It is barely lunchtime, and I am pathetically tired. It’s not because I didn’t sleep last night – I nearly managed eight hours’. I would have done, had it not taken me so long to fall asleep.
I got up on time. I have smiled for most of the morning. Talked to people. Talked in front of people. Sung. Even laughed with the children. This morning has been hard, hard work. Underneath it all is a heaviness that is pulling me physically to the floor; as if my mind is a deadweight within. It has been there for most of this week. By the end of Friday’s first-year class, a much easier group than Tuesday’s, I was ready to collapse. Teaching the topic, I hear myself saying the words – but it is not me. Whilst my voice exxplains language lateralization, my mind is sunk, swirling in a dark gloom. As my speech, in an ironic meta-formation, robotically recites one sentence after another, in a deliberate, slowing monotone, I feel heavy with sadness. The viscocity of the gloom is as treacle. I am stuck in it. I must remember that there are students in the room.
As there were congregants around me this morning. And, as I was moved by the service, felt I could brim over with sorrow, wanted to cry out audibly, I held tight, remembering that I must not. As the bread was broken, pain shot through my chest. I remained expressionless. Holding on is tiring.
I notice no change from when I saw her last
Words from the Consultant Psychiatrist’s report, sent this weekend. And maybe she is right. Inside, the pain feels deeper, more searing; death more attractive, suicidality more frequent. But I hold on. I “cope” as I was coping before. Under winter clothes, the weight loss is not apparent; the dizzy spells non-obvious. From the outside, I am coping. I get out of bed. I earn a living. I have not hurt myself enough.
I am not changed. In years, there has been no change. Some days my mood is low; triggered, I am a storm of anger; occasionally, I surge with joy. I react in the same unhelpful ways to the same exclusionary behaviours as I did ten years ago. I am isolated and ostracised now, as I was then. My social skills have not improved; my self-esteem remains non-existent. Above all, I am lonely. I feel so alone, outside, and empty.
Later today we will sing:
The Lord restores you. God does not push you away. So God is with me. God wants to be with me. No sense of duty or pity brings Him to meet me. I find that so hard to comprehend. That anyone would want to be with me. I daren’t believe it of anyone. Not anymore.
I am sad that it seems I will always feel lonely; always be an emotional mess. That, whether I try or not, nothing changes. Jesus found communion with God in death. Inside, I am crying out in pain. I long for the God who promises not to push me away to be real to me, that I can unburden myself on Him.