This was written during a very depressing time for me (3/25/2006). There were times during this part of my life when I was convinced that my life would end in suicide. Paula and I were fighting all the time and I was miserable being on the road. I would come home and the house was in such a state of chaos that I would blow up at everybody. It was at moments like this that I felt like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I never knew when something was going to cause me fierce anger or massive depression. It truly felt like Demons would possess my mind and make me think of all the negative things in my life. I would try to get things in order, but I never could. Everything felt like it was always going to go wrong. Late one night I woke up and started thinking about my financial debt for no apparent reason. My mood would often change at night and I would think on the negative things and become severely depressed. I figured that it would be during one of these periods when I wasn’t thinking so well that I would take my life. I woke up and found a piece of watercolor paper by my nightstand on which I wrote these words and I meant every thing I wrote.
I hesitate in sharing this poem. I was obviously clinically depressed, and to many of you my readers, I’m afraid this will be perceived as a character flaw inconsistent with a man of faith, especially a preacher. To those who think such, I would like to say, it isn’t the people who talk openly about their depression that are as flawed as those who chose to hide their feelings and wear their masks. If you don’t think men of God struggle with depression and even suicidal thoughts, I suggest you read through Psalms, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, 1 Kings 19ff (the story of Elijah). God can handle our depression, our doubts, and even our anger. He even seems to encourage our expression of it. As tragic as this poem is, I still consider it my greatest one. You may say it sounds like a sick man, and you would be right. I was very sick at that time, and my poems reflect it. But the expression of such feelings is how I got through such horrific feelings of despair. Too many of my relatives and friends have been defeated by what I call the “Demons of the Mind.” Confessing our feelings may not be popular, but it is beneficial and I have met many people who relate to this poem in a very personal way.
It’s late at night when the demons come,
There’s no escape, nowhere to run.
They’re here again to poison my mind,
A constant reminder that I’m way behind.
No matter how hard I work or how much a try
I know in the end I will surely die.
For deep down I know the demons are stronger than me
And there’s no way out that I can see.
I try real hard to clean up the mess
But no matter what I do my life’s still a wreck.
I’m fighting a battle I know I can’t win.
It’s my destiny to lose again and again.
Though at times I think that there’s hope
But mostly I’m at the end of my rope
Trying to hang on, but its wrapped round my neck
And death awaits me where ever I step.
I always fail the one’s that I love
I can’t seem to find help from above.
Perhaps I’m rejected because of my sins
And without God’s help, the demons will win.