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One of the things I hate most about depression is not knowing what it means. Of course, it doesn’t have to mean anything: I’ve been short on sleep, my back hurts most of the time, and that means I can’t exercise, either. That’s a recipe for feeling crummy.

The problem with being melancholy and overanalytical, of course, is that you’ve always got to figure it out. It would be good for my humility to post some of the absurd thoughts that passed through my mind as possible explanations for my latest bout with the black dog, but I’m not prepared to be that humble, even anonymously. Maybe not even posthumously.1

A surprising amount of the ideas were religious. Well, it’s not that surprising. Apparently the whole martyrdom-complex thing is pretty common among committed Christians with SSA.2 I know this is the kind of thing that atheists love to point to as what is wrong with Christianity, why it’s the scourge of the world, torturing people with needless, neurotic guilt.

The thing is, though, this kind of self-torture has nothing in common with Christianity. This is one of those truths that I have learn over and over again. God does not want me to be miserable. He doesn’t like it when I’m miserable. He probably wants to smack me around a little bit when I come into the chapel with that pious, long-suffering look on my face. Yech.

Anyway, I’m doing better now. After getting some work done and some espresso in me, I went to the chapel for my daily visit and was surprised to find out that Jesus seemed perfectly willing to take the pain away, if I was willing to let go of it.3 Tomorrow, an anniversary dinner with old friends; the day after that, a barbecue with family; the day after that, I get to see another old friend go from postulant to novice at a convent not far away.

Blessing upon blessing, really, when you think about it.

Oh geez, now I am going to have to do something about that size of the ‘depression’ tag in the cloud over there…seriously, people are going to get the idea that being a Christian is hard.

1 Cribbed from Thomas Sowell: “There are only two ways of telling the complete truth: anonymously and posthumously.”
2 Fr. T is fond of saying: “Get down from the cross. We could use the wood.” Then he chuckles like he made it up himself and I haven’t already heard him say it 70 x 7 times.
3 I was surprised to find this out yesterday, too. See what I mean about relearning?

6 thoughts on “My Cup Sort Of Dribbleth Over

  1. Melissa

    LOL to your comment about the “depression tag” on the side — this is why I don’t have a tag cloud on my blog (I’m kind of afraid what would dominate the list). Seriously, though, your faith and honesty are very inspiring. Thank you!

    Reply
  2. Meg

    Love the post… but the title was what really cracked me up. I hear ya, brother. :) May God bring to completion the good work started in you!

    Reply
  3. jason taylor

    Steve, I like your post because you tell the truth about what it’s like. I don’t have same sex attraction but I am involuntarily celibate and probably will die as such and many of the problems are if not the same, analogical. I do feel depressed and often angry at God for being placed in my predicament. I wish you well and wish me well.

    To many people give encouragements that ring false. It is nice to find someone who does understand what it is like.

    Jason Taylor

    Reply
  4. Andrew

    I used to think there was something wrong with me for falling into depression over my SSA. I would often wonder why I couldn’t just accept it, and move on. Instead, I spent countless sleepless nights, and long agonising days, trying to figure stuff out.

    Thank you for your honesty and openness about your own struggles, I know it cannot be easy. But if it helps, please know that you are speaking directly to my own life, and my own struggles with SSA, and you are challenging me, and encouraging me!

    Reply

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