Halls

I went to the hospital for my mental health. I was there 7 days. This is my reflection.

If these halls had hills they would be high too,

I’ve been climbing, trying to find You.

This place is carved out for me,

Full of faces, full of all I see.

I see faces that used to smile,

That made life worthwhile.

Now, I see torn and bruised.

Bruised like bad fruit. Used to

Be sweet but not so much anymore.

I see myself fading into the hall,

Pacing after all,

Hungry for change but thirsty for

Water.

After all, this has to do with my father.

I see him in a wheelchair,

Shouting smoke break is now

And making sounds like a cow

And telling me to look down when nothing

Is around. I see the jokes flying but very little

On the smiling,

I see the halls and they feel like hills

Because we lost our right to have the

Thrills.

This is now and this is my life.

Pass the meds and things will be alright.

Can I go down and dig a little deeper? The lows are low

And the highs are high and why do I find myself closer to the

Floor, asking for more, on my knees crying out for saving!

Everything is a hallway and I see the doors

Which way is enter and which way to exit

When do I leave this place and when do I exit

From grace. The answer may be never but I go

Anyway in stormy weather. This is me. This is my life.

Born Again

I wrote this earlier in the week..This is who I am,I’ve been born again,Born into it with pain and suffering

And without a choice I chose this

Without You.You make new paths for me

You make new ways for me

Coming out of the darkness and into the light.Doing all I can to live this right. Seeking you in the night.I have a great inheritance

One where you make this home

One where love is the place I’m known.I have a permanent place to dwell One where you know me well and Seek me first

And make me thirst,You create the hunger

You create the desire

This is who I am

I’ve been born again

I was born into pain

Like I didn’t have a choice

Like You paved a way for me

To come and be known

Like you made me a home and

You call me your own.This is who I am

I’ve been born again.

Seeking and Searching

I have been using this time to reflect on my journey of mental health and how faithful God has been in the process. God has truly been the source of all the hard questions I have asked over the years. It hasn’t been easy dealing with depression and bipolar. It has forced me to trust God in a deeper way.
This is called Seeking and Searching.
Seeking and searching
You call me into the deep things
Into the unknown,
Out of my comfort zone.
I have been searching and seeking for
a place You call home,
A place where I feel I am known.
You give grace and mercy when I
least expect it and shine light where
I would reject it.
You fix this broken heart
And call me afresh to a new start
This day You have called me forth
To a new search, to a new way of
Living as the church.
You call me into the deep things
And ask of me to sing new songs.
I used to be quiet about the struggle
About the diagnosis,
About the way this disease has effected
Me,
It feels as though it has not stayed hidden
For I have searched and I seek to find some
Rest,
For it has been my greatest test.
My faith has been a war within,
Are you healer, are you strong,
Are you the depth that will last long?
I seek and search for You in this time of
Testing, in this time of crisis, in this time
Of needing more than just words to be
True but a life of power that comes only
From walking with You.
You have become an all consuming fire
A birth to a new desire,
It has come from seeking,
It has come from searching
I am loud now,
Loud about the pain that follows me
Loud about the hopelessness that I have
Faced,
Loud about finding You in the secret place
Loud about hope that comes from You
Loud about spending all my time trying to
Search and seek and make it all about You.
I search and seek,
And choose You this day

New Mercies

More poetic reflections on my journey.
Waking up to a new day,
Where new mercies are the way
I hear the blessing in the rain,
I feel less of the pain,
You are the healer of this brain.
Waking up and trying to find You,
Where have You gone off to
And where is the one that has always
Provided.
These mercies I pursue
For I am in need of more of You
I have been finding solace in the
Hidden
Where you call me deeper and out in
The open
Where we seek Your voice and the places
You have spoken
Where I wake up and I know I am
Chosen.
I walk through this darkness and let the
Light in,
I walk through this sorrow and borrow
Your new mercy,
I seek You for I am thirsty,
I lean on You in all of this,
I press into You no matter the
Cost,
I walk as if I am not lost
But as if I am found
Safe and sound and in Your arms.
I wake up with a new vision
I wake up with hope for a new
Mission.
I follow You and worship You
In that you do
I remember You.
You made this day
And you made this rest.
I put my faith, now, to the
Test.
It’s time to rise for today is new
It’s time to fight and to set the
Sight on the merciful one.
I wake up with mercies that are new
I wake up with eyes stayed on You.

Fade Away

More poetic reflections on my journey with depression.
Waking up to a feeling of fright
Gracefully made it through the night
Trying to get this right
Trying to find some might
Maybe You are who You say You are
Remembering the left wrist and the
Time it was to close to call
When the last I remember was a great
Fall and a fade away.
All that is in front of me is the darkness
And it creeps in with boldness
But where is God and where is the light
Where is the right?
Am I going to far left
And to far lost
And to far gone,
Cause I am fading, too
And where are You
Where are You in all of this.
I see You just barely
I feel You just rarely
I know You but only simply
When did this get so complicated
When did You fade, fade away like
Into the blue You are in a different place
You feel gone and lost away from this place
I feel I have lost my way
Trying to find You
Trying to make it through
Trying to survive
Without the will to live
Where you are?
Have you faded away too
Help me find You
Help me see You
You are in the midst of this place
You have to be here
Where else can I go or
Try to run from Your presence
Waking up to a feeling of fright
Gracefully made it through the night
Trying to get this right
You are good no matter what I feel
You are good no matter what I go
Through, You are the center of this
Storm, and Your eyes don’t fall from
Seeing me in this place.
You have not faded away from this place
You see me here.
My vision will become clear
I am starting to feel You near.

My Depression, Part 2( Old Post)

I wrote an article back in January about how I have been dealing with depression. This season of life has been one of the hardest in a long time. I am now on my 8th month of feeling depressed and not stable. A week ago I was at the end of my stay in the hospital and 2 weeks ago I did a short stay in a psychiatric emergency room. Facebook has always been a place where people vent and sometime vomit their personal opinions but can also feel like no one is really being real with what is going on inside of them. I am seeking to comfort those who are afflicted with depression by sharing my own struggles.
I have been lacking the motivation to do all things that need to be done for me to live a normal life. Everything has been hard and my dark thoughts have been harder to fight each and everyday. It feels like instead of taking it one day at at time that I am taking it one hour at at time.
Here is what I am learning. Some main truths to hold onto.
#1 I need to TRUST in the Lord with all my heart.
It is easy to talk about trusting God when things are going your way but what about when we really feel like we can’t feel or see Him. I have broken down TRUST to mean:
Totality- it is all our heart we are called to give and all of our life we are called to lay down. Depression wants to steal the wholehearted commitment we have for God.
Righteousness- walking in the truth that we are the righteousness of Christ, and we can’t earn that. It is part of walking as a new creation. Depression steals and kills these simple truths and pulls us away from them.
Understanding- Lean not on your own understanding but in all your way acknowledge Him. I am learning to not lean on my own understanding especially when it comes to taking medications and having to depend on the help of doctor’s. I don’t have to understand everything going on around me or in me but He wants to lean on Him.
Sacrifice- Trusting Him means we sacrifice our will and our ideas and our strategy and lay that down to know His will even more. Depression steals you away from real sacrifice and makes everything about what you aren’t doing and where you aren’t seeing Him in your life.
Together- Trusting Him for real friendships and relationships. Having this in our life makes all the difference. Depression isolates you from connection and without connection you lack purpose and without purpose you lack hope and hope makes us come alive and walk in Joy on the inside.
#2- I need people. I have been reaching out to everyone I know asking for prayer in this time. It has forced me to walk in humility over my situation. People are needed in my life to pull me through. I think of the passage in Luke 5 when the paralyzed man needs people to pull him closer to the feet of Jesus. It seems like it wasn’t just his friends that helped lift him over the roof but it was also and could have been random people that are around. Asking for help can be the hardest thing we ever do. It leaves us venerable and in need and that need comes out when we are asking others to pray for us. My church every Sunday morning does a call for those that are hurting and need prayer. I have been raising my hand every week asking for prayer. I am texting people everyday updating them on how I am doing. I need people.
#3- The bigger perspective. Life is short and flies by. Often you see a theme in movies and shows where characters are asking hard questions about themselves and their story. It comes down to living a life without regret. Taking chances. Having faith. Finding love. Losing love but to the point that it doesn’t lose you. Depression has been making me feel like this is it for me. That I am going to struggle this way forever and it can’t really get that much better even though I spent the worst year of my life in 2013 to then having the best 6 years of life to follow. Can I really get back to that place of feeling stable like I did for 6 years? This feeling of depression can’t last forever.
#4 Trusting doctor’s. I have never been in the doctor’s office so much and in touch with my psychiatrist. This hard time has forced me to trust in the medical process especially with changes to medications that have been happening. It has forced me to trust my doctor on a whole new level.
I hope this post brings encouragement to you. If you are someone struggling with bipolar or depression ask for prayer and help from those around you. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

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.

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.