Monday, May 25, 2015

Where to Find Peace

Today I woke up with a knot in my stomach.  Anxiety. Some things  in my life are out of hand....meaning, not in my control.  So whose hand are they in?
I prayed just now for peace.....the peace that passes all understanding....and suddenly I had understanding.  Peace rests on Trust.  If we trust the One who holds all things together, who provides for our needs, who protects us from danger, who knows the unknown, who holds the tides of Nature, THEN we find peace.  So does peace depend on us? depends on the One in whom we trust.  When you trust someone who has the power to keep you safe, then your safety and  your peace come from His hand...not from the strength  of my trust.  And peace. All-consuming, indisturbable, PEACE is the result.  So if you are feeling like you need some peace, take the temperature of your trust and fix your gaze on the One who holds your future, supports you today and helps you get over your yesterday.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Breaking the Silence

Last evening, I had my second book signing at the Pike County Public Library.  This one was to  celebrate the Mental Health Awareness Week....I was really worried that  no one would show up but there were two couples and three other individuals as well as my daughter and her boyfriend and a couple with whom I'm friends and also the library program coordinator.

I read two portions from my book and then answered questions and hosted a lively discussion regarding the paucity of support available for the mentally ill in this county.  There was talk of beginning a support group on our own or under the auspices of NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill).  We exchanged email addresses and they bought my book.

All in all it was a great night, discovering that there are people feeling as disenfranchised as I have been feeling....and it felt wonderful that my book may be some sort of reference or help to encourage them.

If you are one of those people who feel all alone with your illness may I recommend a great online forum Schizophrenia Forums.  Here people meet in anonymity and talk about their illness or just life in general.  It was this forum that finally got me to realize and admit that I have SZ.  Prior to that I was in deep denial despite 40+ hospital stays.  Part of the problem was that in the hospital you see people in the worst stages of their illness and I compared myself to these ill people and thought to myself "I'm not like that" (Never mind that I was the most frequently restrained person in the unit during my hospital stays). Anyway. On this online  forum I met people who  were successfully managing their illness and learned that there is a wide range of behaviors among the seriously mentally ill.  There are those who hold down jobs and go to school ...and there are those who attempt to live without meds and you ride the bumpy waves with them as they frequently crash and burn.

Here I learned: I am just like you all are.  And that must mean that I, too, have SZ.  I feel terrible that I did not think to recommend this web forum to the people last night. I do have a list of the email addresses of the people who attended last night.  Maybe I will send them all an email to mention this to them.

I was honored to meet these people.  Most of all my heart went out to  the desperate parents of mentally ill young people.  These are people who have suffered in a way that only those of us with mentally ill children can understand.  They are hurting and desperate. I so much wanted to encourage them....and I wish I had told them that the first few years of illness are the worst and the roughest.  After that things often even out.

There was talk of starting our own support group here in Pike County and of somehow making our need known among the political entities that are local to us here.  I would love to be a part of that.  What an important legacy that could be!  The mentally ill are silent sufferers. They are in need and their needs are not being me.  We will remain silent, alone, and in need as long as we are easily ignored.  The only way to break out of our lonely suffering is to make a noise.....a noise heard by others with mental illness....and ultimately a noise heard by the community and its legislators.  The problems are immense. There are the financial stresses caused by unemployment and frequent hospital stays where insurance does not cover and the public funds are sparse.  There is the sense of isolation....feeling that we are alone in our suffering, when the truth is there are mentally ill people all around us. There is the difficulty in socializing and making friends when our illness is one that isolates us and some of the symptoms of the disease  alienation and difficulty in socializing.  All of this must be overcome if we are to find a community within our community, where we can share, support and weep with each other.

And maybe in some small way I have contributed to that beginning to happen.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Fouth Day

I have been sick.  I'm sure it is bronchitis, having walked this path many times.  Next will come asthma.  The aches and pains are pretty much gone, leaving weakness in their stead.  Grossly juicy coughing.  And a head and chest full of ick. 

I've been in the house, mostly in bed for four days.  No church today.  Tomorrow I have to go to the dentist.  On Thursday (I think) one of my molars broke in half....I'm going to have it money for a crown.  Thankfully the fracture was painless.  The dentist is squeezing me in...double I cannot exchange the appointment for another day.  I just hope I don't choke on phlegm with my head tipped back and his hands in my mouth.

This is the first time in about 3 years that I have been sick. (with the exception of a nefarious stomach virus).  I'd forgotten those aches that wrack your body the first, second and maybe third day of illness.  The first two day I did not have congestion....just was tight as a drum.  But now it is all loosening up. My O2 SAT is down to 92.  That is not a good number.  But it could be worse...let's hope we don't get to explore lower numbers.

I do NOT want to go to the hospital for IV steroids!! I've lost 22 lbs and want to KEEP it off.
"Lord, have mercy on me...."

I'm tired of laying in bed....I just got up and washed the dishes....and then was VERY glad to lay in bed some more.  I wonder how I will survive the 1.5 hours in the car on the way to the dentist and then the appointment and then the trip back.  Also I need to make a stop or two...My ear buds are not functioning....and those are a necessity.  Also need almond milk and bananas.  Two more necessities.

Sorry, no words of profundity deep thoughts today.  The only thing deep is my cough.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Some Poems

The Pretext of Darknesss
Under my solitary lamp
A poem pulls at the periphery of thought,
Begging to be birthed.
I own the night—or am I the owned?
I am wearied by obligatory tasks;
The ‘I shoulds’ of a silent night.
Perhaps I should greet silence
With Silence.
Or converse with the unseen Divine.
The night owns me.
The Ruler of the Night trumps the uninvited Pretender
Who claims rights as well.
My mind is a stranger to poetry,
Having left it in some furrow along my path
Does it spring up? Like the Sower’s seed?
“Take care, friend, that the seed you sow
Is not met by tangles of human frailty,
Dark imaginings,
Or pain"
Take care that the mockery or censure of spirits
Does not snatch the seed as it falls, like hungry ravens
Quoting ‘nevermore.’
Wait, rather, for the soft whisper
The familiar ineffable, wholly “Other”
Who waits quietly
To have His say; To stake his claim
To the darkness of this ceaseless night.
When you are owned by the Light
Dark paths matter not….
When the traveler of the spheres
Holds one’s hand, Darkness flees
Though the night be prolonged.
So, hope yet in the dawn,
And permit the poem to be spawned.
Here in the small circle of lamplight
A chronicle of Life in the pretext of Death.

Cynthia Lott Vogel
All Rights Reserved

All rights reserved

Ahh my friend...we shall sit down to tea--
you and me.
It's your favorite blend
Perfect for a broken heart
Perhaps it will mend
The loss that will not go away.
 I'm the one to stay
My chats go out into the dark of space
I think of where you lie
In the warm loam--
I'll drink my tea alone
How can one love so completely,--
When it is only the tapping of keys
That united our hearts?
No one has ever mourned my pain
The way you did
Those tears are diamonds to me now
And maybe the diamonds in your crown.

The Stillbirth 
CLV 5-12-15
All Rights Reserved
Poetry eludes me
Words confuse me.
I get lost in their corridors –
-- turning corners
One after the other
Forgetting from whence I have come
And to where I am going.
I find a beautiful one, like a gem on the beach:
Rolled til satin–smooth,
Bounced about my mind til commonplace
I tasted it on my tongue
Soft, slow, sweet--
Fragrant-- like dried lavender.                     
I must use it.
But oh!! It is gone!!
Riding the gray waves of what matters.
Slipped through a crevice and leapt back to the surf
From whence it had come.
I am bereft; the poem: stillborn.