musings of a lover… of … yes… that, too…

Archive for November, 2012

Miss Carla’s Blues (NO, DEPRESSION!)

It’s the “happiest time” of the year, right? For people who suffer from clinical depression and/or Seasonal Affective Disorder Syndrome, it may be the most debilitating time of the year. I never know how to talk about all the challenges I face and depression is one of those things. As a Christian and a minister, I really get tired of the way people talk about depression as if it is a “lack of faith,” as in “snap out of it; if you REALLY believed in God you wouldn’t get in this place.” Or variations on those themes. But my friend, Carla Jones, figured out how to write about it and it in exquisite. I’m including the link here, because she deserves to be read on her own site., For Colored Girls.

Here are some nuggets:

“Beloved, it makes me angry when people think that being suicidal can be remedied by talking to ‘everyone’ or ‘someone.’ If the listeners were actually available to HEAR us when we’re talking about what’s going on and what is leading us to consider suicide in the first place, then perhaps that suggestion might work. It is utterly offensive to me that people think that simply finding ‘someone’ to talk to will solve the problem.”

“The darkness surrounding suicidal thoughts is thick, consuming, frightening and overbearing and most ‘friends’ can’t handle going there with you for fear that it might leak off of us and consume them too.”

“We don’t want to talk to you people! Do you know why? Because you treat us like we are children with a scraped knee instead of like the triage cases we are at that point. Hello! I don’t have a scraped knee. I have a severed limb! And bless your hearts, you try your uninformed best with your ‘get over it’ or ‘cheer up’ (and my personal favorite – ‘I was depressed last week too’ – No, YOU had a bad day! I have an illness!! But we can’t say those things because they’re considered inappropriate) and after hearing that repeatedly (from loved ones who are closest to us or who claim to know us best) we simply decide to stop talking to people who say stupid shit (excuse me, I mean well-meaning but useless words). Do you seriously think we haven’t tried talking to people?”

“Those who have never been there think we are selfish. You’ve got to have a sense of self to be selfish.”

“I survived because I was forced to get medical attention because this thing was bigger than ‘talk’ and I was out of words anyway. I survived because I had people holding me accountable for taking the prescribed medication until such time that I did not have to use it anymore.”

“It sounds harsh but it’s like when Malcolm X told the white girl there was nothing she could do for the movement. It’s bigger than your well meaning heart’s desire to “help”. Helping is usually more work than people imagine when they “sign up” for the committee. Life saving is long hard work and you have to be built for it. It ain’t for everyone. And believe it or not, we won’t hold it against you if you can’t sign up for the tour of duty.”

YEAH…. it’s THAT informative, brutally honest, profoundly painful, and raw. You should go over to her site and READ the WHOLE THING: For Colored Girls. Thank you again, Carla. And for everyone who knows this pain, I am praying with and for you. I hope you survive the blight.

Way Opens

Today I am thinking about the many gifts and dreams I don’t want to die inside me before I die. I am thinking about poetry and preaching, consulting and team building, I am thinking about dancing and laughing well into the night. I am thinking about love. And lovers.

Life isn’t a straight line. I don’t know where I heard that phrase first. But my own history tells me it’s so. Sitting here staring at the approaching end of 2012 (where did the YEAR GO???), I am struck by the constant yearning in my own heart not to waste time, to be useful on the planet. I want my life to have counted for good. To have changed and grown more and more in love. I want to be Love in the earth. To leave Love as a legacy. I want Love to be ablaze on my face and afire in my body. And for everyone I encounter to know that she or he has encountered love, a kind of god-with-skin-on encounter.

And so I am attuning my heart to the way/s in which the doors to yearnings fulfilled are opened/opening. And I am leaning into the acting toward all the possibilities of passionate living. The Quakers say that the way one knows that Way Opens is that Way Closes. That is, doors shut in and around us and we begin to look for New Ways and New Possibilities. That”s where I am today…. leaning into Way Opens and I hear the shutting of old and creaking doors.