I’m just a spot on a desert plain
Lost in a barren land of empty pain
I’m madness; chaos is my mind
A monster grows down deep inside
Death offers peace with her cold embrace
Why must I wander aimless through hell’s gate
A mad, mad world; a nomad, a wandering soul
Most days I feel alone and cold
The storm rages; a tempest billows, swelling deep within
Darkness wages war against a life in the wind
A mask to hide behind, tucked away from the world
Acquiescing to kindness and love undeserved
This life but a burden to others I see
Of friends, of family and love offered me
These are the days I call my own
Lost in a well, an abyss I call home.
© Alan Zaugg 2020
Mental illness comes in many forms. What one person feels, may be different than another. Meds, coping activities, healthy habits, even therapy, only satiates the illness. They don’t solve the problem or dissolve the disease. Although they help, mental illness will remain. It will always be a part of, or present in, each individual who bears its burden.
Be mindful of your loved ones. Take notice of your friends. Hug them, help them, carry them when they cannot walk. Encourage them and love them. Don’t try to fix or cure them. Remind them of their worth, that the world needs them. Be a lighthouse, a support beam, a safe haven, a home. Know their struggles are unseen, their wounds run deep. You are a lifeline, they often don’t see.
Remember, though, you can’t take their pain or illness away. You can abide with them. Sometimes that’s all they need.
There are many views on this – medical, social, and otherwise. What I’ve said here is a message from my point of view, my struggle with this illness. I am no expert. There are so many with different stories or struggles. The point is, we must all take care to be aware. Aware of what we say, how we act or respond.
Be mindful of those around you. Just because they look happy or appear to have a handle on life, doesn’t mean they aren’t suffering deep under the skin. They wounds penetrate the mind and shadow themselves from view. Love fiercely and hold tightly. Make sure your loved ones know you care and that they matter to you. Abide their darkest nights and hopeless days. Bask in the sunny days with them. Celebrate their achievements and successes. Laugh and smile with them and encourage them to fight another day.