Monday, February 23, 2015


This is a story.  A story of love and life and a story of confusion and chaos.  It is story of a search for meaning and a story of coming to terms with truth and reality.  It is a story of one person that is driven and run by all others.  It is a search for freedom and a search for a hitching post in the form of a friend.  It is a story of losing and being lost, a story of surrender to forces beyond control.

It is a disease they told him.  It had probably been hiding within him since a young child.  A chemical imbalance that forms the personality of his soul.  He is quiet and a loner of sorts and when he is young the chemicals in his brain are kept under control and the imbalance is not discovered or even suspected of being there.  He thinks back and suspects that he had felt the effects of the imbalance over the years but he was strong enough to keep it in check.  It would take a major event in his life to allow the chemicals in his brain to over run the control he had held on it over the years.

The event did arrive one night.  It came in the form of the news that the soul of his grandfather had left with his death.  At least this was the event he came to believe that weakened his control over the imbalance.  The death of his grandfather, even though he knew it was coming, would hit him as though someone had shot him in the chest.  It knocked him over, both physically as well as mentally.

It was not an instant change in the power of the chemical imbalance over his soul.   It would take awhile.  Yes he was sad and felt the loss of the old soul.  Yes, it felt like a part of his own soul had cracked with the loss of the old soul.  His life, and his soul would never be the same again.  It took a while for the funeral for his grandfather to take place because the old soul had left in a state far away and the shell of the soul had to be transported back to Missouri.  This gave his own soul time to get use to the idea and make adjustments to make shifts in the chemical imbalances of his mind before having to face the sight of the shell without a soul.

Over the next year or so he would keep the chemicals in check by visiting his grandmother and lend a hand in taking care of her.  During his visits she would talk about the soul that had left.  She gave him one of the old souls watches.  She would look at pictures with him and read poetry that her betrothed had written for her over the years.  It hurt him to see his grandmother in such pain.  She had lost her eldest son before losing her husband.  It was too much for her soul to handle for very long and eventually her own soul would leave to join other souls that had left before her.  These were two of the most influential souls in his life and now they were gone.  He accepted the fact though and not realizing that the strength he had in dealing with the imbalance in his mind had been weakened.  He had no idea how weak it had become.

It was an ordinary day at the office when his soul broke.  It was over the lunch hour and he was reading news off of the internet while sitting at his desk.  In the blink of an eye the chemicals that were out of balance rose up and overtook any strength or resolve he had left to keep them in balance.  He remembered not being able to breath.  He remembered his head feeling very light and his heart pounding hard and fast inside his chest.  He remembered thinking that the time had come for his soul to leave this world as he sat and tried to figure out what was happening.  When he was able to, he got up and walked slowly out to his car and drove to the clinic where his doctor kept his practice.  They rushed him straight in and ran all these strange test on him that he hadn't had before.

His doctor wasn't at the clinic that day.  Other doctors looked at his results to determine that his heart was not on the warpath trying to bring him down.  He waited in a small room for someone to come talk to him about what was going on and hi soul was afraid.  Soon an extremely understanding soul in the form of a nurse practitioner entered the room.  She talked to him calmly and soothingly and asked questions about his life and what kind of stresses he had.  He couldn't think of any.  His life was just as it always had been as far as he could tell.  She explained to him about the disease called acute depression and anxiety.  This was what had overtaken his mind on that particular day.  As she was talking he began to realize a lot of the pressures and stress that he had been fighting for many years and he felt tears start to fill his eyes.  He wasn't use to this.  He hardly ever cried.  He had not cried a t the loss of his Uncle or any of his grandparents.  Those time had seemed like a natural occurrence to him and he had held his feelings in as he had most of his life.  Now they were coming out.  The chemical imbalance had made a major strike against his mind and he would never be the same.

He slowly gave in to the depression and went quiet.  Not quiet as he had been before but really quiet.  The world seemed to be going on around him and he felt detached from his soul.  It was as if he did not really exist.  The anxiety would continue to pound at him and the depression would engulf him as they tried to find the group of medications that would help him balance out the chemicals.  They told him to find someone to talk to about what was in his mind, to find a therapist.

He had always scoffed at the idea of mental therapy.  It was something he did not believe in but the way he was being slowly sucked down into darkness he decided it was worth a try.  He called and had a referral service find him a therapist and he went.  The first time several times were awkward as he and the therapist tried to find a way through the walls that had suddenly been thickened around his soul.  She was patient though and eventually he found the courage to talk to her about things he had never talked to anyone about.  The doctor meanwhile came across a mixture of drugs that seemed to help him keep the chemicals in check somewhat.  The medications would change several times before they found a stable mixture that fit his needs.

Every once in awhile the thought would come to him to quit.  The thought of putting his own soul at rest so it could be among others that went before him sounded pleasant.  Finally he was resolved that this would be the best action to ease himself out of the depression and the anxiety and the way he was stressing his wife and others.  He told his therapist of his decision expecting her to understand.  She didn't understand though and by the end of that evening, he was in a place where shoe strings and belts were not allowed.  Where his every movement was monitored and where he was forced to talk to others in a group situation which he found very uncomfortable.  They adjusted his medication at this place and by the end of a week he seemed to have the chemical unbalance under his own control again and so they sent him home.

He still thinks of releasing his soul often.  He thinks of it and then holds on until he see's his therapist again so she can straighten out his thinking and thus strengthen his control over the chemicals that worm their way into his mind and thoughts.  He has learned to look at himself, to look inside himself with her help to stabilize his mind.

This is who he had turned out to be.  This is where life has landed him.  This is the rest of his life, living with these chemicals trying to alter his thinking while his medications try to stop them from being successful.

He will forever be a broken soul until his soul is set free and put to rest with those that went before.
Hand With A Reflecting Sphere - M.C. Escher

1 comment:

  1. I had similar thoughts for a time following a difficult surgery almost 40 years. Don't know if I have ever shared this with you Bill. I would think your wife (and my cousin) Barb might have heard a little about these suicidal thoughts clouding my mind for what seemed months after a botched thyroidectomy altered my voice and breathing forever. I will be happy to share more with you if you wish to communicate via email offline. One main difference for me in "my (past) story" is that I do not have depression. And I have never rationally considered that ending my life was a way I could release my soul and "put it to rest" .... similar experiences (consideration of suicide) yet different thinking about what ending my life might mean. -Cousin Bruce