So, I’m guessing that there will be some people who’ll read this blog post and feel that it’s a little too much information. I thought long and hard about posting it. What made me decide to post, in part, was the memory of something I read a while back. Someone, writing at the National Catholic Register, I can’t remember who, suggested that one of the best things that we ordinary lay folk could do for the cause of evangelisation was to be honest about struggles in following Jesus.
So, here goes the guy in the psycho-killer mask making an attempt to do his bit for the new evangelisation.
I’ve mentioned, at least once before on this blog, I have a long-term mental illness. The experts disagree about the exact nature of this illness, but there seems to be a consensus that its trauma related. It’s something that’s been a part of me since at least my late teens, and, while the symptoms come and go, it’s always there.
The past week and a bit has been especially bad, and today has been worse. I’ve had a number of really bad flashbacks. I keep, uncontrollably, thinking back to horrible stuff that happened when I was young. I can’t control the thoughts, and the emotions which they bring. I’ve had a couple of these memories on a recurring loop video in my brain and I’m struggling to get some kind of control over this. Largely I’m failing.
Running through all this is the feeling that I am worthless. The thought of suicide has also been there, don’t worry, I’m not in any danger, and I know who to call if that changes, but the idea is there.
So, here’s the thing, how do I believe in a just and loving God in the middle of a trauma related episode. Part of me just wants to shout abuse at Him, although I know, from experience, how little that can help. There’s a temptation to simply tell myself I don’t believe, that can last for about thirty seconds, but whenever I try to verbalise that in any way, I am reminded who I am.
A while back, I attempted to write a poem which processes some of what I experienced during periods like this. One of the things my poem emphasised, was my need to remember the fact that, however, I felt about it, external reality is what it always is, my feelings don’t change that.
Ok, so I believe, how do I pray? At the moment, my prayer-life pretty much consists of a declaration that I believe in Him, and an offering up of my messed-up brain. It’s nothing much, but it’s what I have.
And I’m truly grateful to Him that I have that.