Emerge, To Be

A saber struck through
My heart, failing to understand –
Why I am here, and they are gone.
Tears cut furrows down my cheeks
My sobs the neighbors, awake.

Each one a star of heaven’s sky –
What IS this? Who AM I?
Others say, “It’s not your time!”
But why theirs, if not mine?

My soul quakes, aches, to call
Them all, bring them back
Their parts to play, the stage
Devastated with their absence,
The curtains fallen, crimson glory.

I could name them, one by one,
Those precious, who are gone
Through actions, they cannot unmake,
We cannot restore them, taken
By the working of their hands.

Please, please understand
No matter what you have done,
Been, seen, experienced –
There is still enough, still love,
Still more, friendship, joy in store,
You belong; you are pricelessly dear.

Reach out, find someone, let them
Be a heart to catch you, help you.
Reach, keep on until you find one
Who shows you there is meaning
And a hungry need for you to be.

Life without you is less shiny,
It is incomplete; your smile
Fulfills someone’s need, you are
A blessing indeed, and there exists
A purpose suited to your unique identity.
I know the battle is exhausting
But let us not give up; I am counting
On you to recognize life as a gift;
Stay, continue fighting, together
Everyone can make it.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Enchant

The dragons
Restless in
Waking or
Sleeping nurture
Our dreams
As gently they
Repeat creation
Songs, deeds
Follow words.

*****

This wind fleeting flees
Across the acres spreading
Dandelion seeds.

*****

I sing these lonely
Songs no other has ear to
Hear, sound disappears.

© Jo Ann J.A. Jordan

Up all hours again. Wrapping myself in words to comfort my needs.

Kudos to the Helpers

We have people in our lives that lend us strength when we become weak. These are blessings in human form. Love flows from them against our storms. When one enters our existence, it is a miracle, a grace.

Today some of my heroes reached out, not knowing how much they were needed. My son, Alex, called. His calls always lift my spirit and ignite my soul. We talked, and it was just a wonder.

I called Bernice, and she cheered me on as we laughed together. She gets me, even though I am strange.

I have been struggling, and a few people noticed. Today, my mentor, called. He invited me to lunch, catfish, fried okra, green beans, and bread. He also offered to go shopping with me. I have not been able to get myself to go and had almost run out of food. We went to Kroger and Sam’s Club, and I restocked. He is such a dear.

My best friend, Reba, and I talked. She saved the dog, from physical discipline, after making a terrible mess, by letting me vent. There is so much she does, long-distance, to help me.

My people are my support and much-needed considering. My disease, I cannot express, but love is sometimes the only thing that helps me survive.

It feels good to know I have food. It had reached a critical point.

Tomorrow I go for shots in my knees.

I guess I said all that to tell you, love those people who make life bearable. Never take them for granted. Also, recognize, however low, you feel that you are someone’s hero and do not give up. Life is precious, we are destined, what we will become is to be seen. Hang on. You are a blessing.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

The Wookie was scolded for making a mess, admonished never to do it again, and then the poor rotted creatures got bacon treats. There was some time-lapse. She was observing proper social distancing since she was not entirely able to predict the actions of her Momma. Truth told at that point, I was not prepared either.

 

Rescue By Rescue

I stood there thinking
I was only a failure,
It was time to quit;
My bonny dog barked like there
Was a reason, hackles raised.

I had thought I might
Rehome the two, someone would
Want glorious dogs
I could no longer care for;
Wookie had other ideas.

She became shadow
In my every movement,
She nudged, licked, my hands,
If I thought it all over
She believed it was not, yet.

Despite the tears, howls,
Of desperation and pain,
That fine dog of mine
Was determined this was not
Separation season, mine.

I have not the heart
To continue but it seems
The decision is
Not mine to make, the rescue,
Now is my faithful rescuer.

I face the future
Bleeding, scarred, tail between knees,
But I am resolved
To carry on the mission,
So I do not make her leave.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

I hope you had an excellent Valentine’s Day. Mine was spent with dogs alone. I am still reeling, keep thinking I am alright and then take up fresh tears again. I would rather not open this vein here, but again, I promised myself I would do this daily, so there it is.

I am not always sunshine. If I do not acknowledge the shadow, its hungry maw will swallow me screaming alive.

Do as you will, everyone does anyway. God go with you and bless your dealings and creativity. May you have better days and always strive for your best.

I assure you once I have bandaged my wounds and put myself aright, I will be rejoining the effort to win, win, and win again. It is not over. I am not done. Survivors have a way of surviving even when their will is broken, and their goals fade away. Maybe some crazy dog makes them see that no matter what is in the closet, they have to keep on until there is no other choice.

Mad Advocacy

It is bad enough the subject is still taboo in our day. It is bad enough, so many people suffer in fear, afraid to be real. It is bad enough there are millions. It is so horrible people are dying.

If it were cancer, if it were cardiac, if it were anything physical, there would be a focus, discussion, compassion, a willingness to try to find better treatments, a cure.

My cousin asked a general question on Facebook, “Can a person with schizophrenia be called an individual?” Family, my own family. He knows me. I have corresponded with him. He has read my work and me, his. He came here and spent time with me in person the day of Mom’s memorial service.

Read that again, “Can a person with schizophrenia be called an individual?”

This was my reply: “Yes. Schizophrenia and Multiple Personality Disorder are different things. Do you consider me an individual? I have Schizoaffective Disorder, Schizophrenia, and the mood disorder, Bipolar combined.

Even MPD, the person, is an individual. Our illnesses do not make us any less worthy of respect and love as individuals.

I wonder where this post came from.”

Punch me in the face and lay me out cold. I could not believe I was reading this.

I should not be surprised. Society wishes to sweep us out with the nasty garbage. Do you know how long it takes to get funding to find those of us suffering new treatments? Do you realize how many people think we are all acting? Do you know how few live to age 56 because they commit suicide?

Sorry, I am angry. It is not so much about me. I know people who could function with meds. I know women who are so down on themselves, their husbands can put fists to skin. I have spoken to a father whose son and his wife were both mentally ill, and that man was in the process of adopting their little girl because neither of them could adequately care for her. He was almost 70.

I am lucky, I get my meds, and though I am sometimes suicidal, I know how to defuse myself with my creativity. Not to say, I have not come very close to success but been saved. My disease is the worst, and I am high functioning. I have an incredible doctor, I was able to get disability, Medicare, and Medicaid by 1997, but I had been living a nightmare since 1981. What I get does not pay all the bills, but I am afraid to lose the insurance by going to work, and I do not do well in public for extended periods. My home is a disaster area. Alex cleared out my Mom’s room. We took three loads in large trucks of clothes to Good Will. I could not do it. I cannot hardly manage any of the house. I have to keep my mind busy, or I destruct. I have to read, write, create, stay mentally engaged, or go to pieces.

Do you realize why so many are in a sorry state? They cannot afford a doctor, and if they could, they could not afford meds. Go price anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, go ahead. I will wait.

This is a crisis, and every day it gets worse. That is not an exaggeration. More and more people are committing suicide.

I am sorry, I try to leave this out of the conversation. I know most do not wish to hear about it. Many think we just lack will power and can pull ourselves up by the bootstraps. My older brother was like that, he looked down on me most of my life. We loved each other, but I failed to meet his expectations. My Mom talked to everybody who knew me trying to find ways to relate to me.

No one knows what having voices that you know are unreal, but you cannot dispel, that tell you that you are damned, stupid, ugly, unwanted, unloved, is like without experiencing it. Also, delusions that make it so you cannot trust anyone and always make you feel inferior, make you wish you were never born or could die right quick. It is so hard to understand, and no one should have to, we should put an end to it with committed research.

People like so many of our stars and veterans who commit suicide because of depression. Most of the people suffering are bright and had potential until the diseases took over their lives.

Maybe you know someone who struggles, perhaps you could give them a hug, tell them how much they mean to you. Offer to visit. Just treat them like they are an individual. Love them even if they are sometimes or often unlovable. If you know someone who needs treatment, maybe you could help them with the process. It is damned hard, and many require advocates.

If this offends you, I am sorry. If you think less of me, I get it. Something needs to be done to wake this country up to this crisis. People are dying, and their blood is on our hands if we do nothing, say nothing, we do not initiate change.

“Can a person with schizophrenia be called an individual?” If we dehumanize those with mental issues, are we not falling back into worst tyrannies than our nation’s and world’s past.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

I usually give you pretty pictures, but I think the stark text will do this time.