Pills Poem by Jason

Jason is a faithful member of our church who is growing deeply with us in worship, community, and mission. His smile and winsome spirit has infused us with an extra dimension of joy. But Jason struggles with something most of the rest of us don't -- serious mental health disorders. And if that isn't difficult enough, to calm the raging storm within, his doctors prescribe medications that present a whole new set of challenges. His fight for faith and joy has given birth to this poem. It gives us a window into his struggle. We, along with Jason, hope it will encourage a wider audience.

Pills, pills, pills, pills,
They have the skills
To keep the ills
Away so that you won’t get killed.

“But wait!” you say,
“It’s hard today!
To live this way,
With meds to take!

I’m all doped up.
My brain is fogged.
If I’m a tree,
I’m waterlogged.”

Running slow through thick quick sand,
You gear up, for one more stand.
To speak your mind about this mess,
To your bemused psychiatrist.

You try to speak just one more line,
But all you hear is, “Nevermind,
Remember how you did last time?
And how your life did so unwind?”

You dig in tough,
No plans to budge,
And take aim to explain
The medicinal sludge:

“They sap me of all energy!
Their side effects they bother me!
They leave me longing to be free!
With hopes of reaching normalcy!”

The doctor readjusts his seat,
His look is stoic as he speaks,
He pauses first, then clears his throat,
And forces out, in softer tones:

“Listen hear,” he said sincere,
“I have for you a tale to tell.
About a man who just like you,
Merely wanted to do well.

He was on medications, true,
And viewed it much the same as you;
A sentence of such misery,
And longed for days when he’d be free.

Went off his meds, time and again
And every time, he lost my friend.

Each time he tried and failed it seemed,
The stakes of life and death increased.
Until one day he finally gleaned,
The next trip down he’d be deceased.

And living on despite himself,
Would be his loved ones on the shelf.
He put them there without a care,
Chasing dreams, which lead no-where.

A minor price to pay would be,
To take his pills, with joy you see.
So that his loved ones could be free,
From pain and from anxiety.

And so he thought, once and for all,
A way to kill his pride, so tall.
It came about a way so small,
He took his meds, to dodge the fall.

And so it came to this:
A greater act of service;
The side effects he came to bear,
For his loved ones’ sake, because he cared.

So in the end the pills he took,
A page not from his doctor’s book.
Instead he took them as prescribed,
Those same old meds he once despised.

Thinking of his dad and mom,
He mustered strength not of his own,
And also sis and brother too,
Were added reasons one and two.

Thus Papa Pill and Mama Pill and brother pill and sister pill,
They have the skills
To keep the ills,
Away so that you don’t get killed.”

The doctor done, his tale been told,
Now echoed in the room so bold.
The young man turned an inward gaze,
The fire inside a new glow blazed.

“Love for others, of course!
What a thing to live for!”
This touched his heart
As never before.

Amazed he was
By the good doc’s tale.
And now from love
He would avail!

You see its love that moves a man to act,
And this fact you can count on.
So it goes with the doctor and this tract;
And it’s true all the day long.

Tim White