Sunday, May 13, 2012

Trouble Listening to Sermons

The day began remarkably well once I woke up. I had my perky feeling. I was feeling good, and the sun was shining! I got to church a tad late but not too late. We sang songs, and I sang as one on the other side of the depression darkness instead of in the midst of it. I thought about not thinking about how good I was feeling, but of course, that wouldn't work. I knew the good feeling might not last, but I was hoping. I was thinking that maybe this time felt different from all the other times I have thought I was passed the darkness only to have it return. Anyway, we sang and all was pretty well.
 Above, you see me smiling and the stick figure worship team.
 Then the worship team left the stage and the pastor took the center point just below the stage. And I thought, "Maybe... Please let me be okay this time..."
 My sketches are right to left and top to bottom, so a little confusing. The pastor kept talking, but his words somehow reminded me of... How do I even say it? In my picture, his words roughly formed in the air shapes of disapproval and thoughts that I used to hurt myself. I would like to say that I feel in no position to evaluate what he actually said. It could have been very reasonable and correct, and it certainly wasn't what I interpreted it into. I'm trying to explain how I interpreted it, how my thoughts affected me. "You, (Abigail,) are a terrible person, totally unpleasing to God. You can't please Him..."

And then I think, "Something is wrong here. I don't think I am hearing him right, but I don't know how to fix it. Back to coping. I'm not all 'better' yet."
And coping comes in the form of flowers, many, many flowers. Actually, today I was busy making my picture story. Other days I have drawn many, many flowers.
 "Maybe if I draw pictures, somebody else can help me solve this riddle..." (The "somebody" in mind was my counselor.) Then, I went back to filling in a blank or few on the sermon notes, which let me hear a few more words that I could misinterpret into whips with which to afflict myself. "Back to drawing."

And then my heart gets to have thoughts or feelings, too ("God, help me!!!!!!"), which led to more thought/feelings ("I can't do this...").

 "The sermon is (should be) almost done," I think. Angry Face says, "I hate you, Abigail!" Angry Face is pictured very faintly a second time, but the picture is overtaken by the firm thought, "No, I choose to believe there is something wrong with this picture." In other words, Angry Face isn't telling the truth; my perceptions aren't accurate and I don't need to despair.
 The sermon... "end. Soon. It will." The pastor starts praying, "Dear God..." Actually, I think he doesn't exactly start his prayers with those two exact words, but you get the idea. And I want, again, to make clear that the next words are my thoughts, not his words. "Abigail is a horrible person... If you (Abigail) are really a Christian, drop this 'depression' excuse. You can be saved. Ha, ha, no you can't. This wouldn't work. You are doomed! ..."

"STOP" I declare, demonstrating some rational thought.
The music people came back up and started a song, but I was busy with my picture. I finished, and then sang, a seeking, "Help me, God!" type singing. 

The service ended, and I talked to a friend for a little.

And then came the best thing of the morning! I walked out of church into the sunshine, and after the distracting talk with my friend, my perkiness came back! Maybe not quite at 100%, but it came back. Like a new base line that I could return to. Maybe this depression thing really is getting better.

Anyway, my pictures explain, at least to me, why Sunday mornings can be so difficult for me. No wonder I have trouble; I'm interpreting things into thoughts that I use against myself and the result is... upsetting. So maybe now that I've seen the problem more clearly... I can ask my counselor about it. I haven't gotten a solution in my own mind. I have more trouble at my home church than if I visit another, neutral church. I think this is because I feel that I have more to loose at my home church.

And now... Hopefully, after reliving this to write it out, I can go ahead and move on one more time. And exercise. I think that will work out. After all, for the moment, I have a more positive base line to return to.

1 comment:

  1. Abigail, I think the drawings are very revealing, and it's a good idea to show them to your counselor. I am with you, believe me, in how church can mess me up if I let it. And I tend to do a lot of that "mind reading" stuff--read the minds of others (like the minister, in your case) and assume what he/she means.

    I think you're doing great! You are making some big discoveries.