For those of you who like lighthearted stories and quips from me, either close your eyes and skip over this bit, or prepared to be shocked as I candidly reveal what its like to be me.
I suffer from mental illness. It may not be evident to you, or it may seem like I do not suffer so much, that I have my life together. But don’t be fooled. The thoughts I have are not so normal. When everything seems to be going well for me, it seems like I am dying inside.
During those times, I tend to overwork, to the point of exhaustion and pain. I do this to want to please my bosses. Last week I spent way too long in a job, and was in pain. I was able to recognise what was happening, and approach my bosses so I could go home. I felt bad about it for a few days because I felt I had let the team down. But for the next 3 days I couldn’t move out of my bed. I had worked myself too hard and suffered for those days after.
I tend to think I do not deserve to feel good or have good things happen to me. I organise places to be and things to do and am excited by them, then do not follow through and cancel, sometimes at the last moment, disappointing others and myself.
. With the food issue, I know what I have to do to feel healthier, to be able to do things that others take for granted. But when I try to do those things, and the weight doesn’t seem to fall off, then I get discouraged and go back to old habits and eating patterns.
I thought I was doing fine recently, and approached my doctor and psychologist about reducing my medication. They seemed to agree with me that I was coping well, and a reduction should be trialed. I know now that it was a mistake and that I need to go back to the original dose, to stabilise again.
I have become non-productive, not having written anything of note for weeks,and only sketched sporadically. I have however recently bought a camera and am taking some good photographs with it. I am at a point where I wont leave my room if I am not working. I don’t take advantage of the sunshine to paint or draw in, or take advantage of the winter tides to catch some fish, even though I recently upgraded my fishing gear. I’m not being productive and can spend hours in bed when not even asleep.
Granted I do have pain to contend with each morning when I wake. I spend about an hour meditating and doing a bodyscan to see how each part of my body is going to move in the morning before putting any weight on my feet.
Spirituality and me
I know that I am a sinner saved by the grace of Jesus. I have been forgiven for my sins. I have been washed in the blood of Jesus. I am grateful that God forgives. Men don’t.
Very few Christians have been able to forgive my past sins. . There are a few though who are gracious beyond measure and still accept and love me after what I have done.
At times I feel I don’t blame people for not forgiving me; heck, my own family don’t. Perhaps I have unrealistic expectations of Christians. I expect them to be able to forgive me when God has seen fit to do so.
What I do seek from a church or group of Christians is a nurturing environment where I would be encouraged to grow in faith, and encouraged to continue in it. I expect leaders to have faith that what is past is past, and they support me to keep moving on with my life and not let the past hinder me so much. Unfortunately I have not found a church that is supportive in that way.
I have tried to reconcile my faith with my sexuality. I am a Christian, but I am also a gay man. The two are not mutually exclusive. As a gay Christian I do believe I am committing adultery every time I am active with my sexuality. This distresses me. I cannot stop being homosexual, in fact, I don’t want to stop. And I cannot help but to love God, whom I know is the creator of the universe but also cares for me.
It is a difficult conundrum; to try and balance the two. But as I said previously, I can be gay, and be a Christian too. I can be Christian and be gay too. People may say it is not possible, but it is… I am living proof of it.
So that’s what it’s like living inside my head. Wanna run away? That’s fine, so do I sometimes.
Thanks for reading