Sunday, June 24, 2012

the answer

I guess I keep trying to get rid of the whole mental illness stuff by finding the answer. If I understand it, then I will be able to avoid it, right?

And maybe there is some truth to that. For example, this morning, I slept too late to get to my church before too much of it had already passed, so I started trying to form plan B. But plan B was very important, as in, stomach-ache inducing important. Then I finally told myself, it actually doesn't matter that much. If it is a bad church, I know enough to survive one visit. Hey, I could always walk out if it is that bad, something I've kind of wanted to do for a while. But to put it simply, this decision wasn't that important. Realizing that helped, and I picked a church (after driving past to make sure the service time was okay).

It was a small church, which was fun for me; I grew up in small churches, even though I go to a large one now. We sang songs that I already knew, some that I haven't sung in awhile. I enjoyed it except that it lasted long enough to put the bottoms of my feet to sleep. Then the "sermon" was actually a mission report, fairly standard and not too hard to deal with. Nothing spiking my usual "I'm a terrible Christian" anxiety. In fact, I think that churches I visit just once don't usually spike that one too bad. After church, there was a potluck. I shocked some people by telling them my age (I apparently look ten years younger, and the gap seems to grow the older I get - I have more years under my belt and still appear to be the same age). And we chatted.

Since I knew no-one and had little to loose on my one-time visit (no need to go back if I decided not to), I decided to bring up depression and anxiety to one lady to try to get a feel on the church's standing towards mental illness. Of course, all I really got was her opinion, but that was enough. I used the words "mental illness," and she wondered what I had. My statement of depression and anxiety (OCD seemed needlessly specific) was met with, oh that's normal. A relative of hers has anxiety attacks and calls her. She has her little issues here and there. I really couldn't tell what her standing was. She asked if I was on medication to control it, and I said I was, but was having trouble finding the right one. It still amazes me how people seem to write off the issue if you are on medication, as if there is one medication that will work for you, leaving you back at the mysterious "normal" setting, able to handle life with nothing more than a slight inconvenience. I've actually thought this, before I experienced otherwise. I even think it is almost a nice theory - I'd be okay with the first medication (the one I started two years ago) working and having me pretty normal. As long as that normal didn't involve perpetual depression. I don't like that so well. That isn't good enough for normal for me, sorry that I'm so picky. So anyway, I didn't pin down the church's standing let alone her opinion.

I've been looking for books and anything on Christianity and Depression, how they go together without producing twelve bucketfuls of inaccurate guilt. At least, I'm assuming they can. I have picked at least one to purchase, but am trying to wait to use a different credit card - the one I use for internet purchases, but that one hasn't come in yet. So then I'm struggling between my "method" of keeping myself safe from identity and credit card theft and my eagerness to buy the book. Because it's as if, if I just get that book, everything will be alright. I know that really, I'll probably read the book in four hours or less, either feel worse or feel better for a time, and then return to my nebulous, irritating state of depression and anxiety. So really, putting it off one more day wont be that big a deal. Sometimes I think that with this depression and anxiety, my mind distorts things so that little decisions are huge, important, life-changing events. It's no wonder they bring on such strong feelings, right?


  1. I agree that depression, and OCD also, distorts our perspective and makes little decisions seem huge. Sometimes it's hard to step back and get a different perspective. Sometimes meditation or just quiet reflective time, or writing, helps me do this.

  2. I agree with what Tina said.

    I hope you get your book soon.

  3. I ordered the book (and another one)!