“Feed my lambs!” wailed God,
Yahweh, void of sanity:
Fed his lambs Godflesh.
The darkest anguishes
Felt by God and felt by me,
Heal by means of time.
When time ends, all is
Shalom and the pain subsides:
Darkness tamed at last.
After time lapses,
The unobserved Observer
destines us as One
I proposed to her under the stars in a special place six months ago. She said yes!
I became married to my beautiful wife a few months ago. The all-encompassing, loving force she has on my naked self is stronger than gravity. I mean my dreams, my mind-heart, my spirit, my soul, my strength.
There have been many shifts in me since I met her. She helps me see the path to my dreams more clearly, we quench our thirsty mind-hearts together, she provides joy to my spirit, invites God into our lives and relationship, and takes care of me to keep my strength up.
Bipolar I is now a small burden to deal with. Instead, life is sprouting from those decomposed wounds of the past, and bipolar now acts as an inspiration of many great potentials. Inspirations in my daily life, my worldview, and my outlook for the rest of my life.
My wife and I have committed to write the books of our lives together till death do us part. If there is a way to follow her into the dark, I will without a doubt.
With each other, we can proceed to the next contexts of life and enjoy each moment. Together.
Where we’ve been; when we met.
High, wide, deep faulter.
For love is within, from One.
Agape, forged strong.
No sun. No moon. Pain –
fans the flames of your heart’s forge.
Dark flames fueled by dust.
The dust turns mad; A
surge of madness fuels dark flames,
rotting my heart’s flesh
Ignorance was light;
But the Anesthesia of
Denial – is gone.
Numbs our hearts no more.
Our minds race, hearts infected,
roasting on dark flames.
We get up, move on.
Unrequited love shadows
the aligning stars.
As a thief love came,
requited mind-hearts ablaze;
White flames lick ours both.
Not even death can take you…
The effects of depression on perception are profound. Cognition and all of the senses are dulled, deadened, and darkened. While I have spiraled down the depression pit in the past, everything seems to turn numb, dark, and/or painful. I’ll give a short thought illustration of how the senses, perception, and cognition are affected.
A Moment of Depression
The clear, blue sky on a beautiful summer day fades to a light shade of bluish grey. I’m holding my favorite food in my hand, but I cannot smell it. I force myself to take a bite and it tastes like cardboard. My silky shirt feels faint, not even soft to my touch. I hear some of my favorite music from the past play, but it does not sound like it used to. It is not a matter that I’ve outgrown it. Instead, the song is darker, duller, void of emotion, and the notes muffled.
I trip over a pothole and tweak my ankle. I probably deserved that. I’m not worthy of any career I wish to pursue because I’m worthless and lazy, and can’t do anything right. A woman looks at me and smiles, telling me Hi. That’s just happenstance, and I didn’t deserve such a gesture. I deserve to die. Everything is my fault.
The world will be better without me. I’m a burden to everyone around me. How can I kill myself appropriately to escape this anguish? I can’t bring myself to do anything good, and going outside took all the effort in the world. I can’t touch, hear, see, taste, smell, love, feel, think like I used to. I can’t come up with any good ideas anymore. Nothing can cheer me up and all I get are glimpses of things that make me happy, if even that. All I know now is pain and loneliness. How about slitting my wrists so my family will be able to see my body when I’m dead and hurt them less?
If you or anyone you know is going through depression, keep in mind the world of someone struggling with depression is very different from a healthy mindset. Unless you have dealt with depression yourself, it is very difficult to understand it. One can’t always simply get out of bed and do what he or she needs to do to get ready in the morning.
The contents in the thought illustration (or a similar context) are lingering in the mind of the depressed person. Perception spirals down easily, faster and deeper the more the depression progresses. The thoughts/lack of senses stick in the forefront of the mind and take turns tormenting the poor victim. You can think of it as a giant trauma loop that will not go away.
The best thing anyone can do for a loved one with depression is to be there for him or her. Hear the victim of depression out, and have an open ear, mind, and heart for him or her. Most of all, affirm loved ones with depression and tell them how much you appreciate them and why. Write it down and hand it to them, so they can reaffirm your words and/or pictures later.
I hope the illustration may help shine light on what’s going on in a depressed mind, and that it may help.
A lot has shifted in me since I met her seven to eight months ago.
Instead of the ever painful “where is she?” I constantly asked myself in the past, it turned into “This person is right in front of me… I more than love her to death, and her me.” That, right there, changes a man. I am loved completely like that and know I love her just as much.
I can tell you there are ways that are very basic that it changes me, as well as ways I do not yet understand.
This is the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.
Deep in the darkness,
Demons rode our shoulders; Now
possessing God’s Light
God’s Light is frying our demons of the past. All of what we went through was worth it for a future with each other. God has turned a lot of darkness into light in our lives through each other. We found each other in the dark. Thank you, God.
One may expect nothing good coming from completely losing one’s mind to madness, and dealing with the aftermath. I often heard the cliches about how I would be a stronger person as a result and I would learn so much through these experiences. However, looking back, those words of encouragement only spoke of the beginning of what I gained resulting from embarking on the recovery process.
I did a little bit of reflecting in my journal this evening about what I have lost and gained over the past fourteen years, since I was diagnosed with bipolar I following a psychotic break.
Here’s a small list of profound losses I experienced within the past fourteen years:
- My physical health and good looks
- My religion, which was a foundation of my life
- My spirituality
- My sense of identity
- My sharp intellect and ability to learn new things went into remission
- At a couple points, I lost my mind completely
- My ability to adequately care for myself and my environment
I still struggle hard with my physical health and my ability to adequately care for myself. However, in the past fourteen years, I’ve regained much about the other items on the list.
So, not only have I gained back most of the above list of losses, I’ve found the following:
- I’ve broken free from the institution of religion
- I’ve broken the generational cycle of madness
- I understand family and friends better
- I’ve learned who I am and what I need to explore about myself
- I’ve embarked on the road to recovery from severe verbal abuse and isolation growing up
- I’ve discovered some things never go away, such as my analytic mind
- I’ve confirmed my passion for writing
- I’ve found wisdom and a new way of seeing the world
- I can explore a rich spiritual identity and experiences
During recovery, there are seasons and there are trends. It was pitch black for many years of my life. I had therapy nearly every week for 9 months after my first episode, often focusing on the reasons why I shouldn’t commit suicide. All seasons of recovery present their challenges. Over time, the light becomes brighter, and during the seasons, this light will fluctuate.
However, just know that the deeper my pain, the deeper my loss, the more constitutive my loss… the deeper character I gain, the more I find, and the more cohesive I become as a result of these experiences. I’ve reached a point where I have become someone that is beyond my wildest dreams or imaginations, compared to fourteen years ago.
I’m at a brightly blossoming point in my road to recovery. I still have a ways to go, but I’m making progress faster than I have ever before. The truth is… those cliche encouragements did help a little bit when I took them in good faith. The darker the valley, the harder it is to climb out and the longer it takes to climb out. I had faith in myself that I could get through when I was unable to call on God for help and no one could be there for me.
One thing is always true: have faith in yourself. No matter how bad it is, you can overcome.