Mongrel Poetry

A mongrelized poet.

I have been inspired (perhaps foolishly) by others who have stepped up and shared poems they have written.  They are great!

Shortly after being diagnosed as mentally ill, I started to write (or scawl) verses.  I could never get the rhyme down, but I did start to grasp the imagery.  I filled up a “composition book.”  I sincerely hope you will look kindly on these “mongrelized verses,” not judging too harshly.

*****

Spring

Young grass, a ferocious green that an artist could hardly grasp, dewy freshness and I resist a severe temptation to shed my shoes and walk into a place where I absorb a spring life into my being.

**********

Manic

Encountering a revved up edition of myself, I’m always moving in sky.  Just like superman or a jaded circus performer shot out of his cannon.  Gravity simply has lost its grip on me.  I am a law breaker of the worst sort as I flit and flash about in this blue limen that I now rule.

*********

Wife

She captured me with her 5000 kilowatt smile big enough and bright enough to blaze my black and white world with just her glance.  Her laugh takes me apart and I discover I have been completely dismantled.  (After all, I have just beheld the eighth wonder of the world.)  With feminine technicolor and an infrared awareness she sweeps me up into this place and my ears pop with a fresh sense of grace given to me.

***********

Ungrace Me

Ungrace me and then stand back as I implode, a million pieces of waste and ruin. All with a 20/200 vision of a heart that has suddenly lost its way into the hateful darkness.  It is at this that an epiphany pushes on me– Jesus, with pierced hands He draws me home.

ybic, Bryan

Coming Home

Returning Home:

“Then the men who were designated by name rose up and took the captives, and from the spoil they clothed all who were naked among them, dressed them and gave them sandals, gave them food and drink, and anointed them; and they let all the feeble ones ride on donkeys.  So they brought them to their brethren at Jericho, the city of palm trees.  Then they returned to Samaria.” 

2 Chronicles 28:15

I once was held captive by sin, ransacked and naked, starving and bereft of hope.

Lord, thank You for saving me, restoring me and returning me to the place I belong . . with You.  And here’s a simple poem . . .

Brought Back                                       

Love clothes me
and feeds me
and fills up
my flaws.
Love anoints me
and establishes me
in the presence
of all.

………..

See Deb’s blog at http://iftodaywehear.wordpress.com/

Double Trouble: A Dual Diagnosis

What is the relationship between drug abuse and mental illness?

Many chronic drug abusers–the individuals we commonly regard as addicts–often simultaneously suffer from a serious mental disorder. Drug treatment and medical professionals call this condition a co-occurring disorder or a dual diagnosis.

What is chronic drug abuse?

Chronic drug abuse is the habitual abuse of licit or illicit drugs to the extent that the abuse substantially injures a person’s health or substantially interferes with his or her social or economic functioning. Furthermore, any person who has lost the power of self-control over the use of drugs is considered a chronic drug abuser.

What are some serious mental disorders associated with chronic drug abuse?

Chronic drug abuse may occur in conjunction with any mental illness identified in the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV). Some common serious mental disorders associated with chronic drug abuse include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, manic depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, and antisocial personality disorder. Many of these disorders carry with them an increased risk of drug abuse.

Disorders With Increased Risk of Drug Abuse

  • Antisocial personality disorder 15.5%
  • Manic episode 14.5%
  • Schizophrenia 10.1%
  • Panic disorder 04. 3%
  • Major depressive episode 04.1%
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder 03.4%
  • Phobias 02.1%

 Source: National Institute of Mental Health.

How prevalent are co-occurring disorders?

Co-occurring disorders are very common. In 2002 an estimated 4.0 million adults met the criteria for both serious mental illness and substance dependence or abuse in the past year.

Which occurs first–chronic drug abuse or serious mental illness?

It depends. In some cases, people suffering from serious mental disorders (often undiagnosed ones) take drugs to alleviate their symptoms–a practice known as self-medicating. According to the American Psychiatric Association, individuals with schizophrenia sometimes use substances such as marijuana to mitigate the disorder’s negative symptoms (depression, apathy, and social withdrawal), to combat auditory hallucinations and paranoid delusions, or to lessen the adverse effects of their medication, which can include depression and restlessness.

In other cases mental disorders are caused by drug abuse. For example, MDMA or Ecstasy, produces long-term deficits in serotonin function in the brain, leading to mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. Chronic drug abuse by adolescents during formative years is a particular concern because it can interfere with normal socialization and cognitive development and thus frequently contributes to the development of mental disorders.

Finally, chronic substance abuse and serious mental disorders may exist completely independently of one another.

Can people with co-occurring disorders be treated effectively?

Yes, chronic drug abusers who also suffer from mental illness can be treated. Researchers currently are investigating the most effective way to treat drug abusers with mental illness, and especially whether or not treating both conditions simultaneously leads to better recovery. Currently, the two conditions often are treated separately or without regard to each other. As a result, many individuals with co-occurring disorders are sent back and forth between substance abuse and mental health treatment settings.

Source: http://www.justice.gov/ndic/pubs7/7343/index.htm

For more info on the Dual Diagnosis see: http://bipolar.about.com/cs/dualdiag/a/0008_dual_diag.htm

The Quiet Power of Jesus

“The master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine.  He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside.”   John 2:9 

Jesus Christ performs the first miracle of his short ministry.  He will perform thousands of them in his brief work on planet Earth.  This miracle was done silently, there was absolutely no fanfare or hoopla. (What a contrast for ministry today!)

Silently, quietly, much like he does today, he touches the hearts of thousands of men and women.  I wouldn’t have done it this way, I would’ve advertised, had the 12 disciples out doing some PR work, maybe some autographs and definitely make it quite the show!

He is not in the storm, or the fire, or an earthquake.  That is not the way he operates (but he can). He comes quietly in a still, small voice to our confused hearts.  Silently help comes to us, and silently the answers to our prayers glide down to us.  Not a shred of ostentation; no gaudy bows or ribbons.  When Jesus is ministering to someone who is in a horrible fix, he does it peaceably–quietly and calmly.  He is infinitely gentle.

It is significant that “the servants who had drawn the water knew”.  Often those who minister for Christ get to see his omnipotence and his power, they know it first-hand.  As a young man, I worked as a full-time evangelist in San Francisco.  I saw God change people! Addicts, gays and transvestites would often come for the Bible studies, and God would work and they were changed.  As you and I mature and step into service, we are privy to the work of Jesus.  We are no longer strangers but friends, and he lets us see his wonders for ourselves.  I have been allowed to see up close his workings in a twisted heart of a lost soul.  The water is turned into wine. I simply stand in awe.

The master of the feast did not know what had happened.  Is this not the same with us quite often?  We cannot explain where the blessings come from.  It happens quickly and quietly.  Look, over there, see the confused woman as she desperately seeks an intervention.  She sobs out in prayer, imploring the Lord for mercy.  Suddenly, through faith something happens, and it is completely supernatural.  And no trumpets sounded, for these are common, regular everyday miracles.

We drink the wine, but we don’t quite grasp the miracle.  But that’s okay.  Our limited understanding handles these quiet miracles and we will step into the light that grace leaves behind.  The water has become wine and we are changed as well, forever, by the quiet power of Jesus.

ybic, Bryan

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