Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May 31: Mental Illness, Les Murray, "Panic Attack"

My life has been touched by mental illness in many ways.  Depressions.  Bipolar disorder.  Panic attacks.  Anxiety.  You name it, it has been a part of my life in some way.

It's really easy to stigmatize people who suffer from mental illness.  Someone walking down the street, talking to himself.  That someone will draw stares, laughter, finger points.  In most cases, not a single person will stop to help.  Because mental illness is scary.

When your mind turns against you, there's not a whole lot you can do.  Stay in bed all day, covers over your head.  Deep breathing.  Medication.  Therapy.  The problem is that most people with mental illness do not have the capacity to realize they need help.

My wife has bipolar.  Her uncle had bipolar.  Several years ago, he committed suicide.  My wife takes her medication faithfully because she has seen the cost of not taking her medication.

Saint Marty prays every night for people who suffer from mental illness.

Panic Attack

by:  Les Murray

The body had a nightmare.
Awake. No need of the movie.

No need of light, to keep hips
and shoulders rotating in bed
on the gimbals of wet eyes.

Pounding heart, chest pains -
should it be the right arm hurting?

The brain was a void
or a blasted-out chamber -
shreds of speech in there,
shatters of lust and prayer.

No one can face their heart
or turn their back on it.

Bowel stumbled to bowl,
emptied, and emptied again
till the gut was a train
crawling in its own tunnel,

slowly dragging the nightmare
down with it, below heart level.
You would not have died

the fear had been too great
but: to miss the ambulance moment -

Relax. In time, your hourglass
will be reversed again.

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