Above my desk at work is a copy of Rembrandt’s ‘The Prodigal Son’. It is now set alongside several Taize postcards, Bible verse postcards, icons. In a Department boasting a Chair for one of the greatest skeptic psychologists, of international renown, whose Twitter feed continually ridicules and belittles Christian faith, I am not ashamed of my God.
Not that that matters. I can argue, intellectually, for my faith. Look in the eye those who insist upon its childishness; damaging influence, ludicrity. But I cannot look to God.
Tomorrow, I will visit my GP. As the state of my mental health has plumetted since the start of my new job, and since the concurrent withdrawal of support from the mental health team; as the service for which I wait without any professional support, have waitied now for two years, announces amalgamation with another county, and longer waiting times still, I will beg my GP for some kind of assistance. Assistance to deal with the daily battle with a mind that wants to see me dead and buried and forgotten. Where only fear is holding me back. Where exhaustion is constant, unrelenting, unforgiving. I dread being turned away. The mental health team stopped my support because they said it was not helpng me. They got rid of me because they did not like me; that I failed to improve.
I have waited five weeks for this GP appointment. I refused to see the suicidality as “emergency”. I don’t deserve emergency care. I am deeply ashamed of the BPD, AvPD diagnoses, and their attendant depression and anxiety. I have done everything I can to be rid of them. Nothing has “worked”. The psychiatrists may say that this is another disability that I have been “saddled with”, but the fact that people have tried to help, and I have been unable to respond; that my symptoms are now worse rather than better, in spite of the assurances of friends, feels like **my fault**. Rationally, I have everything to live for. My mind screams that I want to die. Day in, night-out. I don’t have the motivation to help myself. I am ashamed to ask someone else to help me. I am frightened that the mental health team will say that, since my symptoms did not change with their intervention, they cannot help me.
I am ashamed to go to God. I *can* control my emotion when I need to. I quell incumbent panic attacks in the classroom; my anger levels do not rise so dramatically around young children. With deliberate effort, it is possible. So, it must only be my fault when I lose control. I should have done better. I get up and go to work at stupid o’clock in the morning, whether I feel like it or not. I should have the motivation to do other things, too. It is my fault that I am so broken inside, that seemingly little things affect me so badly, so irrationally. I am too ashamed to take that brokenness to God. All I can do is know that He is there, and cry, bitterly. I am ashamed of crying, too.