Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hae you gone mental (XVII)

This has been kind of a crazy day. There were a few errands I needed to take care of. A couple of them truly overwhelmed me; errands that I could have taken in stride last November. It is kind of strange to think that I was somewhat normal a year ago. I was totally involved with work. In fact I smothered myself in work. I have figured out through therapy that I was pretty screwed up back then, but used work to cover the feelings I was having.

As you have read these blogs (if you have) you know I absolutely crashed about the middle of January. Since then my life has taken on a whole new focus. Instead of serving others and trying to take care of them through counseling and pastoral care, I was now the one who needed to be taken care of. I would cry out to my wife, "I know I'm not getting any better, when will I notice some progress!"

This evening I look back and see that I have had a hard day. Nevertheless I kept on moving on my errands. I was able to do them, but I was tremendously exhausted when I was finished. This evening I have a pain in my stomach which I recognize as a symptom of an ulcer.

Every day is not like this. "Some days are diamond, some days are stone". The diamond days are when I am more functional and my anxiety abates for periods during the day and depression is "all" I am dealing with, or vice versa. "Stone" days are when depession and anxiety continue to attack me like a couple of tag team wrestlers
on TV. Sometimes they both jump on me... the ultimate two on one. Many of you have experienced these feelings.

If this is a bio-psycho-social-spiritual disorder I know what I do. In fact I used to advise others on these principles. Sometimes my self-interventions work to some degree. Sometimes they (I) fall flat on my face. But its ok. I am committed to my recovery, no matter how long it takes.

This depression-anxiety and its multi-faceted "cure" can be dicouraging. Today I went on a prayer walk and for the entire time I thanked God for all he has given me. The prayer of Saint Ignatius Loyola kept coming to me; one line especially. He wrote: "Jesus, with you by my side enough has been given." I forget this waaaaay too often.

Whether God heals me or this becomes my "thorn" for a lifetime I hope I can hang on to this wise statement. I'll continue the fight even if it happens that this is lifetime disorder that is debilitating, causes lack of energy, and takes a lot of resolve to function. It could be that I will need to resign myself to living with this serious disorder AND carry on the fight with these "tag team wrestlers". From my past Pastoral encounters I am realistic. Sometimes healing never comes.

I am willing to resign myself and still carry the fight if this is what God has in store for me. If so I will do my best to help others by sharing my story and allowing them to identify with my illness so they will know that they are not alone. By prayer, mutual love, and concern we can stand together whether we ever meet or not.

Until next time, God bless you.

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