I’m grateful for the recent influx of traffic, from Matt Fradd’s site and others. At the same time I’m a little concerned that people seeing my blog for the first time are not seeing me at my best: folks, I swear, three months ago I was not a complete neurotic mess. Neither I nor even Father T. know exactly what is going on here, or why this present darkness is so extreme and so long-lived. But stet. Seems like people who are complete neurotic messes themselves like reading about other people who are complete neurotic messes.
I comfort myself by thinking that, since the Lord has been letting this all rise to the surface in a way it hasn’t for a decade, maybe He wants to deal with it in a deeper way than ever before. So, forward!
You can see by the (in)frequency of my posts lately that this “sorting out my life” business is not without its difficulties. I can’t seem to pull my jumble of thoughts together for a coherent post, so here are some things that are going on, and maybe you will see why I am a little jumbled.
Due to The Roommate Situation, I’m still in a state of rootlessness. I bounce around between my sister’s house (an hour from work), my brother’s house (45 minutes from work), and the old place, where I stay a couple of nights a week. I still think that seeing those guys is good for me, or at least that cutting them out of my life isn’t good for me (or them); it’s just tricky to balance that fact with the anxiety it usually causes me to be there. The situation may resolve itself by the end of July, so please pray that I will get some peace in that department. I know y’all do anyway. Thank you.
I had a particularly nice visit with the roommates last Wednesday. I came back from Kung Fu expecting a quiet night and found out there were going to be three people coming over. I managed to avoid freaking out about that (“Just keep me under your protection,” I prayed, and He did) and had a nice time. The part of the night I keep coming back to — this will tell you something about my current state of mind — is the moment when we were hunched over someone’s phone to watch a video, and my roommate S. rested his arm on my shoulder while he watched. Such a tiny gesture, and for him it was casual, but to me its very casualness meant acceptance — that my place in the group was taken for granted. I’m embarrassed that this was such a big deal for me, but there it is.
The meds are still working, but towards the end of vacation I had a freakout/breakdown that I’m still bouncing back from. I’m still sorting out in my own mind what the meds mean. Taking pills for being sad necessarily puts sadness in a different light. Previously, I had always been in the habit of spiritualizing my depression, anxiety, social issues, and the rest of it: these things must mean I’m not a holy enough person yet. Now my tendency is the opposite: seeing the whole thing as a purely psychological and even physical issue. I think the reality lies somewhere inbetween; in some sense, these things are a real part of my personality and a real part of my cross. My paradigms are still reassembling themselves.
Monday I meet with my new therapist. I’ve seen her once before, just an introductory interview, but that hour gave me a lot of hope for what we might be able to do together. I can’t wait.
I’ve been reading Images of Hope, by Fr. William Lynch, SJ, on the recommendation of a reader/commenter whose name escapes me — but thank you, dear
commenter, because oh my gawrsh, this book is just really good.
So much of the reading that I’ve done on psychological and spiritual issues seems to be a constant rehashing of the same old things. That’s fine, because I need to be reminded of the same truths over and over again. But this book has some very helpful ideas that are completely new to me, and he describes things so lucidly that I just feel understood.
Let’s see if I can find a couple of excerpts…should be as easy as hunting down the marginalia that look like this: “★!!!” Oh, here’s one that I’ve been thinking about a lot:
We can be so preoccupied with the past that we break down the edges and identities of each thing in contemporary reality and make it all look like the past…The present is not the past. That sentence could not be clearer on the surface or more obscure in its depths. If it were truly grasped, and grasped affectively, there would be no mental illness among adults. But the past keeps running in upon us, obscuring and even obliterating the freshness and newness of everything we do.
Ever since reading that, I’ve been saying to myself at odd moments: “This is now. This is not then.” It helps me see that, on the outside, my life is pretty much anything anybody could want: the loneliness, the self-judgment, are all products of the past. The present, taken on its own terms, is pretty awesome.
Welp, I am off to see Brave with a friend from my support group — I lurve Pixar, and I think this is going to be great. Then I am spending the evening with The Roommates. Fighting my way through my groundless fears that they don’t actually want me there. How many times and in how many ways do people have to tell me that they like me before I believe it?
Anyway. It has been gorgeous motorcycle weather. So there’s that.