The Battle

When I am distressed about something I write. Usually poetry. I don’t know why. Some people eat chocolate, some people bite their nails, I write poetry.

Many times in recent months I feel pitted in a battle with my inner demons: shame, fear, loneliness, and depression. In January of this year I wrote about this aggregate pain as a persona I very much would love to shed or, as my poem puts it,Β  slay. Re-reading this poem now, after being on antidepressants for six weeks, I wonder if I was not writing about the people who introduced me to my demons.


i want to slay this friend of mine
i know him well you know the kind
he visits pain on me each day
reminding me how I will stay
my heart suffers his company
a battered life on bended knee
invite him in to cave once more
familiar friend whom I abhor
he paints my walls a well groomed man
no one suspects nor understands
his brush a whip of secret sin
his strokes lay bare my wound within
at night alone i weep to sleep
he leaves me then a fleeting peace
for wake i will to him again
this place i am has but one friend



22 Responses

  1. I can’t say I’ve ever hated anyone. Not really. I’ve been so angry I felt like I hated them … but I didn’t really. I was just REALLY angry. Forgiven someone … I think we do this all the time. At least hopefully. On some level we have to forgive all the time, or we’ll be walking around as a giant cactus no one can come near.

    I wonder if you could focus that hatred at devil who used that person to inflict pain in your life. Difficult, probably.

  2. Good morning Annie. I have attempted, unsuccessfully, to hate the sin (love the sinner). It is not working for me. I keep putting human faces on the sin or the sin back on the people. It is not healthy. I am not healthy. I am confident He is going to make me healthy through some means. Perhaps hatred of satan is a place to explore. thank you.

  3. I am confident He is going to make me healthy through some means.

    Great focus. πŸ™‚ Focus is at least half the battle.

  4. I think the person I hated most in my life was me. When I was a teenager I reflected this hatred onto the rest of the world.

    I hated my father and never forgave him while he was alive. If could I not forgive myself how could I forgive him?

    I would like to believe I have learned enough from past mistakes to removed the emotion of hate from my life. I can’t think of anyone I hate now.

  5. just myself.

  6. 1. Yes – but i don’t feel that way any longer πŸ™‚
    2. Not as well as my ego told me i had! Such ‘forgiveness’ was largely insincere.

    To my way of thinking ( and i know we share some ways! πŸ˜‰ ) there is a quite complex interplay between our physical human life and our Spiritual life ( and how that spirit also LIVES in Jesus Christ.)

    This is further complicated by the ‘natural’ enemy of life – death.

    ( Death is just Nature’s way of telling you to slow down) πŸ˜€

    As you very well pointed out, your mind has ‘created’ a persona ( personified – made human) out of the pain – and your mind is naturally seeking to put a ‘face’ to it also.

    Also quite naturally, your mind has a strong desire to end (KILL) this ‘person -eh’?

    A worry is that since the pain is not real to anyone but you – even though how it makes you feel/act can affect those around you someway – thoughts of killing it also become ‘connected’ to the ( sometimes unthinkable) thought of suicide – or of murder.

    There is more than enough evidence in America ( yet another case is on my radio from Alabama right now) 😦 of this being made real in people’s lives.

    Far more are in the position you are currently.

    The GOOD news??

    It is possible to learn to direct your thoughts ( through His Help – and this can also be done via another person or persons) to kill off the parts of us that keep this pain within us – Permanently. πŸ™‚

    There are things we cause to ‘live’ in us that we DO have power over by reason of God’s Gifts to us and that includes the power to take their ‘life’ ( never the life He gave to us or to someone other than us though!)

    You can learn to kill the Pain Ric

    Maybe it has many ‘faces’ and it will take time to kill all parts to it… but it is possible – again through Him – and never in the real ‘outer’ world of those who live with us physically.

    The first step is awareness and you are walking in this light at this time.

    Remember also that all of the Pain – while felt at times strongly in your present is all based in the past – it no longer ‘exists’ in any physical sense but the one you still cling to inside of you. You can cut off those links, not by denying them but through forgiveness and the elimination of that within you that holds on so strongly to it ( a part of our ego/persona.

    Some might call this part of us a ‘demon”. I’m sure you can relate?

    While Jesus was able to cast ‘out’ demons this did not prevent their return – Killing them is more ‘permanent’ !
    And can give one a certain sense of satisfaction – not that we should take any pride in that of course! πŸ˜€


  7. Ric. JB here.
    Ya know, I was never really ‘allowed’ to hate. It wasn’t a ‘good choice for my heart’ ‘they’ said. However, I have found colossal amounts of pain enter my life emotionally, physiologically, and spiritually…….. and I’ve doubted that I ever could (or would) choose to forgive. I’ve come to believe, that, for me, forgiveness is a choice…… to focus on the sin, not the sinner. The latter, I believe, is God’s job. And I believe He does a good job …. with His job. Yea, I attach faces…. I’m human. I am flawed just as everyone else is. But I give my flaws to God too.

    Have you ever forgiven someone you could not bring yourself to hate?
    Yes. I have experienced the pain of forgiving the ‘unforgivable’ ….. and later I’ve found there be more. Then, it became intensely more difficult. I have learned to HATE the demons, Satan, the shame, and the fears which USED those who’ve hurt and which continue to burden hearts. I’ve also learned that, for me, it’s a process…. and focus is required… on God’s presence in the lives of those effected by the pain.

    I too, long for the day of health for you — for others as well. God’s got this Ric. I believe God’s got this.
    Love – JB

  8. I can relate to your struggle with you father and yourself Ed. I am glad you’ve made it to a place free of hate. Thank you for being so open in all our exchanges.

    Bad, bingo. When I withhold forgiveness, I despise myself for being cold. When I extend grace I despise myself for being soft. I hear there is a place of health where I might unselfishly love myself.

    Love, thank you. Your comment helps me to better understand me a little bit more. Ofter people see my subconscious in my writing far better than I can. It amazes me.

    JB, thanks for your words. Turning it around is a process.

  9. Just remember Leah’s Self Image lesson:

    1. you suck
    2. there’s nothing you can do about it
    3. God loves you anyway

    Learning to love myself has probably been the hardest part of my walk with God. No, definitely THE hardest part. I know myself better than anyone – and I know how much I blow it.

    The 2nd most important command is to love your neighbor AS yourself. That is, you can’t really love anyone else, until you love yourself.

    It’s a paradox, dammit – and it doesn’t make any sense. Yet it is a command – not an option.

    Honestly loving yourself so that you can love others is what separates being good from doing good.

    Keep fighting!

  10. Thanks again Bad. I don’t think learning the things you bring up is the issue so much as unlearning the lie. The lie(s) is part of me …I think much like our accents are part of each of us. We were taught how to speak by our parents and so we unconsciously copy their accent. Most of us cannot turn off our accents, it comes through no matter what we try. Fortunately, accents are cool. Lies, not so much.

  11. “Unlearning the Lie”


    I see a poem title in that.

  12. The demons…the people…the shame…the self…

    …they’re all in the way.

    It’s okay to desire something more.
    It’s okay to hurt from the pain of this world.

    If it all leads us to God.

    Antidepressants help me to see things more clearly, too. I must say, I like Zoloft.

  13. I like beer.

  14. Hahahahaha!

    Maybe I should try it. πŸ˜‰

  15. I love a beer with friends but physiologically, it is not what makes me lucid… quite the opposite. Besides, antidepressants don’t fill my bladder at 2:00AM.

  16. We are all made slightly different so what works for one might not work for another (as far as man’s solutions – like beer and antidepresants go – anyway zoloft did next to nothing for me but then i have a high resistance to most drugs and painkillers – sadly)

    I would like to point out that beer (for those who love it) is a depressant – it literally depresses or suppresses the brain’s chemistry and electro-neural activity – or rather the alcohol content is the actual depressant, and this might not be a good thing to take along with anti-depressants as they may be counter-productive – or might actually ‘work’ in addition to each other so making a dangerously high level of brain chemistry alteration?.

    And there is the interruption to sleep patterns Ric so lucidly observed πŸ˜‰ Not ‘healthy’.

    a depressant is not always a ‘bad’ thing ( not you Bad – the other kind) πŸ˜‰ if our brain issue is one of over-stimulation where neurons are ‘fired’ TOO quickly for our own good then a depressant is what may be needed to help us be more ‘normal’

    But as a rule, alcohol i find, is less than ‘beneficial’.

    Doubly so if used to ‘excess’ as it often ‘encourages’ far too many of us to do.


  17. Ric – as far as being ‘amazed’ goes…

    i think it is not so much that others see your subconscious better than you can, merely that others who may share some of the same or similar experiences of pain can see it from a different perspecive which, if shared with you, allows you to see something in a way you might not have before.

    i see this as the great benefit of ‘relationship’ be it with another human being or with God – sharing of different perceptions of ‘reality’ which can offer ‘choices’ we might not normally see on our own.

    I have Faith you will be able to resolve this issue and come out of it ‘free’ and wiser still.

    Be patient – but determined! And open to His Will in all things πŸ™‚


  18. Hey Love. I am taking Pristiq right now. It seems to be working in that I feel more like myself. Strange but true.

    Your comment on beer is starting to make me imagine you as a virtual mommy. Yes mother. Of course mother. …

    And thank you for the encouragement. I do need that.

  19. ( Best ‘Mommy’ voice) “Ric! Have you taken your pristiq today?”
    πŸ™‚ πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

    Some of my knowledge is not all that ‘common’ knowledge; i share what i know to be true with others in the hope that i fill Paul’s words in Ephesians 4:

    ’29 Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for edifying as the need may be, that it may give grace to them that hear.
    30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in whom ye were sealed unto the day of redemption.
    31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and railing, be put away from you, with all malice:
    32 and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God also in Christ forgave you.’

    i might not always get vs 31 right the ‘first’ time. πŸ˜‰

    love, ‘VMom’ πŸ™‚


  20. hahahaha… thanks Mommy Love. And thanks for following (obeying?) Ephesians 4:29-32 so so well.

  21. Ric,

    I know this post is long past now, but I just read a devotional by Max Lucado that reminded me of your thoughts here.
    I found it insightful and helpful in promoting the understanding needed in order to forgive.
    Here’s the web link:
    ‘Hope you’re well and at peace.

  22. D, that is a very apt devotional. Thank you.

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