II – Deon’s Demons

II – Deon’s Demons

From morning to afternoon, I’ve known them, circling,
I taste them only when coughing, exhaling,
Doctors can only see random allergens,
Giving snake oil addictions to treat my symptoms.

Medicines, cruel demons, here to stay

Choke, cough, expectorate, medicate, rinse, repeat
Nausea ad nauseum, I don’t want to eat,
Those are the infestations below my brains…
Through my eyes, I’ve welcomed more, sweet, permanent stains

You can’t bleach them or wash them away.

Generation to generation, they ride down,
Hitting tree branches, growing concentration,
So I give them the best evils I’ve gotten,
Though compared, “the good old days” were just as rotten.

Genetics find unfair ways to play.

I can’t concentrate quite enough to finish well,
Retreating from judgement, escaping for a spell.
My wife, from my dad, inherits my mother’s hell.
Failures, words, like anvils on a sparrow’s egg shell.

Disappointing her gives me dismay.

Seasons of sadness enshroud my brain like a pall.
They should be warm and soft, shouldn’t they all?
Instead they scrape, tear and grind, while making me fall…
How many times can I escape, try to stand tall?

Some days I’m OK, then, demon days.

Dragged down by people as much as by demons,
They blame me for myself, as if I had chosen
My feelings, frustrations, of my own free will,
As if my cage could be opened by all these pills.

Past and new bullies are hell to pay.

My brain is on fire, everyone should just run!
This can be transmitted, hell’s special contagion!
Leave me here to fight memory, sadness, time lost,
Come around to be nice to me, warm my black frost.

I – I Am The Voices In My Head

I Am The Voices In My Head, 10/23/2018, Deon Mumple

I am the voices in my head,
Very much still that little kid,
The old man wishing he was dead,
Who did, but wished he never did,
I’m every book I’ve ever read.
Inside, the voices stay well-hid,
So no one hears a word they’ve said.

I am the voices in my ears:
Guilt, pain, grief, bitterness, and  tears,
The difference between dreams and years,
The sum of past, and present fears.
Burning, critical spirits sear,
Stupidity, accomplishment smears.
In my head, all I hear are jeers.

I am the voice, encouraging
When others try, and want to sing,
And when they feel life’s crushing sting.
— We’re broken, downward-facing things–
I am the voices I’m hearing
Say, “try harder, be more trusting.”
Failed, or betrayed, I’m despairing.

I am deep love that’s not returned-
Given away, heart torn and burned.
I am, in faith, heartsick, disturbed.
I’m told I “shouldn’t be concerned,
Just wait some more, …lessons not learned,
Patience and trust, [and being curbed,]
Wait for wisdom, you’re God’s proverb.”

I am success no one can see,
(Depreciated history,)
Asking, waiting, “God, set me free!”
Enslaved to time and misery.
I am myself, but is it me?
Or am I lost, dead already,
A soul, spilled, accidentally?


Expecting “Strange Changes,” Still the Same

I  apologize to every one of my reader… that I haven’t written in a while.  It could explain why follower numbers and reader number are not the same.  Faithfulness builds loyalty, so if I were able to write every day, I might have a few more readers, despite the writing quality.  I mean, despite the lack thereof.  I’m living proof that shit falls apart, and I’m waiting to be flushed, or scooped into a plastic bag, tied at the top, and dropped in a trash can, if my Handler is tidy.  And I’m living proof that as is said, “the more things change, the more things stay the same.”

My dear wife, Mrs. M., still has me at arms length, or perhaps I’ve resigned myself to the distance.  But she was quite resolute when I was to attend my last doctor’s appointment, basically a “hi, how is everything?” “I’m fine but still depressed.” “OK, we’ll keep you on your medication” meeting.  She was insistent that I address the depression.  So insistent, in fact, that after I was sitting in the waiting area, after an ill-timed attempt to get medication for the dog, after they finally called me in to the little room with the stupid artwork on the walls, she had gotten the medication and blood tests run on the dog and then managed to show up at my doctor’s appointment.  You know the artwork.  It’s the same in every little room.  I think the pediatrician and the pediatric dentist have the same damn print in their offices too.

She showed up about the same time as I was discussing with the doctor, how the extended amphetamine was somewhat effective for my A.D.D., but I was still feeling depressed, this time for a longer season than the normal few months before breaking out into extremely mild mania for a few months.  This tells me I waited too damned long in both the waiting area AND in the little exam room, before the doctor bothered to show up.  She showed up because she wanted to be sure I addressed how the extended amphetamine was somewhat effective for my A.D.D., but I was still feeling depressed.

My depression is very situational.  I’ve been depressed for a while, seeing how I can’t get out from under things despite my strong attempts to relieve myself of them, I can’t afford to fix things when they break, and when I think for a minute that I can fix it, it gets worse, or Mrs. M. tells me she’s called a guy.  I can’t fix work- that’s a whole set of issues way beyond my influence.  I can’t fix the rotten door frame because she’s called a guy.  I was literally at the hardware store staring at the cheap wood, already cut except at corners, wondering about taking that one on myself, and she said no, she’s already called a guy.  In his defense, he’s a family friend, he’s competent, and he has the specific tools for the job, but like any other contractor he hasn’t shown up yet to do what would take me a few hours, and take him like 5 minutes to do.  I bothered to call her instead of just buying that along with the air filter we needed for the furnace, and she said not to buy the wood and nails.  I can’t fix my teeth because it costs so much, and when we were trying to save the money to get the crowns, the teeth cracked and now would need to be replaced by even less-affordable dental implants.  To correct the current situation I need two implants and a crown.  I can actually imagine myself with a crown and implants:  even sexier than I am already, and powerful too.  I mean, if Mrs. M. can barely restrain herself to keeping me at arms length already, just imagine!

I took a week off because the kids are on fall break.  It’s Thursday, so my reader knows I’ve vacuumed on Tuesday and that needs to be done again already.  I’ve swept on Wednesday and that needed to be done again by Wednesday night.  I’ve washed dishes , so there’s a strainer and dishwasher of clean ones that still need to be put away, and a sink full of dirty dishes that need to be washed already and it’s not even 10 AM.  And the kids are upstairs enjoying their vacation days.  Mrs. M. asked and then told one to mop the floors so that’s still waiting to be done as well.  It was trash day yesterday, so Tuesday I took all the trash and recycling to the curb, and those bins are still sitting at the street instead of being put away by the kids on their return trips to go to the store or food pickup.

I was craving Chinese takeout and I was starving on Tuesday night, so my daughter decided we needed to go to Taco Bell.  It was OK, just not what I wanted.  First world problems.  Yesterday I set up dinner- lasagna-style “pasta rolls” swimming in a lovely Italian tomato sauce with garlic.  Mrs. M. breezed through the doors, commented on what I hadn’t done, oblivious to what I had done, and then criticized the fact that dinner wasn’t quite done.  In my defense, the lasagna rolls were delicious when they WERE done, along with the home-made bread I had broiled with some garlic butter.  But they were frozen, which meant they weren’t done in the 30 minutes advertised on the package.

She urged the doctor, despite my fears, to prescribe an antidepressant, and he did.  But after the last pharmaceutical phuck-up, I asked the doctor AND the pharmacist and another doctor I know as a friend, about potential side-effects and co-mingling of medications, and the mild tides I have ridden with some measure of personal awareness for lo these 40 of 53 years, approximately.  The mild tide isn’t high and low enough for a bipolar diagnosis, and isn’t fast enough for a cyclothymia diagnosis.  Bless my heart, I can’t even do THAT right.  Yeah, last time I asked for a refill of the slow-release amphetamine they gave Mrs. M. straight up amphetamine and said that’s what the doctor called in.  So, I don’t know if that was the doctor calling it in wrong, or the pharmacy philling it phunky.  Oh.  Word play.  Phine.  So maybe I am slowly coming out of my phunk.  Someone tell my checking account and the housework to do the same.  The doctors and the pharmacist all assured me that there was no statistical information they were aware of that taking the new medication would throw my brain in a skull-shaped blender and turn this already screwed up brain into an even more worthless, rapid-cycling puddle of not-quite bipolar, not quite cyclothymic, pudding.

I quoted “the more things change, the more things stay the same,” and I’m sticking to it.

Side effects that may include everything from mild nausea to permanent sexual dysfunction and suicidal tendencies, so far have only included moderate nausea, some “light” insomnia, just about once or twice a day randomly and suddenly feeling hot(ter than I’m normally aware of), with accompanying sweating more than I normally noticed, and an externally-induced near abstinence that’s about the same as it was before the new medication.  Bleah.

I’m still depressed, I’m still frustrated and sometimes outright angry, I still have no energy beyond what I can scrape together to do light chores not quite fast enough to keep up with the shit, my lovely wife is still controlling, and where she can’t micromanage,  critical, and my kids can’t be arsed to do anything to help, but they’re on their own antidepressants and A.D.D. medications. I’m worried about how they’ll fare in the real world.  It’s going to be a kick in their asses.  I recall trying in their younger years to be what I wanted to be as a father, until Mrs. M. informed me that that was stupid, so I let some of it go.  Now she wants me to pick it up again, and it’s 15 years too late.  I love them all dearly, but despite the medication, the shit pile of shit that needs putting away, cleaning, repair, replacement, etc., doesn’t look like it’s improving at all.

I’m going to make another gesture against futility today, and see how far the energy I can muster for the day carries me.  My reader is well-acquainted with the specific gesture.  Wish me luck, or pray for me, or both.  The lotteries are all high, maybe I’ll buy an entry for one of each.  I’d be able to fix most of my situational depression if I won just ONE of the jackpots, but it’d be absolutely hilarious if I won both.  It’d take a while to adjust to the change, and I’m sure I’d struggle to manage to eke out some kind of meager existence, but that’s a chance I’m willing to take, and just the sort of challenge I think I might be able to face.

I hope you can find enough energy to invest somewhere.  Even gestures against futility mean something positive, even if they only last long enough for you to look at any tiny accomplishment and smile, at least it was a smile and you’ve done something good.  I hope you can do something good for yourself today.