Sunday, January 01, 2006

cross purposes

my one remaining rat still has not forgiven me. he's all done without he batril but every time i go to get him he backs away from me into a corner. he doesn't even know what to do with that, because he was certain that every ugly dose meant a treat afterward.

so he's not sure how to respond without the medication.

nobody's been giving me treats, but it's kind of parallel to my life in that i don't know how to respond without the medication.


don't know how to respond?!?

that's funny.

or it would be if it weren't so horrific. i can talk to you with some of the advantage of omniscient-narrator-from-the-future voice, but not too far in the future, so a lot of this is still up for grabs.

that crash that never arrived? it got here. christmas eve Barbara takes me into her office and she puts her hands on me and prays for me, with me, and the stunningly painful dive is suddenly arrested and i just kind of park in a fragile, stable state for a few days.


and wednesday afternoon i go into the church to water the poinsettias and i paused for a moment to reflect and the next thing i know my head is bowed and i'm hanging limp on my own frame, saying "Lord, it's wednesday afternoon and i don't feel so good."

and i don't remember sitting down in a pew, and i don't remember fishing out a box of kleenex, but apparently i do these things and i'm crying.

maybe i just need to cry. sometimes it's all you need, part of the healing. and for a while maybe it is, but then i feel my mind breaking apart; i am losing touch with the ground and i am going spinning off into the howling.

the sun set. i sat in the darkness, becoming more unstable, more incoherent. wailing with no word, no meaning, and i am very, very afraid that i will break and this time there will be no going back.

fearsome things fly through my mind. i do not know how i will get on my feet and get going, back to my car, back to my home where at least if i can't stand up i'm not going to be a spectacle.

but partly i think the sanctuary is exactly where i need to be. what i am trying to do is be mindful of God's presence, to ask for God's mercy, God's help. it is very hard to feel completely alone in there.

but i have blown apart. i think maybe the time has come for me to die. i WILL not kill myself here in the church though. i just won't. but i have a vision of myself lying very cold and still, crumpled on the floor.

and i have a suspicion that i am this close to going very far off the deep end and being the kind of person somebody hears and calls 911. and i do not want this.

why? not for the usual, sensible reasons; i'm past that.

Barbara, besides being pastor of this church, is an EMT with this town's squad. if it comes to that she will be summoned one way or the other and it will be ugly.

and please, God. PLEASE don't let it come to that.

i don't know how i got on the phone, but i did. i called Flyingfisher, who does not live nearby. i don't know what to do or what to ask for but Flyingfisher is good in a pinch and i remember, oh, i remember wanting to put that phone down but somehow i knew i had to just let her listen to me cry, just to know i was still there while she did whatever she needed to do.

i don't know how it happened because i was too far gone. i remember having some thoughts; some words to say, but none of them could get out. i was gibbering. i managed to force out some of the initial consonants but no whole words except for every now and then the only four words that i could still form:

oh, no, God, please.

i can hear a train going by and i think: "i'm missing my train"
and i have to stop the laughter that comes choking up in my throat because to laugh now and at that is to give up a part of my soul and to laugh now when nothing is funny is to feed the cycle and my body shudders and heaves.

but then Barbara is there. i do not hear her come in; i feel her hands on my back.

i don't know how long we stayed like that before i could breathe and speak.

and i didn't know what i needed. i didn't know if i was going to get better or worse. i didn't know if i was going to be safe for the night.

"what do you need?" she wanted to know. i wasn't sure what to tell her.

i think i just need you to sit with me here. in this place. for a little while longer.

i had no idea of how to say it.

but she sat with me, talked with me, prayed with me.

i've been struggling with this lie: "i'm not going to ask you to heal me, Lord." so we have some things to say about that.

but how much can i reasonably ask to be healed? on the one hand i don't want to define myself by my illness, but it shapes me, it is so much an intrinsic part of me that i don't know what i'd do without it.

the suffering, though. i could do without that.

and it's scary to ask of anyone anything important. it is terrifying to come before God and ask this.

so i'm sort of working against the request even as i make it.

so here's what i'm going to do: i'm going to put it aside for a while. the problem will still be there when i'm ready to think about it again.

tomorrow is monday and i have to go back to work. i don't know yet if i'm strong enough to go back and there's only one way to find out.

there is much else to think of, and much to prepare for. i'm covering a lot of ground in a very short time.


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