The Dust Bunnies and the Broken Hearts of Mental Illness

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I say the things aloud. It is an effort.
I want to make them come true.
“I will clean today.
I will cook dinner.
I will go to the bank.”
Even as I speak the words I know how unlikely it is that I will be able to do
more than sit here.

Breathing under water
is life threatening.

Looking around the house
I see the relics of our months of chaos and disorder.
How long has this constant been going on?
I count 35 months of circling and spinning at dizzying speeds or
churning, sticky  slow moments that seem to l—–a—–s—–t.
Strung together for days.
Sitting here now I recall
our cyclone of shock as we have watched our child suffer, would rather die. As the life killing anxiety and depression threatens to smother
the life
out
of
the little child we
know, we knew. Oh, how we remember.
We are fighting for her.

We are fighting each other.
We hold on tight, we weep, we pray small whispered cries
sometimes full of doubt and
sometimes swept up with outrageous
Hope. Most often throttled by our anguish, at times held by unimaginable peace.

We confess and repent as we scour the past for clues, pulling apart our parenting until it is a skeleton hanging bereft of blood and sinew,

something dead.  We resist giving up,
we acquiesce to today, we contemplate our future. Answers don’t come
as doctors, the so called experts keep changing their “plans.”
Outcomes are suggested, how do we know if they are good or bad?
The long and short of it all is that we must let go
of “normal.” We must come to understand that this,

our life now, might be[come] our forever.

Breathing under water
is life threatening.

When someone is mentally ill there are no promises or guarantees, only
Heartache,
Acceptance,
Disbelief,
Resistance,
Fury,
Fear and
[Days and months of] Solitude.
The secrets of the mentally ill
create wide, scorched throbbing universes of heartache, misunderstanding and pain.
We’re so broken apart, crushed down
we don’t even hold on to one another anymore, consumed
we binge on Netflix and ice-creams.
Outcomes seem inevitable.

Breathing under water
is life threatening.

Dust bunnies, in all corners and on the stairs collecting overnight, as if no one lives in this house of relentless pain.

The ghosts of activity –an unread book, the youngest’s week old work left unread after
the bribe—“If you bathe, you can stop reading for now.”

Reading vs. Bathing.
Who knew it could come to this? Only when you’re exhausted by breathing.

The question of why he dislikes reading presses into me like a fork shapes a raw peanut butter cookie.  An indent of
memory symbolizing something far greater, as if

it’s an indication that all of life is
Awry.

Breathing under water
is life threatening.

Please tell me there’s no one at the door, when the little fury of a dog growls
to a supposed intruder.  My heart rate speeds up, just like it does recurrently
nowadays.  Almost everything makes that muscle race.

And even as I lament the loneliness
I am glad it was just a passerby and that they kept walking.
Others are going somewhere
as I look out the window

desk bound and writing.
Breathing under water, alone.

Full disclosure: I borrowed the phrase of “Breathing Under Water” from the title of Richard Rohr’s book Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps which is sitting on my side table. I have not read the book but the phrase leaps out at me today.  The book was recommended by an old friend. 

{My Silence, Depression’s Lies, and Faith}

me eye

I LIVE

depression is a liar wailing. it hates you as much as

you

hate

it.  and
you know, you fear
eventually
the battle will be won.
you may not be

the victor.
still you will fight 

the raging storm inside your brain.
to stop would be suicide.

life goes on, you cannot stop
for Love remains. those that depend.

it’s on you
to hold on.

now it’s not always

that bad, and why people get confused. i thought
you were depressed? you look so good. 
i thought you were depressed? you’re joking around.
i thought you were depressed? then

you pull back the curtain,
to give them a glance at the snarling beast and they’re quiet, momentarily.

to hold on means to be misunderstood.

flat doesn’t mean you’ve stopped loving.

though you’re so weak most days you cannot pull your leaden limbs out of bed this doesn’t mean you’re lazy.

afraid of people, sometimes terrified yes but this doesn’t mean you want them to go away.

depression is a snarling threatening beast.
weakening,
lying,
pestering,
oppressing.
today and every day

still i want you to know i welcome life even with depression.
I want to Live.

It has been a while since I wrote. Over the summer I was working on an essay for inclusion in a book. I’m really excited about it and do hope for its acceptance. I was studying like crazy, learning about PRAYER, which is something that I have been decidedly agnostic about. Full admission I’m not sure I really believed in the idea of changing God’s mind. This thought has eaten at me over the decades that I have believed and the years that I have attempted to live this life of following Jesus. That is a bit of what my submission is about and what I learned.  Prayer for me is this leaning, keening toward a loving waiting God. If it isn’t published I’ll show it here.

I realized recently that I’ve slipped. Depression, something that I’ve wrestled with for the twelve years I’ve been not working outside the home. There were moments and even years when I was free of it. And after a full year depression free I went off my medication, feeling strongly that this might be what had caused my inability to cry.  Thinking I was ready.

Imagine, nearly two decades of no tears.

I was a crybaby once, super sensitive to the nuances of other’s emotions (still am that to be honest) But I hated about myself the falling to pieces at a stern look especially from my father. I’ve always perceived crying as weak. This became something that I learned to control. And I got so good at it that when I went on Effexor many years ago tears completely stopped. I became incapable of them. It was a different kind of flat, and eventually I longed to cry.

I’ve written about that dam opening up, sometimes embarrassing me in public but I relished it.

My heart changed shape, from a stone to something more resembling human.

Recently, I realized that I must start again on medication because I’ve slipped down into a pit, a quagmire of dark that I’m unable to pull out of on my own. Not exercise, not diet, not prayer of others, not encouragement and support of my husband, not a new amazing therapist nor a kind loving community of friends could convince my psyche to shake this off.

It felt like failure, it felt like defeat, it felt like a huge lack of faith in my life, but I knew it was bad, and I feared what might happen if I didn’t do something and quickly. God only knows where things would evolve to and considering that this has been the most challenging two years in our twenty years of life together, Tom and I, as parents and for Tom as a business owner, I just knew.

So here I am. The black dog is nipping again at my feet, I’ve got helium in my brain and sand in my veins, which is a trip. I’m hoping that I’m gonna be okay.

Stigma with mental illness is one of the main reasons I believe that most depressed people don’t get help. I’ve experienced it even as many people affirm my courage to speak out about my experience. What will it mean for future employment? If I’m honest how does this stigma change people’s willingness to have me serve at church?  What are people really thinking?  These are just some of my fears. But that voice is a part of the lie and I cannot worry about what people think of me.

I know that God made me a truth teller, made me a writer, and made me the way I am for a reason though I cannot perceive it at this time. And I live every day believing, hoping and praying that I will one day be healthy – er.

But, my true admission is that if this never changes, if I struggle with this Achilles heel to my death, God loves me. This acceptance of myself is important and I’m longing to receive it fully.

Thanks for being a reader, for following this path with me if vicariously through the written word. And in my “real life”, those that have told me they read, I thank you for loving me, anyway.

Melody

I’ve written tons about this topic.  See the tab at the top of this page for more of my story.

{This is for the Dads. I See You}

This blurry pic, a copy of a copy, is my father holding my son.  You cannot see it from this cropped copy but they are sitting on the floor.

This is for the dads, I see you.

Recently at wedding of two friends it hit me.  I’m past the feeling of broken-heart-ache when I see tiny babies.  For nearly a decade each time I saw a newborn I’d practically lactate with longing for just one more child.  My body kept telling me it needed another baby—even after two miscarriages, three unbelievable and healthy children, an exquisite step daughter, (who is now twenty-five, but only five when we met.)

and yet my body kept crying for more. 

At this wedding I noticed for the first time I was no longer at risk for snatching someone’s infant from them, out of a need to smell that baby’s goodness.

I tried holding a baby that night and my mother magic was gone.  I couldn’t console that child and I think that he read my fear.

This is for the dads who are afraid.

Petrified and yet cannot admit it, dads who take off work to “babysit” their own kids. But guiltily, if they’re honest, would rather go to a movie, or for a motorcycle ride or make music or read a book.  Don’t feel bad, you are taking time off work for your kids.  My dad never did that.

This is for the dads that shuffle meekly behind harried young mothers while they nurse.  Somehow showing solidarity?  I don’t quite understand it.  For the dads that never quite do it right—the bottles, the diapers, the comforting. You should understand that moms don’t mean to make you feel incompetent.

I sensed your fear, even pain, holding a baby that I could not console.  That I didn’t quite have it anymore.

Suddenly I felt weak, un-mothering, broken.  Something inside me hurt—but more than for my lost ability to have babies, I was aware of all the Dads in the room.  All the dads who perhaps feel like they don’t quite ever measure up.

This is for the dads who trudge off to work to earn an income for a family when they’d rather be making music, or writing poems, or doing whatever men do in “man caves.”  While their wives have ten year nervous breakdowns, while sitting at the pool and don’t even manage to have a meal cooked at 5 pm or throw a load of laundry in.

This is for the dads who never criticize.

This for the dads who are fair and good, “egalitarian”—mindful of their partner’s thoughts, and tears, and breakdowns, when what they really want is dinner and maybe if they’re lucky sex.

My dad, he worked. 

Came home and kicked us all around.  He didn’t listen to my mother— no matter how he pretended.  She couldn’t debate him, not about big or little things.  She was never quite good enough. When she asked for help, he told her to be stronger.

As for me, I shuffled in the background trying not to be seen.  I lost myself.  I lost perspective of my own center, that I was a human being who deserved (just as much as him) to have opinions, emotions, and take up space in the room.

I stopped breathing.

I’m a forty-six year Old Woman who was never a child.  I’m not saying it’s my father’s fault entirely, but this is to all the dads who need to know. You matter to your kids and your partner—You have power.

You can break your children. Or help them grow up into people of compassion and empathy.

You may “only” bring home the paycheck; causing your kids to think somehow you don’t care as much as mommy.

This is what I say to you Dads—Don’t buy into the bullshit of being less compassionate.  There is a type of empathy that all people have and God and nature intended.  It is not exclusive to women.  It’s not exclusive to mothers.  You may do it differently, but we need you.

This is for all the dad’s that need to know, it’s okay to let go of macho and give more hugs. To work less and BE more.  To change the diaper differently than your wife.  To cook dinner and throw in a load of laundry, listening all the while to your hapless sad wife.

This if for all the dads, no matter what the culture says, that step in the door of your home at the end of the day and get down on the floor—your kids need to know you. Stop rushing.  Say no once in a while to external things.

Be available.

This is for all the dads.  I see you.

At the end of his life, in the last months when my father was pretty sure he was dying (though he was holding out for a miracle) my Dad admitted to me this stunning truth.  That his “incompetence” as a father caused his anger and raging, his disapproval, his meanness, his perfectionist expectations; they all came from feeling like he didn’t know how to be a good dad. (Here’s a poem I wrote not long after his death titled: Good Dad, Bad Dad.)

When we were very young he stopped trying.

What a tragedy.  It’s too late for me and my dad, but it’s not too late for you.

This is dedicated to Tom.

{Chasing the Light}

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Writing about sobriety puts a pit in my stomach

today.
I am sober

but many days this doesn’t by implication mean happy.  Getting dry

isn’t a formula for bliss.  It is only a pathway toward
discovery.
When I was a drunk I didn’t feel sensation – there was mostly

emptiness. 

I didn’t feel the ache deep inside me, I was smothering it with gin, or wine, or 

vodka. 

These days, I feel all my pain. My skin hurts of it sometimes. 
It’s discomforting to be miserable, but important

that I can feel and know I’m alive.

The most important thing I can say today
is that I’m no expert in sobriety.

I am a Vessel

(the capitalization is important, because I AM ALIVE)

containing my story.

Life is only lived one day at a time. I cannot forget the past but I can forgive.

I’m writing  today about how my sobriety is like Chasing the Light.  Find it at SheLoves magazine.

For those that don’t read me regularly, there are other things I’ve written about my sobriety here and all over my blog.  The heading above are quite helpful, I hope.  Or just search for a topic.

Grace & Peace friends,

Melody

Life is not Pass or Fail: A Mother’s Day Remembrance

020-20120504_0185I have always seen “weakness” as a defect and here on this blog I say a lot about what I consider to be my own weaknesses – the narrative playing in my head and here on these pages for years has been a fear that I am too broken and weak to be useful at all.

This story starts with what has been and where I came from.

My mother has suffered most of her life.  I know this intellectually and because as her children we hurt alongside her in my father’s home.

For most of my life I thought she was weak to stay with him.  I resented her sticking in there with him.  Looking back, I hated the way she propped him up, when his fragile ego quaked and he wanted to quit this or that ministry, or when he felt betrayed by someone, or was sure that so and so was out to get him or them. She was the strong woman behind the ministry “leader.”  Only back then, she didn’t look strong to me.

After being angry at her for most of my life (and receiving a lot of therapy) I now see that she was strong all those years, and is, today.  I can see how much she loved my father and was loyal and faithful and good to him.  I see that she thought that she was helping us all by propping up the ego maniacal and abusive man that was my father sometimes.

But you see it wasn’t that simple.  He was a beloved man who did many incredibly good and important things.  He served well and long, and loyally. He loved his family. He sincerely wanted to please God.  He loved his few close friends deeply. I can see this looking back, even though he came home and took out his internal demons on a fragile and devoted woman, his wife and my mom and on his daughters. 

Apparently, he was only physically abusive to Mother once.  So the restraint he showed to never hit my mother again was … commendable?   And yet she lived with that intimidation and threat for forty-five years, knowing what he was capable of doing she was faithful to him.

Today a woman would have packed her bag the night that, in a fit of rage, he put her head through a wall.  Here’s the thing. Once you do something like that your household is always terrified, no matter how you promise, regret, or apologize.

And he did often, after a fit of raging, make promises and express sorrowful regret.  We experienced his rages.  Things “the public” never knew.  Things you wouldn’t quite believe possible from a man who could also be tender and gentle, who so often eloquently expressed his faith and devotion to God.  Perhaps she should have left him.  I used to think so.  And I would have, I frequently thought to myself in my twenties and thirties as I was learning about feminism and independence.   Though I never did choose to leave him and I even went to work for him for nearly a decade.

She stayed and so did we.

It was complex and codependent.  How he longed to be perfected by God but in his lifetime this never happened.  This skewed my view of men, of fathers, and especially of a Father God, for a long time.

But this is about my mother, who was loyal and strong; yes strong even though all my life I looked at her and thought of her as weak.

What kind of strength is required to endure the unyielding shouting and frequent berating over years,

and years,

and years?

Her depression was not obvious to me then but now, of course, palpable and understandable.  Frequently in poor health, she stayed in bed and that became her place of refuge from the strain and stress of our home.  She internalized his anger and used her illnesses to escape.   She had very few if any personal friends.  Abused women are often very isolated. And, she withdrew from her children emotionally. We got very little physical comfort growing up, though I’m sure there was much she wanted to say and do. She just didn’t.

Or couldn’t.

She’s apologetic now, at seventy-five and expresses openly her love, physically and emotionally, and her regrets which are many. Now that he’s dead, she has chosen to make her life incredibly simple.  She likes her condo, and her health remedies, and baseball or basketball on the television. She plays memory games on her hand-held game.

She’s chosen this unassuming, even guileless life.  This makes sense to me considering that my father dragged her all over the world for most of their married life; as it turns out most of the moves we made (two or three dozen) she didn’t even want to make.  Today her life consists of getting a message or her nails done.  She does energy work.  Much of it I don’t understand completely, but I respect the obvious need for self-care and lack of relational complexity in her life, still.

I’m grateful that she is quick check in on me, if she thinks I’m disappointed or angry with her.   I’m glad that she’s finally content with her life, set up just the way she likes it.  And I respect her for these choices, even if I wouldn’t choose them.   She’s seventy-five and is finishing life in a way she seems to like – justifiably simple and safe.

This Mother’s Day I honor my mother for surviving. I honor her for her quiet internal strength.

I honor her for her loyalty and commitment, even when I didn’t understand it.

As children we watch our parents and want them to be our idea of perfect.  Each time they supposedly fail we have a choice, to be disappointed or to accept knowingly that life is made up of hundreds of these choices.

Life isn’t pass or fail. 

Life is to be examined carefully and closely, to be lived openly and yet with great care for the people in it.

You never know why someone chooses a certain path. 

And in the end, you can only live your own life, embracing your apparent weaknesses as well as strengths, knowing that each one makes you who you are today.

Life is fragile. Love is unimaginably complicated. Parenting is by example but no one is perfected in their lifetime. 

I think life’s purpose is found in how we take the journey, in the small and seemingly innocuous choices that become important along the way.

I honor my mother this Mother’s Day for being both strong and weak – for being human.

MHH

Other Posts about my parents:

Remembering Daddy, Ten Thousand Tears, A Message From my Dead Father, Forgiving is a Miracle, My Father is Dead, When Did you First Believe God is Male, A Good Day Is, Watching My Father Die, Lessons From a Monastery, On Parenting Deeply & Well, On Putting the Dark & the Light Together, Strongest in the Broken Places, Who Needs a Heart When a Heart Can Be Broken?, Parenting by Free Fall, What Kind of  A Mother, A New Way to Be Human, Forgiveness: Expect Miracles, A World Of Possibilities, My Mother.

Living a Life Worthy of Writing. It’s Complicated

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It is Virginia Woolf who is credited with the notion that for most of history anonymous was a woman. I thought of that yesterday when a friend (who is more like a mentor) was intently praising me on my writing and expressed that I should continue. Then she said, “Perhaps you should write under a pseudonym.” 

That statement made me wonder. I think she felt that without my name or life connected, that I could write my story even more vulnerably— bravely, truthfully.  She thinks

My Story is one that many people Feel, Live, Carry.

One of the many things I like about being with her, and at the same time frustrates me, is that I often go away from conversations without Answers—pondering hard things, wondering, asking myself questions, many questions.

She’s so Open and Free—with her time, ideas, insights, her life, that it compels me and draws me in to the freedom in which she lives life.

I know that I don’t live with that sort of freedom—not yet. I live with fear of reprisal, with sheer guilt over my Life’s Narrative so far.

I live with the Fear Beast.  I live with the Guilt Monster. 

Yesterday, I read from Richard Rohr that the phrase “Do not be afraid” is present in the Bible up to 365 times.  It’s the most common one liner in the Bible.  A command of sorts, DO NOT BE AFRAID.  The imperative when the angel of the Lord told Mary, who was selected to be the mother of Jesus, Do not be afraid.

I breathe deeply, knowing. I can certainly get stuck

in the life I’ve lived so far feeling like it’s impossible to redeem it.  Stuck in Fear.  Stuck in the Shame Story, feeling nothing but Regret. For it’s a story of Redemption (for sure) which means mistakes, sin and regrets.  But that’s not the point really, My Regret.

In Being Human and facing our humanity we aren’t disqualified from the Story of God, but rather

right in the middle of God’s Grace.  I want to learn to trust Jesus’ powerful presence in My Story and believe that somehow all this serves a Greater Purpose.

I have long believed that if I could sort out how to write it down, the poems and prayers of lament in my story, then it would be Redeemed through the Telling. If I write it down. And before then, or even while that’s progressing, I want

TO BE the person Redeemed, Wholly Forgiven, compelled by Grace, driven down on my knees perpetually,

for I want to live a life worth

writing.

A Bad Poem About My Sobriety

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SOBER.

Antonyms: alcoholic, drinker, drunklush, souse, wino

I’m Sober today. But I’m clutching at it. And not contentedly. Control is an illusion. I’m powerless, that I can confess. Today, when the whole thing, my duct-taped heart, feels like it’s falling apart and I’m heart racing tired, knowing I should never get.this.way. I think, “If I could I’d smoke then, … What?” But the broken down lungs no longer cooperate. I want a drink less than a smoke today, which is weird when you think about it. Alcohol does help you forget, for a while. There’s not anything to compare with the high of tumbling down out of your head, out of your Frantic Over Thinking, out of your heart, Bursting. Nothing like it. Of course,I’m sober and holding.on.tight to Teetotalling Me. Because even though I’m Scared, and Sad, and sitting here alone, feeling all kinds of Awful, I know

I chose that,

And now I choose this. Yes, I choose Sober every.day.

Other things I’ve written about my five years of sobriety, see My Alcoholism & Addiction.

I BELIEVE, HELP!

water 3I cannot see the future. That’s what makes today

hard faith, not constructs, conjecture or speculation. This is faith

in the Present Personal God. And the unknown, unwritten, unlived days ahead,

and today

a (not so) Simple Practice.

Today I have my need, absurdly. My inability to hope

beyond a millisecond, my fear, my lack

of faith in a present and personal God.  For I cannot see

You, but bless me anyway Holy One.

Amidst my perplexities,

from my ambition,

out of blindness,

toward Belief. Today,

I cannot see; help me!

In the ordinary things of today, help

me to hold fast to You.  To see with the “eyes of the soul.” Dazzle

me and scare away the shades of gray.

Do I trust you? No. Do I long to? Deeply, reverently. Can I set aside today ME into

Divine Safe Keeping. For you, for understanding more of you.

A Holy Habit of trusting in the hidden, blinding, dazzling Light;

Even as I cannot believe, make me bright and beautiful.

I’m Already Drowning

SUN_SLIDES_LYR_MHH_10-11 (96)The noise of him rising wakes me, suddenly
aware of morning.  I must have slept, for I am now fully awake.
Before any awareness of the day
a familiar dread pounds inside, stomach lurching.
Life’s burdens stream in, pooling around as the bed floats.
A Swelling river of tears, and fear and heartache.  I’m already drowning.

He’s rushing to work because work put him to sleep, kept him dreaming
and woke him.

All of life, lately is spent reeling and the current
is upstream, I’m grasping
at some kind of Hope, any kind of goodness,
holding on to the bits of sweetness I can find, anywhere.
Rancorous contemplation engulfs the good I long for, for I’m no good
at holding on to hope,
in fact I’m drowning in grief; not yet awake I’m by now clutching the pillows
as the bed floats around me, surrounded by my dreams
and tears.

In a moment the dreams are prayers, my heart’s Beat and Breath joins
into Knowing.
The Holy One searches us, knowing everything so how
can I persistently go on alone?
In the Holy Book the words are written, all our days are Known.

Before she was inside my womb.  This I cannot comprehend

as I’m drowning.

Still, You Know and now I believe again.

Even one so lost, is not so lost to you.

Waiting to be Born

3954991177_90ed5da242What is waiting to be born
inside me,
hope and delicate, childlike faith
and courage.  I am
wrecked, at the moment.  Empty,
consumed, used up and useful to no one.

This
life
is too much to bear.

I’m waiting for it.
I’m wavering, it is
flickering within enough
to burn.
Bright and on, or
out.

—————————————————————————-

“Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!” [Yeats]

THIS WAS A WORD CANDY PROMPT.  What is waiting to be born?

Starting Again, Come Monday

 

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“Any idiot can face a crisis; it’s the day-to-day living that wears you out…”  — Chekov

It is the today, yesterday,
and tomorrow;
the calamities converging
into a sucker punch, so that my ears are ringing,
bumping and bashing back and forth,
I’m wobbly. I’m done.
 
My heart hurts,
my body even hurts from the
Dogged Fiend, Depression that has settled in deep in my bones
for a stopover from hell,

Sandbagged I’m plumb worn by this life and this is day-to-day.
oh, I know others have it much worse but this
is enough for me.
 
This isn’t about winter, this isn’t about
seasonal anything.  This is
the simple fact that life
ain’t magical. It’s Friday, and
I quit.
Sure, I’ll start again Monday with
Hope,
and Steadfastness
and Steely Resolve.
I’ll start again, come Monday. I’ll be okay

then.

All is Grace, Part One: the Story of Sober Me

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Have I turned any other direction but to sit with my pain?

No saint here, bound and praying. I couldn’t quit

all the vices, they were many,

without God’s quiet stillness

ushered in.

A moment of need and prostrate

humbled, obviously being a fallen down drunk,

I opened.

In later years, when life wasn’t still, was in fact full of shit and heartache and disappointment

then, I found myself mostly still

hating Me. Still, considering fondly the

afternoon Gin & Tonic, sipped slow.  Then,

watching the languorous pouring of a glass of wine, everywhere.

I feel the accustomed

pang, insidious and stealthy pocketing my sober reassurance.

Still, open but with stone hard veins, I’m pulsing envy

hating them.

Then scribbled in the margins of a long forgotten book

I had asked –Do I have a death wish?

Of course I did.

The difference between the happy and the depressed is desire

to be alive,

or else every day wanting out.

Back up a year, no make that five years this summer to that fractured moment

when God spoke finally into my bleary drunken

Impasse.

Desire, to be Holy, ever holy or just a bit, less Me. That day becoming

an ex-drinker,

changed by my choice.

Grief and self-absorbed fear, growing like mold on bread left too long

I stank, rancid.

Longing for, but unable to will the power

within,

for peace, love, pardon, faith, hope, joy and light.

All was dark, even sober

unable to pray, not

believing the modulation of my own voice

to be heard by God—with much more important things to concern wtih—I clung

to misery,

hatred,

conflict,

doubt,

despair,

sadness

even as darkness was constant—

All the reasons I drank

stayed on in sobriety.

I thought I was dying to self but I was merely dying

stone sober, amidst my stench, self-loathing and judgment.

At that time sober wasn’t working

for me.