Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Self-Medicator's 23rd Psalm

Were we not saddened to tears at the report? Dumbfounded in disbelief? At the loss of our sweet Whitney and her powerful "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" voice?

My mind refuses to picture the sight of her sad end. How did she come to this? How do we get to that?

Years ago, after my breast surgery when my 5 children spanned age 2 - 14, I was prescribed Tylenol with Codeine for pain.

Man, that little pill not only relieved my soreness, it totally took the edge off of mothering!!! I could handle the kids' constant noise and needs. It smoothed out the irritations and stress of the day. I could see how someone could get used to that, get addicted to those things. How easy to become the subject in Mick Jagger's old song:

"She goes runnin' to the shelter of her mother's little helper
And it helps her on her way
Gets her through her busy day"

Even my daughter in L.A said most her friends take something to help them tolerate their toddlers.

There go we all, but by the grace of God!

No judgement to Whitney or anyone else for self-medicating to level their physical imbalances. But we who are a part of this Prozac-Nation, would be fools to observe this tragedy and not to search ourselves. Not ask a few questions.

Why do we all feel so bad that we crave a moment's feel-good no matter the cost? Are prescription drugs really less harmful than illegal substances? How did our mothers and grandmothers cope? And for those like Whitney who were brought up to know Jesus,
is He really enough?
Is Jesus really enough?
Those of us reared in similar Baptist churches and who probably memorized the 23rd Psalm might ask ourselves,

Is He really the Shepherd who gives us relief and rest and peace?

The Self-Medicator's 23rd Psalm

The Lord is my Xanax.
I shall not panic.

He makes me lie down in green pastures
He restores my soul

He leads me to do the right thing
Walk the right road
Say the right things
For His name's sake

Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of depression
I will take no Prozac,
For Thou art with me
Your rod and Your staff
Your boundaries and disciplines
They comfort me
Secure and ground me
Keep me safe

I will not seek any other place of comfort or relief
Run to any other Shelter
Drink from any other cauldron of deceit
Salacious substitutes of the true Comforter
Dubious shadows of the genuine Helper
Shackling, chaining, sometimes to untimely ends

Thou preparest a banquet before me
In the presence of those who'd do me harm
When danger is all around, I feast on Your utter goodness

You anoint my head with oil,
I can't contain my happiness
Percolating joy
True fountains of gladness
From deep well springs
I'm alive with joy!

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me
All the days of my life
And I will really live
Dwell, thrive in His heaven on earth and Beyond
in the House of the Lord
His Presence with me
Forever, Celexa-free!!!

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