My depression

I recently wrote that this has been a hard season of life. I have been dealing with my depression. I have been in a low. Getting out of bed is hard and finding the motivation to go to school and go to work has been equally as hard. I have had so many changes in my medications that I think some of my numbness to enjoying life has been caused by these changes. Medicine has always helped me but really this past year I have been in the hospital 3 different times and each time it has been a major setback. It has cost me money. I have missed work. I am always working harder to get caught up once I am out. It has cost me time. I spend a lot of time in the doctor’s office trying to get myself back to a place of stability. I have had a year of feeling down and especially since the summer this has been true. So, what does a faith believing person like me do with depression.
I hope this finds you well and stirs a deeper conversation that I have been having with myself.
#1 Faith is always tested in hard times. Our faith is our belief in something greater than ourselves. Our belief that God’s truth is greater than our feelings and our circumstances. When I find myself depressed and lacking motivation I feel I am in a test. Will I trust God to pull me through and pull me out of my sadness even. Often the answer is that God will pull me through but not take me out. My faith gets tested in these hard days because so little of me feels God close to me and I wonder where is God in my struggle.
#2 My sense of self-worth. There is a lot of negativity around depression. Negative thoughts and ideas floating around your head but controlling you at the same time. A loud voice is the voice of self-worth. The voice that says, “You aren’t good enough!” And you aren’t really good enough to get out of this depression. These loud voices dominant my mind and take me down a dark path. I know that my worth comes from Christ and there is grace to combat the negative thoughts. I do have power( more than I know) over my mind.
#3 The past can’t be changed. Often the past is the place that I want to change. Past year of hospital visits all could have been avoided if I had just taken my medications and stayed on the structured schedule. My past is over and the best way to move forward is to learn from it. It is easy in depression to live somewhere ‘else’ and that place is a place you shouldn’t stay long. My future is full of hope and even if I have messed up there is grace.
#4 Forgiveness. In depression comes bitterness and bitterness can come from not forgiving. In my sadness I want to blame and hold onto issues with people and find someone to put in the place of blame. God is calling me to lay down those offenses and reconcile. As the Scripture says, “Go and be reconciled first to your brother before you offer your gift to God.”
#5 Community. It is easy to isolate. Proverbs says, ” A man that isolates himself breaks out against all sound judgment.” I want to hide from people and not allow my community of faith to help me. When I was in the hospital last month I had friends from church come and see me in the hospital. It meant a lot to me that people around me care and help me see the light when I am in such a dark place. Having community is crucial to getting better.
I have been struggling with finding joy in the things that I am doing. I have been struggling with getting past these episodes that I have been having. I have been having a hard time falling asleep, showing up to work, waking up, making money, going to doctor visits, taking medications, exc. But all of it is part of the process so I am persevering in the midst of feeling bad.
I hope you can find hope in these words. I have made a commitment to talk about mental health even if I am not feeling great. This is me talking about it.

Shuffle

No more shuffling my feet,
Feeling kicked on the street,
Feeling the smoke from your heat,
I was walking close together,
Like the burning weather,
Like the road to you was all lost.
I was shuffling them together,
Like my mind was the storm,
Like pacing in your hall was the norm.
I was trapped inside of my head
Like someone unleashed a thousand
Scorpions used to sting,
Used to sing,
Used to scream,
This mind is loud,
Louder now,
It has something to say.
I, too, can walk and stay,
And pace in that uncontrollable way.
I have been trapped,
And tapped,
And drained from my senses.
This is sorrow on the borrow
And it’s gonna keep coming back
For more.
I am walking better,
Feet not so close together,
Walking on the street,
Feeling a new kind of heat,
Feeling better about walking
Not so close together.
This mind is loud,
Louder now,
Hearing and seeing all
In the same,
Seeking for change,
Looking for heat to
Exchange.

Sleep On The Floor

I have a new Blog for my Louder Now Podcast. This is from that.

I have a problem. I don’t like my bed. I really don’t like it because it reminds me of a dark and hard time in life in the past.
I had a problem. I should be over this by now but when you go through the hardest time in your life and you still sleep in that same bed you want a change. I need a change. I need a new bed to sleep in. This is an ongoing conversation that I have with myself about my bed and about my sleep. In the fall of 2007 I had my first mental breakdown. It started with not sleeping and resulted in sort of sleeping and eventually sleeping. I had many nights where I would sleep on the floor. I would start in my bed and the winding down process became to much to bear in one place, so I would find myself on the floor and I slept better not in my own bed.
12 years later I am still struggling to fall asleep and I am wishing I was sleeping somewhere else. A different bed cause the bed that I have now reminds me of 2013. I went through the worst of all episodes in 2013. I was severely suicidal daily and it was inescapable the thoughts and urges that I felt. The medicine that I had weaned myself off of so easily a year earlier was turning on me, and even betraying me. What once worked was now a hopeless mess. I dreaded each night of bed time and each night of sleep. I slept on the floor. I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle my bed so at least I had the floor to sleep on.
How did I get here? How did so many years of childhood go by where sleep was not a problem. I was a heavy thinker and I had a soft and sensitive conscious. I remember feeling like my tossing and turning was from hiding something from my mom and my sleep was better if I confessed what I was hiding. I moved to Kansas City after high school and I stayed up all night. And as detrimental as that was to my mental health I still slept. I started growing in understanding and learning so much in such a short amount of time. I would have to journal myself to sleep. I would have to write out everything that was on my mind just to get it out of my head. Kind of like exercising until you are at the point of exhaustion. I would write until I fell asleep. Except I was on the floor. Writing. Seeking. Praying.
Sleep where you are, not where you want to be. I have learned a few lessons in being someone that struggles with sleep. I take medication. It helps, but it doesn’t change my perspectives and my faith and my thoughts. I am stable with the help of medication but to be honest sleep is still a struggle. I hate my bed because it reminds me of 2013 when sleeping on the floor was a place of discomfort and torment. My artsy self wants to make a dramatic video of me throwing it away and have The Lumineers song Sleep On The Floor playing in the background. Like the song I don’t want to leave this town..but I do want to leave this bed.
Do you like where you sleep? Do you find yourself at war with the place of rest? What you are at war with is where you are at in life. I never thought I would have ended up going through the pain and suffering of bi-polar depression when I turned 21..no one plans for it but it happened. Sleep where you are at. Face the anxieties of life where you live and the city you are in. Often we are plagued with wanting to be somewhere else because we can be if we want to be. We have to much freedom that leads us to live halfway. Half of you is here and the anxious part of you is always somewhere else. I have thought recently that the idea of the floor is not the place of peace in our lives. The floor( for me) has represented survival and a temporary feeling of needing to belong in a safer space.
Sleep where you are at, not where you want to be. Live where you are at, not where you want to be.

Certainty

8/7 to 8/21- I was getting some help at the hospital for my mental health.

I am looking for a moment
I am looking for me to own it,

This illness is a mistress
Cause I hid myself from you,
Is there a new view

I am looking for a moment
When all you have are moments
To give away..

Are you defined,
Or are you definition.

Are you repeating,
Or are you repetition

Is this old,
Or is this a rendition

How many times have you called
Me out into the hallway,
To call me out of my medicines,
To calm me down with medicines
To bring down all the sympathy,
Cause this here is no symphony,

I feel the sounds,
And the louds,
And the ears that ring.

But I am asking for a revision,
A revision of my decisions.

Are you any kind of collection,
Or any kind of selection

Are you my friend,
Or my companion.

Is everyone gonna stay,
Or is everyone gonna leave.

Is this a 51/ 50,
Or are you never gonna leave me.

Cause in the end all I have is the hallway..
Is the long stay,
A break like this called Hell,
You call getting well.

Did I give it all to you,
Did I surrender fully..

You press
You pressure
You sift
You shift
You ask for the gears
You take all the tears,
You speed this thing in
The fast lane.

I am well cause
I am in Hell,
And getting well
Is the next swell,

Give me waves,
Give me freedom.
Give me a reason
To escape,
To conquer,
To win.

Hills

Making a comeback. A lot on my mind. A lot going on in life.

 

To feel again,
To find you again,

I knew just hallways,
And corner spaces,
And scared places,

If these halls had hills
They would be alive to..

If I live open then you can see me,
You can see all of me,

And there is no going back,
Going back to living in the the black,
Rich and slightly famous,
How many people asked about me
When I was gone?

How many texts and tweets did I get,
Even more so when I was steady
And hungry,

Only in poverty did you come
Running after me,

To feel again,
To steal again,
The moments made by sunsets,
Now I can stay up and see them,
Now I can stay up and receive them.

If these halls had hills,
They would be alive to,
They would be high too,
They would be all about you.

Stop this cycle
and this roundabout,
Show me what mercy is about,
Cause that is all I need from You
Today.

Interlude- Body

Body of yours,
This life of poise,
This world of noise.
This place I cover,
This place I hover,
Anger you stored up,
Wrath for the hungry,
Treasures for the lonely,
Are you telling me to stop,
Or are you telling me to stay?

Body of yours,
White and pale,
Snow and hail,
Rain and reign,
Are you still king?
Are you still the rearrange?

Cause we never had furniture,
Cause we worried about future,
Cause we needed new furniture,
Cause we can’t change future.

Seated on us,
Seated within us,
This life is poise,
This world of noise,
I am crying out and loud,
Time is going by,
Time is flying by,
Are you still as loud as you used to be?

Is noise what we need,
Or are you louder than you should be,
Is noise what you reign on in the rain,
Is this the last time I talk about things
I don’t do.

Tell me,
Body,
Body expand,
Body of land,
Don’t let this body fall apart.

Day #5 – Red Car

The theme of 60 days of poetry this year is cars and my dad. The deeper meaning behind all the ways we were raised. In the past decade plus of having this blog reflections on my upbringing come up all over the place. I am more than grateful for the person that I am because of my family. We all have painful memories and things we would have not changed at all. My dad sacrificed a lot of himself for me to play ice hockey from 10 to 16. We traveled all over Colorado playing games every weekend 8 months out of the year plus early morning practices + all the training on the off season + everything else that is involved with being addicted to the love of the game 🙂 I honor my dad for that time that we had. I also remember his dark side. His anger. His grief. His chemical imbalances. His depression. I am his son. Jared means inheritor. I got it all. I got his green eyes. I got his intelligence. I got his depression.

April 20th.

“We hated that red car,

We still knew, deep down,

We would get far.”

I dreamed of this last night,

How you used to drag me around, and drag me down.

How you used to fill us with your dreams of celebrity,

And were we the number one priority?

I knew your name as much as you let me,

I always wanted more,

I needed your mystery.

” I hated that red car,

it took us far, but isn’t red just

A big fat stop sign?”

I have this dialogue now that I

Have to be a man,

Now that I have to do more than

Survive, now that I have to take all

The things you gave me,

And all the things you took away.

Bright red like sports,

Like fast, like fast girls, and

Sex in the city,

Red like lipstick,

For all the first kisses that

Never happened in that time,

Red for anger, for rage, for

Turning pale,

For all the red faced moments,

In that red paced car,

For that red and later

Blackened heart you gave us.

I dreamed of this last night,

How you used to drag me around, and drag me down.

How you used to fill us with your dreams of celebrity,

And were we the number one priority?

I have different dreams now,

Dreams that have nothing to do with you,

And the things I lived under,

And the blame for all the red hot moments

That were hard to erase,

That creep up in fast pace,

In the fast cars I still drive,

And the lips I still try to kiss,

And the endless bliss I can

Get from living a life of redemption,

For living a life of driving away,

Driving away,

Driving away,

Driving away,

Driving fast,

Driving faster,

Driving as long as I can,

Not away from the things that got me

This far,

That red car,

That red look on your face,

That red car,

The wrist scars I

Still carry,

Driving away,

Driving fast,

Driving again,

Driving into something

Different. After all,

Tomorrow is Easter?

Tomorrow is about resurrection.