Sometimes my illness amazes me.
I was in church just yesterday for the first Sunday of Advent. It was a joyous Mass. I loved hearing about the prophet Isaiah in the Old Testament alluding to the day in the future when Christ would establish His Kingdom for all people.
I served afterward by helping my brother Knights of Columbus sell Advent wreaths in the narthex.
What a happy, faith-building day. I love Sundays because I can seek refuge for a few hours in the house of the Lord (a.k.a. the hospital for sinners).
But today (Monday) sucked. My doctor recently put me on Lamictal to stabilize my mood since the Gabapentin wasn’t helping, and suicidal ideation started to rear its ugly head again.
I’m sick and tired of being at the mercy of my emotions. It’s like Texas weather: In 30 minutes it goes from one extreme to the other in the blink of an eye.
The demons came again last night. It never fails. the closer I get to God, the stronger their offensive.
I had one of those dreams that seemed to last all night. My family and I were in a public place, like a shopping mall or a maze of connected warehouses, and I had prior knowledge of either a terrorist attack or a rampaging shooter attack.
I remember grabbing my two little sons and hoping that I could get them out of harm’s way. The worst part of it was that I had no idea when or where the attack would take place. It was like being forced to play a diabolical game-show version of Russian roulette.
In the morning, my wife said I was struggling and whimpering in my sleep for a good portion of the night.
After a hellish day at work, I came home and announced to my wife that I was going to skip dinner. I had no appetite whatsoever. I sat in our walk-in closet which doubles as my own personal chapel.
I prayed, I meditated, I read Scripture.
I can’t give up.
Getting no response from God, I sat there, massaging my temples with my eyes closed. Suddenly a slight feeling of hope entered my soul, as tiny as a grain of rice. That was all I needed, though.
I can’t not believe in God and His promises. When life drags me through a puddle of crap, it sure is comforting to know that there is a greater power waiting to rescue me and make me clean again.
Like the saying goes: When you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.