I’ve said it again. Again, I have noted that I am struggling. I hear my voice saying it, over and over in TC meetings. Struggling to understand protocol, struggling emotionally, struggling to stay in the room; ironically, struggling to speak.

There is no script for this, no defined role, or part to play. I must not be the academic, even though my mind is thinking more quickly than it does in classes or conferences. At the same time, I am fighting to maintain  focus on what others are saying, whilst reeling with all that I combed through at the case conference last week. I am drowning in a sea of self-loathing, and panic, because I am not sure I can do this. At the weekend, I slept, but now I can’t. I am exhausted.

I want to speak, but I can’t find the space to speak. I don’t want to speak out of turn. I am terrified of doing the wrong thing, getting on the wrong side of someone. Ruining things before they have even begun. I’m frightened I will be asked to leave.

But also scared of what I will say when I do speak. Right from before the start, from my parents meeting at church, in their teens and twenties, all that I know, and really don’t want to know, about that relationship. The endless fights between them over my (lack of) church attendance, and my own, adult, journey of faith that began with a desperate attempt aged 14 to arbitrate the rowing: There – you have one child who does, and one who doesn’t go to church, now. That’s before even considering the last few years. My feelings around church are messy and horrid – and unattractive. I feel bad, bad, bad that I will likely have to share that.


I am struggling to see how this will work. How I will contain this much emotion and agitation,  between and around, and even in, T.C. I cannot contain it. I want to cry and cry and cry, but I can’t. I sit and rock. But I don’t cry. Bonum est confidere in Jesus Christ.  The Taize chant for our church services during Lent. I am reminded of two years ago, when I talked with a brother, at a loss to fathom how God views mental health.

God sees the struggle,  he said. God sees the struggle. God knows I am in TC and knows the work I will do, and those to whom it has been entrusted. I must trust them, too, in locus Christi; let them work with me. Brave making mistakes, in order to learn. Hold faith that God wants my healing. That it will be worth the struggle.

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One Response to Struggle

  1. The only option to acknowledge is to ‘like’: but I don’t ‘like’. I do hear though.

    I hear the impossibility of setting aside your own professional understanding in order to be the ‘client’; the one in need of professional help. I don’t know how you can do it other than to be honest about how you are feeling and what you are thinking. It is for the other professional in the room to be the professional for you.

    Perhaps it’s like the first step of the alcoholic in saying, ‘I am (name) and I am an alcoholic’. I don’t know; I’m not there; but this is the sense I have.

    You have travelled so far. You have done so much. And now you need to be the one in need: the one who needs help – not the one with the answers in front of the class.

    I have the ridiculous image of ‘hats’, and of Wurzel Gummage changing heads. You need to be able to change hats from the one in front of the class, in possession of the information that needs to be imparted, to the one in therapy needing to receive. I remember old friends from many years ago, he a GP and she a nurse, with their young daughter critical in hospital with a chronic asthma attack, simply knowing too much to just be able to trust the hospital doctors and nurses, and in fear of their daughter’s imminent death. Thankfully the hospital staff were able to intervene but sometimes we just know too much – perhaps for our own good.

    I wonder: can you relax into the simplicity of the Taizé chant enough to let go of the fears and anxieties of the therapy group? Maybe ‘Ubi caritas Deus ibi est’? Maybe use that, or whatever really speaks to you, as a mantra?

    As always, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Much love,



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