Okay, it's time to say it: I'm not feeling well.
No, this is not the usual "ups and downs" I've been going through during this remission (which has lasted two years). No, it's not the flu either.
I know this disease. We're old friends. But, is this just a little bump? Or a flare-up? Or a relapse? I don't know. And, yes, I am worried. What can I do? Not much of anything, beyond what I already do.
I know there are always new ideas out there, and for some people they can help. But I've been to the whole circus. More than once. I've been on all the rides. And we've spent all of our money! Nothing has helped. My own little regimen, developed from experience, has worked better than anything (and its cheap too!)--so I'm gonna just ride this out.
First of all, I have to bring all of it, including my hopes, frustrations, fears, and even the anger and bitterness to Jesus, and give it to Him, and say "Jesus I trust in You. Have mercy on me!" I have to abandon myself to wherever He wants to lead me. Sometimes (really, most of the time) I have to pray, "Lord, give me the grace to want what you will for me."
Sometimes I don't want to pray. I don't feel like it. What I feel is something like, "Why did You create a universe, and then let the human race fall, and then throw me into this life with a brain and a body that don't work, and then just allow me to fail, fail, fail? What kind of a deal is this?"
I know, of course, that it's all about the mystery of the redemption, and the love of Jesus for the Father from the Cross which is greater than every sin, and is the deep truth about my own being and my suffering. There is a mystery here. It's transforming my life. But I am not always going to feel warm and fuzzy about it!
This is not a reason to get discouraged. Never give up! I must take this "feeling," this whole drag on my consciousness, and offer it to God. Somehow. Even if it's nothing more than the struggle to refuse to let discouragement take hold of my will. There is a mysterious kind of choice we can make in the midst of the most crushing desperation, which (I'm trying to describe it, but no terms are adequate) is to allow our being to keep praying. It's the choice not to snuff out that radical hope. Sometimes people (especially people with mental problems, which can make it impossible to think properly about anything) need to grab that place and just hold on.
Meanwhile, I can still write about these things, right here, for you. At a certain point, I wrote a book about all this (see the link on this blog). It's been going on for a long time, and it has drastically changed the life of my family, although I believe we have grown from it. But it's not easy. I'm sure your life is not easy either.
I think it builds solidarity when we share our sufferings with one another. One of the hardest things is that all suffering bears the taste of loneliness, of being misunderstood, abandoned, unloved. Jesus knows that "place" and He is with us there. He calls us to be there for one another.