Blog Posts | Depression | Poems on General Topics

God Walks the Darkness

July 3, 2018

It’s dark tonight,
+++so dark.
It seems that God
+++is silent.
I cannot hear Him.
I cannot sense
+++His tender touch.
He seems to have gone,
+++and left a vacuum.
But I believe, somehow,
+++He left
To walk the darkness.

The blackness,
+++that’s real;
It’s too real.
During the day,
+++I can refuse to think.
At night,
+++I cannot sleep
+++and think in
+++endless, awful cycles.
But in the endless cycle,
+++I know,
He walks the darkness.

I wish to cry,
+++but I have no tears.
The pain,
+++it’s all locked tight
+++behind tall barriers.
I can’t think,
+++my mind is dazed,
And neither can I feel.
But I know,
+++Oh, I know,
He walks the darkness.

I have such
+++little strength.
I’m tired
+++in an exhaustion
+++of body and spirit.
It’s too much effort now,
+++to focus.
I cannot even pray,
+++for I have no strength
+++and no words.
Like a feeble child,
+++to this I cling:
God walks the darkness.

My heart cries out
+++for relief,
+++for rest,
+++for oblivion.
I don’t think
+++I can go on,
But I do,
And I must.
In this I find
+++my hope:
God walks the darkness.

I do not understand
What threw me into darkness.
I do not know
+++what’s locked
+++behind the barriers.
I am confused,
+++and much too tired
+++to know just why.
But this
+++I understand:
God walks the darkness.

Yes, God walks
+++the darkness.
I cannot see,
+++it is too black,
But I know He can.
I cannot understand
+++the darkness,
But He does.
When time is right,
+++He’ll smash the barriers,
And send His light upon my life.
But until then,
+++in Him I trust.
He walks the darkness.

The summer I was twenty remains a heavy memory, a darkness shadowing it in my mind. I couldn’t think; I couldn’t feel. All that remained was darkness, a heaviness, a cloud, shutting me in and trapping me. I felt locked and desperately alone. The inner, running dialogue I always had with myself was strangely silent, as was my dialogue with God. I felt as if I was living in a fog or swimming through thick soup. I couldn’t shake it. I couldn’t break it. A dark haze blanketed me. I couldn’t sleep, but I couldn’t seem to wake up either. My exhaustion frightened me. I tried to fight the darkness but didn’t have any strength. One night, I simply collapsed, unable to keep going. That night, I wrote this poem, written in jerky, stilted words that somehow captured the dark numbness that had me in its grasp.

My depression that summer frightened me. I had been severely depressed and suicidal as a teenager, and I thought I had finally left it behind me, that I was now living with hope. I learned that summer that it wasn’t really gone. It was still there, waiting to swallow me if I let down my guard. Some broken, weary part of me still didn’t want to live, still wished there was some way to escape the never-ending pain. Twenty years of fighting simply to keep my head above water left little zest for life. I hid it well. Every day I faked enthusiasm and energy. I often sang as I went about my life, but no one knew what those songs really were. They weren’t the spilling over of a joyous heart. They were my desperate attempts to keep the darkness at bay, the desperate prayers of a soul struggling to cling to life.

The severity of this depressive episode lifted in a few months as I returned to my job as a school teacher that fall. The pressures of teaching in a small, private school with five grades in my classroom left little room for the darkness. However, it didn’t really go away. It simply receded to a back part of my mind. Every few weeks or months I’d crash, the darkness and despair and the longing to die eating away at me. Inevitably, I’d pick myself up and keep going as I had done for so many years. I didn’t know what else to do. That darkness didn’t really leave me until three years ago, following a life-changing group therapy I participated in. Even now, on my hard days, I can still feel it, the old darkness pushing up from a forgotten part of myself. Now, I can counteract the lies with the truth, but sometimes, it’s still hard.

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