Tag Archives: healing

Thoughts for Thursday

Depression is difficult. This is my story.

It’s insidious. It breaks things and hurts people and lives can be pulled apart by it. When I heard the news about Robin Williams on Monday night I was filled with a great sadness. Sadness, and a longing to have been there, to have helped. To cradle this beloved person in my arms and cry and listen and be there. That’s a bizarre feeling to have for someone I knew through a screen, with whom I never had any personal interaction with.

But that’s who I am at my core. I want to help, I want to be there, I want to serve. And one of the hardest lessons I had to learn is that as much as I want to fix things and make everything alright–it’s not just up to me and sometimes there’s nothing I can do besides pray.

I got married young and at the time my husband was not depressed. He had told me that he had clinical depression but hadn’t had an episode in a while. I didn’t really know what that meant–my experience of depression were those times I had “the blues”.. the kind of thing that going for a run or sitting on a rock by a stream or talking to God could help. In a day or two I’d be back to myself.

But this thing just crept in. It took hold in him and I didn’t know what to do. So, naturally, I read articles and books and watched movies and youtube clips and did anything I could to educate myself. We’ll fix this!  I thought, oh-so-naively. Therapy sessions booked, medications prescribed, and it’s all okay right?

Nope.

Fights began. Irrational, ugly, mean fights in which unloving things were said that hurt us both. They usually ended in both of us in tears, apologizing–but these fights will wear you down. I didn’t understand, although I tried so hard. I wanted to. It took me a long time to figure out that this is not just an episode–this is life. And when you’re that young and you have all kinds of bright eyed hopes for what your life is going to be, and then realize that in this current situation that life is impossible, it will break you. It broke me.

Things Fall Apart.

I tried. I tried for a long, long time. Therapy sessions fizzled. Medications were not refilled. Other, more harmful methods of self medication were taken. I numbed myself to the ups and downs to the point where it just didn’t effect me anymore.

I prayeda lot.

My husband was not a religious man and this ended up being a really difficult thing to overcome, especially in how we dealt with this depression. I turned to God and trusted that it would be okay. I frequently admitted that I cannot do this on my own and relied on my faith and my community to lift me up. He did not. If I could have gone to therapy and taken his medications for him, I would have. If I could have finished up those last semesters of college for him, I would have. I felt helpless and powerless and I can’t even begin to imagine all the things he was feeling and going through.

I’m not saying I did everything right. I’m not saying that you can’t help someone who is depressed–you can love and encourage and listen and be there. It’s hard. It will change your relationship to that person. He stopped wanting to change and get better and in order for me to live the life that I believe I am called to live, we had to separate.

It sucked. But it was also a good thing for both of us.

I don’t have much contact with him. I know he is re-married and they have a baby girl. I wish them health and happiness and I sincerely hope he has found it. I pray for him and hope he has peace in his life.

That’s all I can do, now.

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Untouchable

trayvon rowrace is every

where

in my world in a way

it has never been before

the exchange of money

the palm to palm and mouth to mouth

of words

rings through my mind

and body

in constant clarity

front loaded consciousness

that throws off my balance.

 

The lone star state divided in threes

and the coast fractured into tiny pieces

but here

how is it so

raw?

and yet scabbed over?

Is excavation always too expensive here

to risk breaking skin?

 

trayvon rowSo we dismiss it from the courtroom

lest it sway our moral compass

in this vital moment

(that is, moment of life.

And before?)

not acknowledging the poles have already shifted

and what was once the south

is now center

and what was once the skin

has soaked through the fiber

and stained the core

 

With one breath white

and the other victim

with one breath criminal

and the next

 

forgotten?

 

Can we forgive

what is never apologized for?

Dare we forget

trayvon rowwhat we have failed to atone for?

 

I am broken in this place

Saying it is not mine to claim

my silence not abdication

my waiting not vain hope for peace

there is anger there

and sadness

and willingness to rise

when you tell me it is time

 

but the telling is mine

the you us

the when now

no longer untouchable

but slain, again and again

the dull grey of the parking lot

every parking lot

stained red

beneath flooding orange siren lights

and a hand, whether gripping a gun

or limp and lifeless

trayvon rowbegging us

demanding we

touch and hold

mourn and mend

burden and lighten

until we claim our share of wound and will

to rend

the untouchable bond

that separates us.

A Sadness

The pool’s edges glitter with turquoise and sky

at the touch of my light,

the only warmth in this throne room of unknown gods

hundreds of feet beneath the sun-beaten Texas hills.

Cradled in white calcite drippings and strivings

falling and rising like porcelain fingers

cupping a precious mouthful

stolen from some unseen stream in the blackness,

the water is all the more precious to be drunk.

The depths call to me from the shallows

with a memory of some long rejected touch

the cold ringing familiar through my bones

inciting an impulse to sleep beneath its blanket,

and there, in the quenching blackness of its center

to be cradled by the weight of waters gathered

to feel my rib cage contract around an emptiness

my soul curl in upon its own weightlessness

to find itself hollowed by the cold

and the impregnable darkness.

But here in the shallows, there is a comfort,

the warmth of my faint light

revealing the coppered rust of the pool floor

my toes searching like so many bottom feeders

my soles planted upon a porcelain palm

and my heart, though longing,

turning to ascend

to reclaim a place

beneath the relentless summer sun.

My Ex-Gay Salvation

exgayThis week I found out I’m in a book I would have fought to be in had I known it was being written. The book is Jeff Chu’s Does Jesus Really Love Me?: A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage In Search of God in America. It is a collection of stories about the diversity of Christian responses to homosexuality in the US. The stories range from the Episcopal Church’s first lesbian bishop Mary Glasspool to Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church. Chu writes so as to humanize each perspective, making it probably the most Christian book on homosexuality around. On page 123 he writes:

When he was in college, he became close with another Christian guy who was wrestling with these issues of theology and sexuality. “We really enjoyed hanging out with each other. It felt good to be desired,” he says. “But I just couldn’t reconcile it with what I believed, and I told him I wasn’t ready to decide anything.” He looks a little wistful, a little sad. Continue reading

Of Ends

good_friday

Are there ends to our forgiveness?

Ends we don’t see until we reach them.

Deceit, betrayal, violence.

Can we spot them before our very bones are broken upon them,

our better selves tumbling over the edge of the world?

Continue reading