waiting for? What do you have to lose?
Your insecurities, they try to hold to you
But you know you’re made for more, so don’t be afraid to move
Your faith is all it takes, and you can walk on the water, too

Step out, even when it’s storming
Step out, even when you’re broken
Step out, even when your heart is telling you
Telling you to give up

Step out, when your hope is stolen
Step out, you can’t see where you’re going
You don’t have to be afraid
So what are you waiting, what are you waiting for?

So what are you waiting for? What do you have to lose?
Your insecurities try to hold to you
You know you’re made for more, so don’t be afraid to move
Your faith is all it takes, and you can walk on the water
Walk on the water, too

Carried by Grace

Veni Sancte Spiritus

I am limping on through,

trying to see

the forest for the trees.

 

It is dark and scary

and I am weary

from the journey.

 

I don’t run,

but I make noise,

praying to chase

the nightmares 

and bears away.

 

The phone calls come,

as I knew they would,

and have for so long.

 

“Mary…please, I am being eaten alive…the bugs,

Get me out of here…….”

 

You are my child now,

as I calmly tell you,

“No, mom, you are not ready to go home.”

 

She frantically yells out, “Why?! Don’t I have a home?

I am fine! I don’t belong here!”

 

“No, mom, you are not fine.”

I repeat the tired line,

as I have now, for most of my life.

 

I am making my way 

to the eye of the hurricane.

It’s turbulent and rough.

 

But I know I am

being gently carried,

and I won’t fall out of the sky.

 

Because it is on 

His steady and strong wings

that I fly……

“Carry Me”
By Audrey Assad

Pain is a forest we all get lost in
Between the branches hope can be so hard to see
And in the darkness we’ve all got questions
We’re all just trying to make sense out of suffering but

You say I am blessed because of this
So, I choose to believe
As I carry this cross, You’ll carry me
Help me believe it

Fear is a current we all get caught in
And in its motion faith can be so hard to find
And we all falter ’cause we’re all broken
We’re all just trying to turn the shadows into light but

You get glory in the midst of this
And You’re walking with me
And you say I am blessed because of this
So, I choose to believe
As I carry this cross, You’ll carry me

And I know Your promises are faithful
And God, I’ve seen Your goodness in my life
And oh, I’ve found Your mercy is a river
Your love is an ocean wide

You say I am blessed because of this
You get glory in the midst of this
And You’re walking with me

And You say I am blessed because of this
So, I choose to believe
As I carry this cross, as I carry this cross
‘Cause as I carry this cross, You’ll carry me

You’ll carry me, God
You’ll carry me
And Your love is an ocean wide

Lifeline

 

How do you let go of someone who is still here?

How do you make peace with all the lies and fears

that have persisted all these years?

 

The bed bugs are all just in your deteriorating mind.

It’s just the very slow progression of this disease,

so very cruel and unkind.

 

The extreme dryness sets in

as you tear at your tender skin,

frantic and in pain.

 

You’re still searching for a Savior, or someone to blame.

On most days, it all just looks the same.

 

Afterall, if we focus long enough on the external,

we’ll never have to look within.

And we’ll still be stuck wondering

what could have been….

“Lifeline”

You’re watching everything you ever held on to
Slip away from you
And all you’re running from
Well it’s catching up to you Got you looking for a lifeline
Swimming in the high tide
Waiting for the daylight
To bring you home The world is too big to never ask why
The answers don’t fall straight out of the sky
I’m fighting to live and feel alive
But I can’t feel a thing without you by my side
Send me out a lifeline You’re watching everyone you ever belonged to
Walk away from you
Maybe all along you’ve been running from the truth Got you looking for a lifeline
You’re swimming in the high tide
Waiting for the daylight
To bring you home The world is too big to never ask why
The answers don’t fall straight out of the sky
I’m fighting to live and feel alive
But I can’t feel a thing without You by my side
Send me out a lifelineThere’s nothing I would change, I’d give it all away
For you again and again and over again
Everything I own is in your control

I’m looking for a lifeline
Swimming in the high tide
Waiting for the daylight
To bring me home

The world is too big to never ask why
The answers don’t fall straight out of the sky
I’m fighting to live and feel alive
But I can’t feel a thing without You by my side
Send me out a lifeline
Won’t You send me out a lifeline
Send me out a lifeline

“I will hold on hope, and I won’t let you choke on the noose around your neck….I will find strength in pain” ~Mumford and Sons

Somebody’s Baby

I wait for weeks,

months,

to fill out your annual guardianship renewal forms.

Almost to the point

where I’m forced back to court

for you.

Avoiding the hurt and the official proof

of just where

all of your dark desires

have brought us to.

 

I don’t give you a copy.

Maybe I should, but I don’t.

Because I know you won’t understand.

 

Somedays I feel stuck in this mud

of thick, dark

suffocating despair.

Wondering where we would be

if you had just held on

to the hands

reaching out to help.

 

But then I crawl up

and remember all that I have gained

despite all of the darkness.

 

I cling to His promises of

Hope

Comfort

Love

Mercy

All of which can never be taken from me…….for they are eternal……

“Do not abandon yourself to despair.

 We are an Easter people,

and Hallelujah is our song!”

~Blessed John Paul II

]

 

Message in a Bottle

We all know someone who has struggled with the disease of addiction. Maybe it was a friend, an aunt, a brother, sister, father, or co-worker. None of these people wished to end up where the cruel disease brought them. They didn’t wake up one morning and say, “Hey, you know what? I think I’m going to drink or take pills to the point where I destroy my marriage or lose my house.” Often there is a sad story of loss or grief behind the self-destruction.

No, addiction is much more cleaver than that. It is much more deceptive and seductive. It very slowly makes you believe that you need it in order to be a better, more interesting, or happy person. You start to think everyone else is crazy to believe that you can’t “handle it”. Addiction twists the truth into appealing half-truths, or full-out lies, yet makes them look and feel like they were meant to be. There were times when I found my mom very visibly intoxicated, yet she still claimed with complete seriousness,  “I haven’t had a single drop to drink.”

I imagine addiction can make you feel like you are shipwrecked on an isolated island. Suddenly, you are alone, afraid, ashamed and unable to live out the expectations of those close to you. You send out your tiny, obscure messages of repentance and reconciliation, in small weathered bottles stuffed with lame appologies…that have weakened corks….hoping your message of peace will finally last. But they never do. They just come back unread again and again…because the recipients stopped trusting and believing in you. You have caused the erosion of the thing you once most treasured in all the world.

 After awhile, your brain starts to slowly chemically alter itself in order to get more of what it desperately craves, the very thing that is slowly and viciously destroying it. A person deep in the clutches of chemical addiction often can not simply just willfully “stop” taking that next drink, because their body and brain won’t allow it to without an extreme amount of  physical and mental pain (withdrawal). It all becomes a vicious cycle of shame, guilt, self-loathing and hiding. The sad part, I feel, comes in when the addict herself and even those around her expects her to just “fix the problem” on her own. They may think they can “handle it” without doing anything much about it at all.

Honestly, the only consistent, long-term success stories I have heard of come from those who have willingly and honestly attended a chemical treatment 28 or longer stay, which includes a detox period to get your body and brain adjusted to life without those chemicals. The process of detoxification can be very dangerous, so a person needs to be monitored with meds and nursing care. During a detox period at one of her treatment stays, my mom almost went into cardiac arrest, and they needed to admit her into the hospital, and was subsequently in detox for a few days longer than normal.

Then, success can be achieved, while attending a frequent spiritual program, like AA, to help support the person and help them avoid relapsing back into their old life of chaos and deception. I have heard of people needing to attend AA or Mass, or even both, every single day in order to help them battle those relentless temptations to abuse chemicals.

I believe my mom was probably one of those who needed AA daily (and more frequent mass attendance), but what do I know? She never believed AA was for her, anyway. She thought that it was for, “those other people”. Little did she know that addiction doesn’t need to discriminate from what part of town you live in or what kind of car you drive. The town drunk is typically NOT the one who is sitting on a park bench with a bottle hidden wrapped up in a brown paper bag. But my mom never bought into that truth. If she did, maybe that truth could have set her free from those chains that kept her trapped with her sly, cruel demons.

Although mom’s sobriety came as a result of her needing 24 nursing care in a nursing home at the age of 66, I am still extremely grateful for that. God found a way to make it happen. Granted, it wasn’t the way we would have chosen, but who am I to be so picky? Besides, we all know God often takes us down roads that we most don’t want to go down, just so that we can learn the most lessons. And who am I to argue with that? I know He will always know best.

Memory Keeper

Summer holidays are bittersweet for me. My family has been celebrating summer holidays at my parents beautiful lake home for the past 20 years. This marks the third year in a row that my mom has not been present at the lake, as she now lives in a nursing home ten minutes away.  My parents split up 5 years ago due to fractions mostly caused by her disease of chemical addiction.

I still haven’t gotten used to the empty feeling that achingly persists in the house. All of her personal things are still around, and there is a gaping hole left in the middle of the living room, where her chair and one of the 2 couches used to be, as they are now in her tiny room at the nursing home with her.

Sometimes it feels like she is just on a trip or just “out”, but that heavy feeling still lurks in my heart, even as I try to mask it or cover it up with pleasant small talk, or feigned excitement. The pain aches more acutely at certain times…and I have no choice but to just ride it out. Grief comes in waves..so it helps to realize in those moments that a calmer wave is sure to follow. If not today, than perhaps tomorrow or the next day.  It’s hard to forget that she will probably never be able to come back to her amazing house on the lake with the breathtaking sunset views and her Iris, Peonies, and Geraniums.

We don’t talk much about her at those gatherings. Dad will ask how she is doing, if she is getting worse or not, and if the nurses and aides are taking good care of her. I will give an “update” on her care, and retell how her present status is. Yesterday I told dad that she does not remember the lake house, and does not remember living there. He said, “Well, that’s good, right? Then she doesn’t beg to go home does she?” And actually, in a sense, he is right. It does make it easier in that regard. She can’t get anxious or upset about going somewhere she has no recollection of. She can’t beg me incessantly to “get out of here and just go home”.

Tonight I remember for her. I am her memory keeper. I remember the love and joy that she brought to that home. I remember her bright and sunny spirit & her inquisitive nature. I remember her beautiful smile and her impeccable style and grace. I remember her laughter, her love of her flowers and interior decorating. I remember how she loved to sit out on the patio and watch our kids play in the water and in the grass. I remember how she and I would sit out on her porch on her cozy couches with the brightly colored patterns of flowers and birds on them, and read our books, and share what our stories were about. I remember how we loved to look out and admire all the beautiful sail boats that sailed by…especially when there was a regatta going on.

I choose to remember….because I can not forget.

The Dig

I dig and dig

to get to the deep roots

of my brokenness

and deep hungers,

without severing

the young fruit

growing strong in the

shadow of Your wings.

My soul is parched

in this dry and weary land,

“Come to me all who thirst.”

Yearning for Your living waters

Open this heart

saturate and fill in

these crevices

created so long ago.

Cover these wounds

with Your pure and healing waters.

Help me yield

more lasting fruits,

renewed and nourished

by Your saving grace.

I rejoice because

You alone

Satiate.