Poems, Personal Stories, and Observations

Posts tagged ‘reality’

Mood Disorder?

First, a disclaimer: I am not a psychologist, and have no psychological training except a few college classes and one five-day workshop. However, I have been in and out of counseling/therapy since age 12 or 13 (I’m now 66), sometimes with a break of many years. So, any psychological terms I use will be my understanding of what they mean, as a layperson.

My main diagnosis through all these years has been mild to moderate depression, or dysthymia. If I understand correctly, dysthymia comes under a broader category called “mood disorders”.

There are many opinions about depression, including “Just pull yourself together,” “It’s because of your sins,” “It’s a lack of faith,” “It’s from ‘stinkin’ thinking’ (irrational, untrue, or unrealistic thinking),” and “It’s a chemical imbalance in your brain.” Of course, all of these can be true, or overlapping.

I am often (not always) in a state of low-grade melancholy, for whatever reasons, as noted above. I could even add the excuse of my cultural background, which is Hungarian. My parents grew up there and then emigrated to the United States. From what I have read, melancholy is a common characteristic among Hungarians. Again, this could be for many reasons. One of my theories is that Hungary, for hundreds of years, has been overrun by foreign powers and has been constantly at their mercy (if there was any mercy). At any rate, melancholy does seem to be common among Hungarians, indeed, many eastern Europeans.

But, today I would like to share a surprising recent occurrence for me, perhaps a small miracle. The other day, I was in the typical, mildly low, mood. Sometime around 5:30 p.m., it was like someone turned on a switch. I was happy! I felt loved, and worthwhile, like God, and some people, loved me! It was inexplicable! I repeat, it was literally like a switch was turned on in my mood. No longer the negative thoughts like “Nobody likes me,” “I’m evil (or at best, worthless),” “Things are going to turn out badly,” etc. Lest this sounds frightening to anyone, let me be clear; I sometimes have these thoughts, but I don’t give in to them. They are like attacks that happen periodically. I have found ways to combat them. I am not miserable anymore, as I was in younger days. I have the hope of Jesus Christ, which is what keeps me alive and functioning and purposeful. Speculating on where they come from could be another blog post.

Like any mood change, I cannot explain what happened. I’ve even had the opposite happen. I will be in a mildly low mood and plunge into a more severe depression. Happily, this happens less and less in my life.

What can I learn from this? I believe God is trying to tell me, “Don’t rely on how you FEEL. I am with you despite any moods, feelings, or thoughts. I never leave you. Do not base your worth on how you feel, or how others treat you.” Whether I feel happy, sad, or in between, I mustn’t take that as my major reality. My major reality is that God is present and will not abandon me. THIS IS THE REALITY, not what I FEEL!

Refocusing

Tempted to wallow in bitterness,
Tempted to sink in self-pity.
Conflicts threaten to do me in;
Inner thoughts sometimes are not pretty.

Trying to live in reality;
Having to face what is painful.
Need to refocus, see God’s in control;
Refocus and keep being grateful.

Maybe I choose to be miserable —
Keep looking for all that is bad.
Neglecting to know that God’s in control:
Forgetting that God wants me glad.

Trust is the way to go forward;
Accept what I cannot control.
Let others be what they’re destined to be,
And live in my God-given role.

Poem and Equation

Though not so black and white,
In general:

You are the scientist;
I am the poet.

You are the measurer;
I go by the ebb and flow.

You like rules and laws;
I like intuition.

You reason;
I emote.

Two ways of looking at reality —
Both are needed.

Both poem and equation
Show the beauty of creation.

I Do Not Speak Your Language

[Not sure if this poem reflects my spiritual or psychological state – maybe both 🙂 ]

I do not speak your language;
I only speak in rhymes.
Perhaps I’m from another world,
Or from another time.

Perhaps I am an alien,
Or my brain is wired wrong.
I cannot speak too plainly,
I’d rather sing a song.

I’m from another universe,
Or country far away.
Struggling bravely to converse —
Withhold what I could say.

I’m singing songs to Jesus;
I’m praying in my mind.
My eyes are turned to heaven,
That country so sublime.

So please be patient with me;
I need to learn to see
Reality, and firmly be
Both here and heaven bound.

The Bookworm

On my nightstand in a pile,
Lie twenty books or more.
Inside each one I’ve read a bit
And then found them a bore.

Yes, this is one I’ve read before,
And that one’s just too gross,
Another one’s too shallow,
The fourth one’s too morose.

Perhaps these lands of fantasy —
Where books my soul do bring,
Can they no longer satisfy —
Reality’s the thing?

But as a child I wandered,
Devoured every word.
One book a day I swallowed
And ate the printed word.

And still I’ll wander to those lands
For, yes, they help me dream
Of that which can, or yet will be,
Of worlds as yet unseen.

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