Well, this should be a bit more meaty of a post than the last few have been…hopefully a bit more interesting…
Tuesday (10/15) was a productive yet challenging day. I accomplished a good bit – meetings, phone calls, sermon preparation, paper work, and so on – but at the end of the day I felt frustrated, like I hadn’t accomplished enough.
I feel this unease inside of me, I feel a bit down and out. “What’s new?” Yes, but this is different. It is different from the “my life is falling apart and I’m dying” down…from the “i am biologically and chemically depressed and feel like death” down…from the “i have been spending way too much time around people and not taking breaks” down…it is the “i am working hard but don’t feel like i’m accomplishing enough” down and the “i don’t know what the right choice is” down.
The first tends to occur when I either have a large number of tasks to accomplish (which is always true as a Pastor and IT consultant), sometimes more than other times. It also tends to occur when I am facing challenges which I cannot see a way to scale and I feel that I am not meeting other’s expectations of me and what I should be able to accomplish.
The second tends to occur when I am faced by moral choices which don’t seem to have a “right” answer. There seem to be only “wrong” answers and the input I receive from others and the input I receive from within myself and the input I receive through Scripture and prayer all are conflicting and confusing. I feel like the man described in James 1 as “like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind…Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” (NIV) In context James is talking about those who ask but do not believe that God can give – but that is not my issue in this case. Rather it is that I have choices to make, but all the choices seem equally bad.
Both of these tend to result in what I call the “overheating” of my brain. An inability to accomplish complex functions requiring executive functioning (something which is impaired by ADD) and by a tight focus on the details (something which is good usually and controlled by the frontal cortex, but becomes problematic when the dang thing won’t turn off, as is the case with OCD).
The only way I know to handle these times is to watch TV or to sleep…and I don’t particularly like doing these…especially for any significant amount of time…but anything else, well it makes it worse. “What about reading the Scriptures or prayer?” Yes, they both make it worse. My brain is stuck in a gear, it can’t seem to shift out of it, and providing additional material for thinking or attempting to process mentally anything causes the engine (my brain) to rev up all the more.
I love the way Thousand Foot Krutch puts it in their song “We Are”:
“I think I’m ready.
I think I’ve got it
‘Cause too much thinking is bad for my health
It’s like a fire
‘Cause when it started
I can’t control it and I burn myself”
The lyrics may take a second glance to understand – it is the thinking which causes a fire and when it starts it becomes uncontrolled and it burns the one thinking. This is exactly how I feel. I am a very analytical/rational/intellectual person (imho), but I find a limitation to the analytical/rational/intellectual side of things…sometimes they provide no answers (at least not with the materials I have available to me).
I’ve been doing better with getting to bed on time. I try to turn off my computer by 11:30 or so and read. Currently I’m reading Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose, which is interesting enough to keep my attention, but slow enough to allow my mind to shut down. I’m still taking the magnesium supplement before bed and the Wellbutrin along with the Fluoxetine all at once in the morning.
You know how tired your child is.
You know how tied up I become.
I relinquish my worries to you now.
I relinquished them to you moments ago.
I will relinquish them moments in the future.
They wrap themselves around me and drag me to the ocean floor.
Free your child from these bonds.
Free your child so that I may reflect your grace.
Let me tell of your greatness and mercy.
Let me share with others your love and grace.
Heal me, for your glory, O Lord.