I am a new creation
I certainly felt like a new creation when I first came to know God. And now I feel I am being remade once again.
I was struck today by the similarities between my current situation and how things were then. I thought I had written about that, but I just looked back and it seems I haven’t yet.
The thing is, I got a massive black depression, out of nowhere. I was quite content and then suddenly, whammo! I realised there was no point to life. No matter what I did I was going to die and eventually be forgotten as if I had never existed. Even if I was a big success at something and became a famous novelist, or a successful runologist who made a lasting impact in my field, one day I would be forgotten, even if only because the human race would eventually die out.
That was a bit of a bummer!
I mean, it’s not as if I didn’t know this, I just didn’t think about it. It didn’t bother me. I was comfortable and had a nice life, that was all that mattered, wasn’t it?
I foundered in this black treacly gloop for a while, maybe a few weeks. Nothing could pull me out of it. It was bad. I wasn’t having fun! I wanted my old brain back, the happy content optimistic one.
Then I suddenly realised that I could have that, if that was all I wanted. I could get antidepressants, go to counselling, get my brain reprogrammed.
This realisation instantly made the black depression lift, leaving me instead with a much more bearable grey depression.
Out of the pit of despair and into the muddy puddles of existential angst.
Once I could see a bit more clearly, I realised that I had a choice. I could go back to how I had been, or I could take the message as a wake up call, a message from God, Him tapping me on the shoulder and saying ‘hello! I really am real, you need me, you know the deal, are you going to do anything about it?’
So, to cut a long story short, I went looking for God and I found Him.
Now I feel He is tapping me on the shoulder again. God moves in mysterious ways, is He communicating with me via the medium of mental health? After all, He helped my arthritic hands using the medium of crochet!
And when I say tapping me on the shoulder, I am using slight understatement. If someone ignores a tap on the shoulder, you maybe have to whack them round the head to get them to notice you!
So I was working really hard on my thesis for several months, as I had an impending scary deadline, the upgrade, and I had got a bit behind. I had been concerned that working so hard might make me ill, with the arthritis. I was both right and wrong. It did make me ill, but it was not the arthritis. I got the Blah virus.
Because the Blah virus stopped me in my tracks and I couldn’t work, I knew I had to suspend as I had no time in hand. To do this, I had to get a sick note from the doctor. I was expecting him to write that I had exhaustion as arthritis gives me pathetic energy levels. But instead he put stress and anxiety.
I was taken aback by this. It was not at all what I had suspected. But I soon came to realise that he was right.
He referred me for counselling, saying I’d hear something in a couple of weeks. Trouble is, what I got then was a phone assessment confirming his diagnosis, a bit of advice and being put on a three month waiting list!
I had hoped that a bit of rest might help, but over two months later, I still have the problematic symptoms. I am still off sick and shall have to be for a while longer as there’s no way I can face going back just yet.
But now I am starting to wonder what God is saying to me through all this. It might just have been His way of making me take a rest and do the crochet to make my hands better.
But it also might be His way of telling me that my PhD doesn’t matter, even that I am giving it too much priority and maybe it’s time to reconsider. Do I need a PhD? No. So why am I doing it then? If the upgrade is the problem, why not stick with an MPhil? Do I even need one of those?
Much to ponder on and I still don’t have answers yet. I am just enjoying the time off and being like the woman in Proverbs 31:13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands! God approves of me going to the yarn shop and crocheting! Mind you, I am a long way off the other traits of this woman…
Also I have other problems to deal with, but this post is more than long enough now!
I wanted to share some of this stuff before, but I kept holding back. Mostly because of caution around admitting to mental health issues. But why not just be honest? I’m hardly the only person with such struggles. So here goes. I’m pressing publish! Aaagh, scary! Stop dithering and just do it…