Seesaw

Letter from psychiatrist was on my doormat when I got back from Stanton House yesterday evening. It says that I am determined to follow a therapeutic path that will help me resolve my difficulties. Determined is an adjective that has come up before. That latter person said that I had courage and determination to get into treatment. But they also said that unless I match it, with kindness and compassion, it won’t work for healing.

Kindness and compassion are hard when the reasons why I keep making mistakes are down to being unwell. And when being unwell feels like my fault. My laziness that can’t be bothered to cook a meal; my lack of motivation and care that see jobs half-done or not done. My persistent focus on friendships at work that hammers on the door of my own experiences, and is starting to break through it, locked up tight though it was.

The walls of my office are paper-thin -so I overheard last week the person who has taken over some of my work responsibilities, spend over an hour with a student, picking through the details of his work. I should have been doing that. I forget to send things to colleagues, to reply to friends. It is me doing the forgetting, and I can’t find space for compassion: it feels too much like I am responsible.

And yet. Yet, someone said at a conference on Wednesday, that to follow a faith is to become more fully human. To err is human. It’s not a very happy part of being human, but human, nonetheless. It drives me towards God’s grace: makes me realise how much in need I am of that grace. Let’s me know that I can’t do everything all by myself, including dealing with this disability. Makes me humble to ask for help from others.

It’s hard to let things go, accept help. But I am beginning to take my responsibilities to God, to sit and examine whether God is really asking them of me, or whether I am doing them because I want to prove something. I am sifting through to-do lists, to work out what I should be doing, to live out God’s word to me.

It’s a see-saw. Compassion versus determination. Kindness versus courage. It’s not balanced out yet. Maybe, going to Stanton House was a seed of compassion. I knew I was thirsting for rest, and peace, that I have found nowhere more peaceful, nowhere else felt more wrapped up in God’s arms. I received love, and care, and sleep. I drank deep, felt renewed. And more determined to live for God.

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