A Journey of Mental Health, Covid – 19, Long Haulers Syndrome, Pain, Confusion, sickness, Frustration, Desperation and depression and Yet Through it all, The Depressed Poet, Doc Dalton say’s loudly, Stop The Funeral, cause I Ain’t Dead Yet.
Since last time we talked your personal world has taken a crazy turn. Yet through it all, you are staying positive and still writing poetry with just a bit of a different feeling or direction from within. Would that be correct and if so can you explain.
When someone has mental illness, “Depression” it can be a struggle to stay on the right path. But when things take place in your daily life over and over again, your world could get unsettling to say the least.
In March of 2020 I got Covid-19 and was sick but came out of it OK. IN March of 2021, I got my first vaccine shot and in May of that same year received my second shot and thought all was well. Not long after I started feeling as if things weren’t right and within a short period of time my world changed.
I became so tired that I could fall asleep anywhere at any time and I did. Brain fog like you could not believe would set in which made it difficult and sometimes impossible to have a conversation with someone because the confusion was at such a high level. Dizziness to the point where my wife or daughter would hold me up when I walked. My eyes started bothering me and now I am not aloud to drive. Hallucinations that were alarming to say the least. The worst is the joint pain where almost every joint in your body is inflamed at such a high degree that you feel as if you can’t make another day.
It’s called Long Haulers Syndrome and it comes from Covid -19 and thousands of folks are suffering from this. I have met some of them because of the different medical centers I have gone to, and their stories are not ones that are happy. And for me, everything stopped right down to the simplest of things.
Last time we spoke you said for those with mental illness it wasn’t just a pandemic, but it was an epidemic, do you still feel that way.
When I made that comment to you last time, I had no idea how much farther the statement would go and to what degree it would go to. At that point people felt like they were losing their minds and now, they have lost them in different ways. Suicide is skyrocketing for not only the youth but for every age group and it does not seem like it is slowing down at all.
Everyday they hear the news, or should I say the liars of the news telling their untrue news stories and people don’t know who or what to believe. They could never imagine in all their days that they would witness the things that they are seeing now, and it doesn’t stop there because at some point, they watch it on their televisions and those so-called reporters look into the camera and just flat out lie to us about everything. People are worried and people are scared for themselves, their families, their friends, and neighbors. They just don’t know what tomorrow might bring and if tomorrow will be a truthful one.
You said everything stopped for you, but somehow you did little things to stay positive. Were there any learning experiences from all this
I was hosting a podcast called, The Coffee and Prayer Series and that was one of the first things to stop. I just couldn’t do it. Poetry stopped for a while because I just couldn’t focus at all, to put some words together. I have always said that I am not a great or even a good writer and I say that because that is the truth. What I am is a man, who stumbles through his words so he could make it through his days.
When I couldn’t write a few simple words, “good or bad” that became very depressing for me.
On a positive note, I spent a lot of time sitting outside in a tiny porch like area that I call my place of grace. I ate breakfast, lunch and even dinner at times in my place of grace and still do. I really started noticing the colors of the leaves and the way the trees would sway because of the wind. I noticed the birds and the way they would fly. The stars at night were beautiful. When it rained, I enjoyed that moment so much that I couldn’t wait for it to take place again. I started appreciating what I call Gods gifts and I always appreciated them before but now because of what was taking place with me, I appreciated them so much more because now I was paying attention to them.
While listening to the radio and television I started to realized people were intent on hurting each other for causes they themselves did not even understand. Many folks were becoming disrespectful and flat out rude while others who were trying to tell their own stories were being told to shut up or even threatened. I started listening and reading about these different events and that is when poetry started to come back to me and that was when I wrote the poem, To Those.
© Oct 13, 2021 – The Depressed Poet, Doc Dalton – DocDalton.com
Give love to those that live without it
Bring friendship to those who are lonely
Give hope to those who are hopeless
Bring Peace to the hearts of those who are weary
Show Faith to those who are in search of it
Give honesty to those who have been lied to
Share your wisdom with those who have suffered from life’s lessons
Show Understanding to those who are in doubt
Find a path for those who are lost and cannot find their way
Bring light for those depressed and live-in the shadows of darkness
Give strength to those who struggle and have weakened
Bring a smile to those faces who wear their sadness
Explain to those who are truly in search of answers
Listen to those who need to have their stories told
Pray for those who need your Prayers the most
Together let’s Pray to the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost
So, poetry did become a positive step during this time, and do you think there are other poets who go through times of depression as well and struggle within their own journey of their everyday life.
Yes 100%. In today’s world of social media, you can meet up with all kinds of people from all over the world. Many people who call themselves writers do have issues and writing words of any kind seems to be the thing that pulls them through to their next day, and that is a good thing.
For me, I also belong to a poetry club which is based out of Ontario, Canada called Red Thread Poets. They have members from all over the world and the person who founded this club is, Peter Stevens. Peter and I have spoken and I can assure you, he is a wonderful man whose heart is in the right place. People should check out Red Thread Poets, you can find them on the web.
You commented one time that with mental illness it’s as if everyday is a journey. Sometimes it a good journey and sometimes not. You have also commented on the way people tend to look at and judge other people and how that could affect someone.
Let’s start with the way people might look at you or judge you. This could hurt you big time because instead of focusing on your self to become a better you, you are now focusing on a place that does nothing for you. You are now trying to please them, people who you don’t even know. What you need to do is change your so-called direction and get back to what is important and that is you and your personal wellbeing.
For me it is simple and straight to the point. I don’t give a rat’s ass what anyone thinks. That is on them. You must have a big pair of balls to look down on someone who is struggling. This makes them a person who needs to find their own peace and happiness within their own, hell hole of a life.
This so-called journey can be a long and lonely one even when that journey takes place in your mind while never leaving the comfort of your favorite chair. And the journey can change within your mind at any given time and can take you on a different path even if you do not want to go on one.
The places that you go to and come from in your own mind can be exhausting and can challenge you in several ways. It can also be rewarding and bring you peace, something that you really need and deserve. And as crazy as this might sound, there are moments when you say to yourself, I think this is the time to shut this journey down so to speak and just go home. This is where I came up with the poem, Welcome Home.
© June 2021 Written By, The Depressed Poet, Doc Dalton – DocDalton.com
Come in old friend, and rest here a while
For you look tired and torn, so relax and cherish this time
For your journey must have been a long one, after all those miles
Through the valleys, and countless mountains, you had to climb
I pray your trip was a good one, and each step you found worthwhile
For you were guided by the love of God as he watched over you each and every mile
Folks here have missed you and your stories, they seem to make them smile.
Your friendship and kindness are a true blessing, like the love of a newborn child
Put your feet up by the fire, let the heat warm your bones
Let the sounds of the crackling fire sooth your spirit as the flames calm your soul
For your travels have ended and you are now safe and no longer alone
Let the angels hold you tightly and shelter you from the nighttime cold
For today has ended and tomorrow will be here so very soon
A new sun will shine, while the northwest winds blow on through
For now, dream your dreams safe and warm from the stormy sky
For it’s time to say goodnight to your troubles and for today, say goodbye
Come on in old friend and rest here a while
For your journey must have been a long one, after all those miles
Put your feet up by the fire, let the heat warm your bones
For your travels have ended and you are now safe, so let me happily say,
Because of everything you are going through is your thinking process different such as, what was important before is not any longer.
With age things change over time. With illness things change fast and you realized who and what is important and here is an example.
My family has always been important to me, and I never question that once or even thought about it that much. After being sick I can’t even imagine what I would do without them. My wife, daughter, son-in law, and granddaughter have been my life support. They care about me, help me, do countless things for me that I took for granted. As far as my granddaughter, just a hug from here is the best medicine in the world. Jokingly I say she is my own personal medical marijuana program because we she hugs me and says, pop pop I love you, I am buzzing high for sure. Back in the 70’s I would have had a box of yodels with that high buzz.
Everything is different yet everything remains the same. It’s just the way you look at it now and how much the appreciation factor has set in.
If Doc Dalton had the ability to mandate or promote one thing to this world, what would it be?
Kindness. We have become a people who are no longer kind to one another. Just how difficult is it to say good morning to someone or have a nice day. How tough Is it to open a door for someone or maybe carrying something that is difficult for someone to carry themselves? How hard is it to smile at someone or pat them on the back and tell them all will be, OK? Maybe just one act of kindness can help someone through their day. Maybe one act of kindness can go much farther then you could have ever imagined.
Last time we spoke you said you were not a religious guy, but you were a God guy. As anything changed in that area of your life.
I pray a lot more and talk to him a lot more. I talk to him just like I would speak to anyone else. When I was a kid, I was told that you should want and have a personal relationship with God. That’s what I do now because I really don’t know who and what to believe anymore.
One pastor says one thing, the next pastor say’s something else, Then the priest jumps in with his 2 cents followed by the Rabbi saying something different. And if you watch the religious shows on television many of these pastors don’t agree with each other and they ask for things that seem wrong.
One pastor wanted a plane that cost over 50 million dollars so he can fly to the different places that he had been called on to preach. I have an idea, fly coach and use the rest of that money to feed those who are hungry and in need. Ask yourself this question, would Jesus do that, I don’t think so. If it isn’t good for Jesus. It’s not good for you.
One pastor on television was said to be worth over one hundred million dollars. Do you really need all that money and that giant house and cars and so on? How about taking half of that money putting it in a trust and from the interest created from that trust you can feed and clothe the needy at what would be staggering amount year in and year out. Again, if Jesus had One Hundred Million dollars would he sit on it or help people. We know that answer and so should that pastor. Wake up Mr. Pastor.
So, for me, it’s a personal relationship even though I go to church and have a wonderful pastor. Make no mistake about it, I am there for Jesus, and it is even better to be around like-minded people.
I try to keep this relationship going within my poetry as well by mentioning God, Jesus, the Holy Ghost, Heaven and Angels in some way. It doesn’t matter if my poems are serious or funny, I always try to include him and that is where I came up with the following poem. I just hope he has a sense of humor.
A SHOT OF CUERVO AND SOME JESUS TO GO
© 2019 Written by: The Depressed Poet, Doc Dalton – DocDalton.com
Blood Shut eyes with a broken soul
A lifetime of pain has taken its toll
Storm clouds are rolling in bringing tears of days gone by
Praying that my darkest clouds, will now become my brightest skies
On a downhill journey that seems to have no end
On a road with countless turns and even more painful bends
I now sit on this bar stool that now has become my new best friend
I just sit right here until that moment becomes my end
Wiping my eyes while stumbling to gain some control
Brushing off the harden dirt that now covers this old soul
Become a man that I can be proud of once again
And walk right here with Jesus, till my journey comes to an end
I know he is with me, he would never leave my side
He loves me so much that for me he even died
I walk in Faith, so now I’ll Pray and know all will be OK
Because I have all the trust in him, for he will guide my way
I’ve Prayed like hell to the Heavens above
To ask for his mercy and even more his love
My church is now this bar stool and I Pray on how much farther this old soul can go
But for now I say, Hey bartender, a shot of Cuervo and some Jesus to go
Where do you see The Depressed Poet, Doc Dalton a few years down the road?
Since everything that has taken place over the last year this answer is simple. I want to keep on breathing and breath even better. I want to keep on walking and walk better. I want to keep on writing, and it doesn’t matter if people like my words or not, it’s for me and for him, meaning Jesus. No matter what, I want to continue to sit in my place of grace and pray to him, talk to him, and even tell him a few jokes, in a Christian type of way of course. LOL
And I said it doesn’t matter if people like my words or not. After all that has taken place in the last year in my life and with my health. In an off-beat kind of tribute to myself, I just started a new poem called, Stop the Funeral, Cause I Ain’t Dead Yet.
I want to keep on enjoying the beautiful gifts that he gives us each and everyday and the best part is, they are free. And last, let my family know just how much I love them and appreciate them. Just to be in their company means the world to me and more than that, they should know that. And if nothing else works out, that’s OK because I have all that I want and all that I need and people should take the time realize, SIMPLICITY CAN BE A REAL GOOD THING.
If someone would like to learn more on The Depressed Poet, Doc Dalton, where can they go.
Everything is on my website at – www.DocDalton.com – They can stop by, look around and say hi.