Yesterday I got to spend an hour holding this little fellow. Oh my goodness. What a wonder it is to see your children’s children. And to hold a little baby so close and watch the expressions on his tiny face.
Today the anxiety and desperation have returned with a vengeance. My hands are perspiring and shaking. Work e-mails are coming in fast and furious. I don’t even know how to make them stop pinging on my phone. I also don’t know how to ignore them. So I am answering them. I used to say I defaulted to “no.” Apparently as I have descended into this state I am in, I have unlearned this.
And now the guardedness – I want to erase this in case the _a_a jackass comes by to tell me to work the steps to get out of the depression – as if I have never done this work. As if I have never been the one pounding on the big book and saying – “do what it says. Between the Capital letter and the period.” Taking probably close to a hundred, if not more, women through the steps, exactly as written in the big book. As if depression were a character defect, not an illness. Would he say the same to someone with cancer? Heart disease? And in case you do come by, you may not realize it, but I spam all of your comments. I hope to God that in my big book thumping days I never acted like such a neanderthal with the reading comprehension of a gnat. It makes me cringe to think I may have.
I started this blog in the beginning of this depressive episode. I wanted to have the freedom to write honestly about my journey through depression. I wanted to remove the constraints that bind when you are writing as a member of the fellowship. I wanted to write about God. With a capital G. I wanted to write about my faith. I wanted to quote the Bible. In the beginning I didn’t even use the name of the fellowship because I don’t want “those people” coming here. The people from google searches. I look at my site meter to make sure they aren’t coming. I wanted my old readers, but not people looking for an _a_a Blog. That’s what my old one was, and it was ungodly the amount of negative attention it garnered. I am not up for the job of being an apologist for it anymore.
So here I am – it feels like I am on the precipice of something. I don’t know what. I have been seeking another job for almost a year. I knew this job was wrong from me from the start. I am 10 months away from being able to collect a small pension. I am a few years away from being able to collect a larger pension. I have huge obligations that I sincerely have no idea how I will ever repay. I have a moderate mortgage, and a relatively large car payment. I cannot just quit my job. But I don’t know that I will be able to keep it either.
Last night I talked to my sponsor on the phone. She again told me “it will all be worth it when you retire.” Finally in frustration I told her “I am 61 years old, I am not able to retire. You were 62 when you retired, remember?” She was shocked, and said she had no idea I was that old. Holy crap. This woman has been my sponsor for 20 years, she always knew I am 11 years younger than her – both in years and sobriety. It is so so so so sad to watch a person lose what they knew.
OK, there is no point in writing this, I am getting more unhappy by doing so. I am going to force myself to get on the treadmill and get some exercise (it is only 19 degrees outside).
We do not pray in order to improve our talents, to develop more clearly an intellectual synthesis, or widen our culture, religious or otherwise. We pray in order to tell God once again that we love him and know that he loves us, and to relate ourselves to the plan of mercy that is his.
We run still greater risks in the realm of sensibility, and in believing that our prayer has value only when we have “felt” something. The modern world takes special interest in “experiences,” descriptions, states of the soul; there is a kind of cult for everything that can yield some kind of “interior witness.” We delight in working out a projection of ourselves that arises from the senses…
Saint Paul speaks of “groanings” (Rom 8:26) or of a “cry” (Gal 4:6). What is important is not our experience but the gift we make of ourselves. We should enter into prayer, not to receive, but to give, to give ourselves and lose ourselves. And if friendship with God is to remain pre-eminent in our prayer, we must enter into prayer in order to give ourselves as a free gift, with the knowledge that we may not always really give what we are giving, and yet without being concerned about what we are giving. — Father Bernard Bro, OP