Friday, 30 May 2014

Getting There

It's been a long time since my dad's death now. He died in Tuesday of Holy Week and we are still within our fifty days of unremitting joy! After the Easter duties and another funeral, then the internment of ashes, I just kinda broke down.

It wasn't my dad's death, really, but that was the catalyst, and grieving over my mum too, who I'd never really grieved over properly, together with all the stresses and strains of the past few months, just made me explode and land like a heap of jelly.

The depression returned with a vengeance, almost to the point where I didn't even care about Partick Thistle. I was sorry for myself, yes. My job was too much, the bickering which goes on in Community Projects was unbearable, the tensions of moving house, changing job, and the expectations of myself and others went through the roof.

I didn't want to get out of bed, speak to anyone, care about anyone, not even a replacement new car, and the total inability to be executor and write to folk and phone folk was simply adding to the darkness. I was angry. Very angry. Mostly with myself. I still am, really.

I crept into churches and led services although I had been signed off sick, and still am. I preached angry sermons which I shudder about now, but they were part of a process. My GP has been terrific and is looking after me. She cares. She understands. 

I compiled a new Joint Parish Magazine which looks ok, and did pewsheets and became active in social media and responded to hundreds of emails. My GP says, "but I signed you off". How do you sign off a priest? It's maybe easier if you are a part of a big clergy team, but I'm not! The Diocese is short of priests and getting cover is hard and expensive for your parish!

But, let's get back to the depression, for the cloud is still there. I have to say that the Parish support, and the Diocesan support has been terrific, and I'm glad to have a Bishop who is understanding. Mental health is not often dealt with very well in the Church, but I am lucky! You can't get in unless you're a bit crazy at St Aug's and I'm finding out that it's much the same at St Mungo's!

There is nothing worse than the paralyses that comes over you when real depression strikes. It is the bottomless pit of anger, anguish and despair, and, you know, you can look physically great at the same time. I've smiled from my throat up, rather from my heart for four weeks now! There is no light at the end of the tunnell. There is only despair, agony, self doubt, self-loathing, and the sure and certain truth that things will not get any better. You deny your partner's love and care, because it is impossible to do anything but detest someone like you.

And sleep is the relief. The time you can break free from it all, yet you wake up and the pit of the stomach churns!

But how can this be? How can a man of faith who believes in the power of God say these things? I think I would respond to terminal cancer in a more positive way. Does that answer your question?

I blog this today for two reasons.

One is that I see a light, maybe just a glimmer, at the end of this dark tunnel and am beginning to function slowly again. And, two, for those still in the darkness, for I sensed the crucified Jesus somewhere in there. Despite the Alleluias, I was still in Holy Saturday.

Maybe this will help someone. I hope so!