I just marked a noteworthy anniversary. In late April, 2013, after spending nearly three months completely falling apart to the point where suicidal thoughts reared their ugly head every day, I sat across from a therapist for the first time in my life.
Yesterday, as I sat across from my second therapist, I spent the entire hour letting go of the intense anger which has once again built up in me.
For those, to whom I have told every detail of my condition, know these things:
– I am essentially back to where I began.
– I hate myself.
– I don’t know what to do with myself or what to do about myself.
– I am fighting so that I can be the person you want me to be.
– Things have changed since last December, when I gave you that news you never wanted to hear.
– There are so many of you that I beg your forgiveness for not staying current with all of you. I pray that you will find how I write about this to be helpful—helpful to you, to everyone, and to me—to inform the rest of my world of my situation.
While I am not suicidal, I would by lying if I said the thoughts don’t find themselves seeking entrance. The noise in my head is deafening. I can’t concentrate. I don’t enjoy life. I wake up every night and can’t go back to sleep. I constantly form plans to run away from home, as if by hitting the road I could run away from my problems. Every time I walk to the kitchen with an empty cup or dish, I want to throw it at the wall.
Two years ago, I promised Julie—who has been a little Christ to me—that I will not hurt myself, or run away, or destroy things. I have kept my promise and intend to do so.
I am finally prompted to become public about this for a number of reasons. With the lovely encouragement of many, I tried to be my old self on Facebook, began a blog, and undertook writing what amounts to my memoirs. I feel like a liar, a fraud. I suspect that some are thinking, “It looks like Greg is finally feeling better.” No. Greg is not feeling better. Greg is feeling worse.
My anger has reached the boiling point. I need to harness it for good. That is why I am publishing this.
A large slice of my anger is that I have been stifled from being public with my condition. While some have felt I could and should go public, the number has been few. Most have thought that my situation is too sensitive, that many simply won’t understand or comprehend, that by talking I will do way more harm than good. I never agreed with that. I wanted to stand in front of people and show them I am a person of integrity, not one who runs away and hides. I remained silent out of respect for them.
I have told nine brother pastors, and none of them knew enough about my condition to fill the bottom of a teaspoon. They all were very understanding, kind, and helpful. Ultimately, I have been counseled that I should remain under the care of my pastor-friends, repent and bear my cross in Christ’s strength, and keep my mouth shut.
I have sought the Lord, and sought the Lord, and sought the Lord. Please know this: my trust in Jesus Christ has never been stronger. I know and believe in Him in a way that I wish all people did. I constantly pour out my heart to Him, seeking His good and gracious will, repeating His promises back to Him. So, have no concern that I have lost or altered my faith.
I suspect I will be hearing from some of the folks who think I need to be quiet. I pray they agree that this actually is the best time for me to explain everything, when I am smack in the middle of struggling. So that people can encourage me. So that I can educate people. Because this all will be public someday and I don’t want it spread like gossip in which the truth gets twisted and my good name gets smeared and my family gets hurt.
To my kids, my siblings, all of the other several dozen friends and church people I have told: I promise to strive to write in a way which is God-pleasing, which shines the light of Christ, and which seeks to serve my fellow man.
All I have wanted since this began to crush me two years ago is to fulfill the two greatest commandments: love the Lord my God and love my neighbor as myself. I might never again be a pastor, but I know the Lord wants me to serve my fellow man by showing how a person can hurt so badly and still trust the love and mercy of Christ. I know the Lord is working to fulfill His Romans 8:28 promise in me, that He works all things for good in the lives of those who love Him, whom He has called according to His purpose.
It will take several days to roll this out. My next post will likely be on Monday.
Finally, I feel like I am doing something which will be therapeutic.