Depression Poems

Introduction

During the blackest eight months of my depression, I wrote in my diary a series of poems. I wrote them to the Lord, as a cry for help as well as an attempt to express what I was going through. I call those poems my ‘lamentations.’

But these words and experiences are not unique to me, I know that many others who have battled depression have diaries entries just like these. The poems on this page were written from Jan to July '90. Also, if you scroll down towards the bottom of this page, you will see poems written about being well on the road to recovery. The first one is called, "Prayers Answered!"

Throughout the articles of this blog, I share the things that helped me to cope with and recover from depression. Here is a link to the index of those articles.



The Wilderness, (Abridged from a larger poem I wrote on 16th January 1990, during the early days of severe depression.)

I wish I had the wings of an eagle,
for I grow faint, physically and emotionally,
and I don’t know why.
Jesus, my spirit yearns for Your Word’s soothing touch.

My life is in turmoil, but of whose making?
Is it of my own? Is it from the enemy? Is it from You?

I am in the wilderness, and it is cold and lonely.
The winds of despair and confusion assail me.
Anger and bitterness, sadness and despair
come in like a flood.
I turn to You, oh Lord for comfort.

It feels like You have forsaken me,
but I know You would never leave me, because Jesus,
You promised no one can snatch me from Your hand.
So I will put my trust in You.

I hurt, I hurt real bad, and I can’t shake it off.
I have one glimmer of hope, one ray of light.
Your Word says, “To him who overcomes…”
So help me to overcome,
to hold onto You and trust You.
Then, before I know it,
I will have made it through this.
By Your strength and through Your grace, I’ll have made it.
Your grace is sufficient for me.

Oh Jesus, you are my shield, my very great reward.
You are my hope and my expectation, the very desire of my heart.
But please search my heart , examine me, cleanse me.

I don’t know why I’ve fallen to pieces.
Oh Lord, there’s too many issues, too many implications,
But You are greater than all of these, and I am Yours.
I will praise You, I will exalt Your Name.
I will declare Your faithfulness to the nations.
Jesus, I love You. I need You.
Please come quickly.



Bitterness, (Abridged from a larger poem I wrote on 8th February 1990, two months into severe depression.)
Oh Lord, where will it end?
Every day is the same, a mess, a personal hell.
I want to get out of myself,
I want it to end.
I wish I could get out of myself,
and go somewhere else.

Oh Lord, be my refuge in this storm.
Comfort me, tuck me under Your mighty wings.

For over six weeks I’ve had this now, with no relenting.
And I despair.
I’ve tried not to grumble, not to get bitter.
And I failed.
I’ve lost my temper at You,
I’ve blamed You, “How could You let this happen to me?”
Oh Jesus, what is wrong with us Western Christians?
When things are fine, we praise You and love You.
But when things fall apart,
We think You have forsaken us and we blame You.
Surely this is wrong.

I think and think,
and try to work out what has happened to me and why,
and what I should be doing.
But it is a worthless exercise,
I am allergic to my own thoughts.
They are plagued with doubts and fears,
and my pathetic understanding.
Surely they are my undoing!

I feel so inadequate, so helpless,
I’m so full of fears.
But how do I get rid of them?

Oh Lord, I feel so dirty, so unclean,
Because of the anger I had towards You.
Please cleanse me and restore me.



Inner Pain (Abridged from a larger poem I wrote on 28th February 1990.)
No one can see, no one can hear the inner pain.
Inside I scream and wish it would end.
And the strangest thing in the midst of all this,
is that although I’m not the slightest bit like myself, I’m still me.
I want off this world! I want to leave me!

How do I explain to my friends how I feel?
The last few nights I broke down and cried,
a deep crying that hurt more than it healed. Utter despair.
I always feel disgusting in the mornings,
I wake disturbed, I go to work disturbed, all day, every day.
Occasionally in the evening it relents. Tonight it has.
That’s one out of three. The other two were a nightmare.

Every day is a nightmare.
I just want to hide.
It relents for a day, then it’s back in full force.
It’s like there are little knives inside my chest and jaw,
And they cut, cut, cut.
And every time I think, search, and analyse,
I fall deeper into this miry pit.
My mind I try to hide from or turn off.
I can’t believe this is happening to me.

What did those two weeks at the end of the year mean?
I fell apart emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually.
I could barely think a complete thought.
I could not find peace whatever course of action I considered.
All day long, in those two weeks, I lay curled up into a ball.
And I couldn’t get away. It wouldn’t stop.
And it is still going, nine weeks later.
It’s not as bad as it was then,
but that’s probably because I’m busy at work.
As soon as I start to look, I start to sink and say,
“What’s happened to me, I can’t believe what’s happened to me.”

Oh Jesus, please don’t tarry any longer, please help me.
How do You look at me now?
Are you angry with me for blaming You and getting angry at You?
Or do You understand, and You love me all the more?




Will I Ever See Daylight Again? 25th March 1990 -
I feel like a bird trapped in a small birdcage,
A birdcage hidden at the bottom of a dark basement.
And all I want to do is break out of the blackness,
And fly into the Sonlight which waits outside.
I can feel it, the Light –
It’s all around the basement.
The Light is greater than the basement.
All I want to do is get into that Light,
And loose myself in it.
But it is an impossible task – I can’t get out.
And the thick, murky black air closes in…

I feel like I’m in a room with invisible walls.
But it’s so black in the room,
That I can’t see through the walls.
And I am the centre of the room.
Where I go, the room goes – I can’t get out.
I wish someone would chain the room still,
So I could get out into the Light outside.

There must be Light outside! I can remember it!
And other people I see everyday walk in it.
But how do I get out?
How do I get to the Light?

Oh Jesus, You are the Light of the world.
Please shatter this darkened prison I live in,
And take me into Your light.
Let it consume me, encompass me, surround me.
Let me become one with You, You in me, me in You.

Will this nightmare ever end?
Those who have been here before me,
Have left sign posts along the way,
Showing the way out.
But they all say the same thing:
“Wait, you’ll come through it,
it doesn’t feel like it now,
but you will come through it.
Life will be normal again one day.”



I'm Still Me 10th April 1990 - (Abridged)
I know my worldview has is polluted by what I’m going through,
and that I see everything in a wrong light.
I can’t see the truth, only heartache and nightmare.
I know the conclusions I’ve been making
are affected by the way I feel,
But how do I stop thinking?
How do I stop feeling?

I always thought that when someone had a nervous breakdown,
they were no longer themselves.
But I was wrong.
The biggest shock in all this,
is that it’s all so frighteningly real,
because I’m still me,
and I can’t get away.

How do I get away?
How do I get out of me?
I want to come back when all is well.
It’s been going on for four months now.
How much longer must I wait?
How much longer will you tarry, Jesus?
Enemies push in from every side:
Satan, fear and anxiety, friends who don’t understand,
and worst of all, there’s me - am I my own worst enemy?

I see others who live and prosper,
and yet here I am, stuck in this dark prison cell.
Jesus, where are You?
Please see my circumstances and hear my prayer.
Why do You remain silent?
It makes it look like You don’t care,
But I know that’s not true,
Jesus, Your Name is Faithful and True.




Where Does This Road Lead? 12/4/1990 - (Abridged)
What is this storm that rages within me?
Why won’t it abate, why won’t it subside?
For four months I’ve done nothing but hide and wait.

“It will end one day soon,” they tell me,
But where is the proof?

I have no future, how can there be one when I’m like this?
I can’t face anyone except those I must.
I wait and wait, I pray and pray.
But there’s nothing I can do, or else I’d have done it.
Irritation, frustration and anger rise up and consume me,
And I’m so weak I can’t even fight them.

Oh, how I wish I could go away and come back next year,
Come back and have someone tell me how I was healed.
Where does this road lead?

Jesus, it is so hard to trust without complaining in these circumstances.
But Your word says You will never let me down,
So what do You call this?
The difference is, You can see the end,
You can see how and when I will get out of this,
You can see our relationship grow again when this is over.

But I can’t, I keep seeing this going on forever,
I can see two years gone by, and I’ve still got no peace,
It is like insomnia. When the sun comes up,
And you’re still awake, you realise you’ve been robbed.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus.



A Faint Glimmer of Hope (Abridged from a larger poem I wrote on 29/4/1990)
It’s amazing, absolutely amazing.
It’s now been almost two weeks since I’ve wanted to end it.
The temptation is to deny ever feeling like that,
But it was true, far too real.
All I wanted to do was die, or get away from the pain.

So I guess these anti-depressant tablets must be working.
I’ve been taking them for four weeks now.
I was told it would take two weeks before they would start to take effect,
And it did.

At first I despaired, “What if these tablets don’t help?”
What if nothing can help?
I could see no end to this terrible road of inner pain,
But is it true, that I can now see a faint glimmer of light?

How many other people are like me?
I wish I could help them, comfort them,
But I wouldn’t know how,
I don’t even know how to survive myself.
What was it that stopped me from ending it all?
Why did I persist?

Jesus was some of the reason, sure,
But even my spiritual life was in a complete shambles.

The main thing that stopped me ending it
was my mother and the others who care for me
I had to keep going for them.
I saw the devastating effects a suicide can have on a family,
And there’s no way I could put others through such an ordeal.
Although I can see a faint glimmer of hope now,

I don’t think it’s over yet, not by a long shot.


A Difficult Road, (Abridged from a larger poem I wrote on 13th May 1990.)
It is so hard,
The deep pain has gone, but I’m still a mess.
This is one difficult road,
And I feel for all those who’ve had to tread it before me.

The old fears and doubts
Rise up to swamp me once again.
But I’ve found that if I don’t examine and analyse them,
Then they don’t overcome me, I don’t fall.
I try to keep my eyes on Jesus, to trust and rely upon Him,

How I long to be normal again
As I believe this will all end one day.
The recovery will be slow, I think.
It needs to be, I couldn’t cope with anything instant.
I’m beginning to see some hope for the future,
But it still seems so distant.

The Bible says to consider it pure joy to endure trials,
But I must say that there has been no joy in this trial.
It defies any previous experience known to me.
But I’ve been forced to trust God
When it seems like He has forsaken me.
I’ve been forced to come to a place
where I have trusted Him without feeling like doing so.
All I wanted to do was cry out that He is not faithful,
But He is, and I know that.
He is Faithful and True, He is Jesus.



A Turn for the Worse (Abridged from a larger poem I wrote on 15th May 1990.)
This road has its ups and downs,
It’s just that the ups are what I once called the downs.
A couple of weeks ago I felt so close to normal
That I was considering the future.
But now all I want to do is die,
Well, not really - I’d rather kick this thing and come out on top.
How I long to be able to cope with life again, to be a complete person.

But still, it’s nowhere near as bad as it was,
Where I was wracked with inner pain all the time.
I thank God that these anti-depressant pills actually help,
I certainly need them.

Self-hate keeps descending upon me like a swarm of angry hornets.
I look at myself and find nothing but contempt
for this pathetic person that I have become.
But I know that this is wrong.
If I examine myself through Jesus eyes, I see someone special.
I see how much He loves me, and cares for me,
how much I mean to Him, and that He understands.

But knowing these things
does not take away feelings of self-hate, depression, despair, and doubt.
All who call on the Name of the Lord will be saved.
So Jesus, I call on Your Name – please save me.

It’s so hard doing a full day’s work.
I don’t know how I managed to force myself
To go to work during the first few months of this year,
When I was in so much pain, when I was so disturbed,
Yet every day I went to work and tried not to let it show.

But each day comes to an end eventually,
And so will this emotional turmoil.



Why Has He Brought Me Here? (Abridged from a larger poem I wrote on 16th May 1990.)
Two weeks ago I felt almost normal again,
But was I too hopeful?
The last two or three days have been almost as bad as before,
And it has caught me off guard.
I felt so disturbed that I struggled with self-harm,
I wasn’t trying to punish myself, I was trying to make it go away.

Jesus, why have you brought me here?
I pray that when I’m through this,
You’ll help me to comfort others in a similar state.
Help me to comfort them with the comfort
that I know I will get from You.
I wish You were on Earth, Lord,
so I could go to You in person,
I would ask You to take compassion on me,
And heal my wounded spirit.
Jesus, how do I go to You now?
How do I find You?

What happened to me, Lord, how did I get to be like this?
I have been in this state for five months now.
What did I do to get in such a state?
I know I overworked myself last year,
and tried to be what I am not,
and I know I suffered a major shock.



Is There an End to This? (Abridged from a larger poem I wrote on 14th June 1990.)
What is suffering?
It must be the human inheritance,
as it never ends.
And I’ve had enough, but whom do I tell?
How do I get off this merry-go-round?

The heavens remain silent,
This angers and disappoints me.
I thought Jesus said He was carrying me through all this,
But how can I be sure?
Why can’t I feel His presence?

I seem to be going around in circles.
Sometimes it’s almost as bad as before.
Why is there no end to this?
Why this lack of peace?
Where is the Prince of Peace?
Where is His Word? Where are His promises?
I’ve sought Him every way I know how, except for fasting.
I’ve also had the flu for 12 weeks, it just won’t go away.

I feel so like Job, “Curse God and die!” my thoughts yell at me.
“Look at this suffering, how can He be faithful,
when He’s apparently done nothing
for six whole months now. Curse Him and die!”
But God is faithful,
and I know that - it is His Name,
Faithful and True.


I would have never guessed that He would allow such suffering,
and allow it to go on for six months.
And what is it? What is wrong with me?
Why this endless anxiety, discomfort and pain.
Jesus…please?



Another Day, The Same Road (Abridged from a larger poem I wrote on 19th June 1990.)
My life at the moment is not much of a life,
But I guess I should still be thankful,
So I still praise God for all He has given me.
My average day is as follows:
I get home from work at six, and rest on bed for an hour.
Then I have dinner, and go to bed at nine-thirty.
And with this, I am only just coping.

Work is really hard some days.
Sometimes because I feel so disturbed,
Other times I am almost overcome with frustration,
And I am still sick - that's three months with the flu.

Does it mean that holding down a normal job is too much?
If so, tough! I must work,
even if it means I spend the rest of my life sick.
I cannot drop out of society,
I almost did that in Year Nine,
I almost left school after being sick for seven weeks.
But I knew I could never face anyone again,
So I went back and kicked it.
So I must keep going and kick this 'thing' too.
In Jesus Name!



This is so Hard (Abridged from a larger poem I wrote on 7th July 1990.)
Sometimes it pains me
to think of God,
because when I think of Him,
I see Someone who could heal me
simply by saying,"Be healed."

Yet, I am still here,
going around in circles.
Why am I in such a mess?
But regardless of how I've sought Him so far,
I can’t see anything tangible.
So, I get angry and bitter.
And then I repent of my anger and bitterness,
And I ask Him to help me to wait faithfully and patiently for Him.

It's just like when I suffered from insomnia.
He could have stepped in and stopped it, but He did not,
So I got angry - angry at Him, and at my body.
But I eventually learnt not to get angry,
So again here, step by step, I am learning to be patient,

Will I ever be me again?
I just wish this sensation of being disturbed all the time would go away.
And know it will never come back.
I am not coping, and I know that.
I keep saying, "If I had inner peace, then I would cope."
But I know that Jesus is enough,
that He is all we need.
That is easy to say,
but how can I say it,
when I can't see or hear Him doing anything to help?
Yet I'm sure Jesus is helping me, that He is carrying me.



A Difficult Road (Abridged from a larger poem I wrote on 20th July 1990.)
There are two ways in which I can view my current condition.
That is, this constant state of being ill at ease.
Is it an emotional condition causing physical stress?
Or a physical condition causing emotional stress?
I cannot work it out.
There are so many physical side effects that it could be physical.
Sometimes my shoulder muscles ache to abandon,
The aching pain in my jaw drives me crazy.
My face and arms get a burning, prickling sensation.
My stomach feels trapped, as though it needs to burst,
and at other times it simply feels disturbed.
My chest feels like it’s going to explode,
and often simply feels ill at ease.
I’ve also suffered from flu symptoms since April.
These physical problems alone would be enough to cause emotional stress.

And as there are physical problems, so there are emotional ones.
So it could be an emotional problem causing the physical side effects.
I feel uncomfortable all the time, most notably while at work.
I have problems with frustration, irritation, anger and uncontrollable depression.
Words are inadequate to explain all the emotional symptoms.
They vary from a feeling that something big and dark will consume me,
To endless mental churnings that only makes me worse,
And sometimes it is so faint that I can only just detect it.
These emotional problems alone would be enough to cause physical stress.

This ‘illness’ that assails me,
I wish I had a word to describe it.
Is it ‘depression?’
I really don’t know.




Introduction

These writings are from my diary, written after the blackest eight months of my depression. In them we can see the hope and light that had returned to my life as I learnt to cope with and recover from depression. There were good days, and bad days, but for each step back, there were two or three steps forward. I had recovered from depression towards the end of 1994. 

The writings from here on were written after late July '90.





Prayers Answered! 28/7/90 -
I have just read the book,
"Self Help For Your Nerves" by Dr Claire Weekes .
I had found it sitting on the ironing board,
as my mother had borrowed it to lend to a friend.

This book was written to me – it’s all about me.
It says: "It will not be difficult for you
to read this book: it is about you and your nerves,
and for this reason you will read it with interest,..",
and Dr Weekes was not wrong.
This book describes two forms of nervous breakdown,
and their many side effects,
and describes EVERY single thing
I have been suffering from for the past eight months and earlier.

I had no idea that all of the strange things
in my mind, body, and emotions,
were ALL caused by the same thing!
The book explains everything, right down to obsessive thoughts.
For the last eight months I've been saying nearly every day,
"What's wrong with me?"
Just the day before I read this book
I wrote a poem in which I wondered if my problem
was a physical or emotional one.

The lack of peace has NEVER been Jesus guiding me,
every single time it has been my nervous system breaking down.
For the last 8 months, I've reacted to this mess in the same way.
I have been scared of it
and feared all the things that were going wrong
with my mind, body, and emotions.
My other reaction has been to fight it.

I have learnt from this book
that these two reactions are the wrong reactions,
because they both only make it worse.
Basically, my nerves have fallen apart,
and have been manufacturing too much adrenalin.
My response to the disturbing symptoms has been to be fear or fight them,
reactions which produced more adrenalin,
which made me fear or fight more,
and it just got worse and worse and worse.
It’s a catch 22 situation, a merry go round.
This book has taught me how to react
to stop that merry-go-round.
And it is teaching me how to react
whenever it strikes again in the future.

Thankyou Jesus for being faithful,
for hearing and answering my prayers,
and for showing me what's wrong with me.





The Bewilderment is Gone 25/8/1990
Life has changed now that I know what's wrong with me.
All the bewilderment of:
what is wrong with me? What is going on?
why won't it stop or go away?
where did it come from?
is gone!
Now I say with relief –
I know what's wrong with me,
My nervous system has packed up
It has developed a habit cycle
of manufacturing too much adrenalin,
and it does so ALL of the time.

But apart from that it is very hard.
I still feel exhausted and awful most of the time.
All I want to do is be normal again.
I want to be able to see people again.
I wish I had some friends,
I feel so alone.

I want to be able to get involved in a church again.
I want to be a muso
And get back to sharing the gospel again;
at the moment I'm not doing anything.

I just want to get on with life.
I want to be whole again - but stay within my limits this time.
I want to get my girl, get married, and have my own children.
I want to be as close to Jesus as I was before.

The significant thing that I've learnt this year,
is that for the first time I have learnt the difference
between what I think I can do,
and what I can really do.
Between what I think I am,
and what I really am.



Learning to be Content -21/10/90
I saw my counsellor for the last time a few weeks ago.
Although I'm still suffering from plenty of depression’s symptoms,
she said that I am better enough to stop getting counselling
and to get back into things.

She said to get back into leading a home fellowship group,
and/or to be a muso again, either in the church or the home group.
Muso is what I'd like to do, as that's my gift,
and I get much satisfaction from leading people into God’s presence.

She taught me to say in the morning:
Lord, this is the day that you have made,
You have put me where I am in it,
therefore fulfil your created purpose for me in this day.
And Lord, I give you permission to love me today anyway you want to.
Each evening I am to pray:
I thank you Lord for today, I don't understand, but I believe.

She also said that to be in deep surrender to God
really means to never look back with regret upon the past,
nor forward to any wish in the future –
comparing ourselves to what we used to be,
or to what we want to be, is a hindrance for resting in God's will.
I am to say: I'm content to be who You made me to be today.
I'm content to be where You put me today,
and I'm content to be how You made me to be today.



Who Do I Dream About? -13/4/1991
Who is it that I dream about?
At whose feet do I sit,
while gazing adoringly into His face,
while He sits upon His throne?
Who is He who fellowships with me as I enter into His Presence?
His Name is Jesus.

He is the desire of my heart. In Him do I truly delight.
In all the Earth, there is no one I can find to compare with Him.
And who is there in the Heavens except Him, who made all things.
He made me for Himself. I am His, and He is mine.
He made me to fellowship with Him for all eternity.
And this is my deepest joy - to be with Him.
He is my obsession, my soul desire, my life, my inspiration.

Jesus is the One I sing about, to whom I lift my voice in praise.
And He meets me every time, for He inhabits the praises of His people.
He dwells in my praises. He dwells in my heart.

And His love for me is unconditional.
He sees all of my inadequacies, all of my failings, my fears, my inhibitions,
And yet He still loves me.
He sees my mistakes, my sin, my weaknesses, my imperfections,
And yet He still loves me.
His Name is indeed Wonderful,
for He is truly marvellous, Wonderful beyond words.
And His love is never ending.
He never tires of me, for His love is eternal.
Regardless of what how weak I am, His love for Me will never end.
He is the Eternal Father of love.




Below is a collection of poems based upon the much larger poems and diary entries listed above. They are in chronological order, spanning a period of about ten months. They can be viewed fullscreen by clicking on the link below.

Depression Poems Booklet on Scribd.


No comments:

Post a Comment