- crying at almost everything. Choosing what to wear. Spilling sugar. Opening the blinds. Talking to another human being. Putting the duvet cover on. Finding the right change.
- not being able to cry. Or feel much of anything. Everyone and everything is behind a thick pane of glass and their words are muffled and you’re too tired to keep shouting ‘WHAAT?’… and anyway, your words are slow and not joined up and folks squint at you when you try and use them.
- you sleep too much or too little. You eat too much or too little. You drink too much (coffee/alcohol) or too little (actual water). You’re on antibiotics, but you can’t shake the leg pain/cold sore/cough/shakes/foggy head.
- ordinary things seem impossible and you can’t find the words you want to use and your skin is itchy and you’re doing your best but it’s not enough and you cut corners and make mistakes and it’s catching up on you but rest is impossible and you wouldn’t know what to do with it anyway and you feel guilty so instead of stopping you take on more and it gets worse.
- you are sure this is a spiritual problem and the problem is, you are sinful and lazy. God is angry at you and He knows and you know you need to just sort this out and act like the Christian you’re supposed to be – and then come back to Him. Sort out your quiet time and the bible in a year and your parenting and prayers that are more than just distress calls and being the TM* Person You Were Meant To Be and hopeful and joyful and thankful and recycling… and a million miles away from your current incarnation.
- you are worried about absolutely everything. From the bruise that won’t heal to the plastic choking the dolphins and gun crime and the boiler and kids watching programmes that will rot their brains and the friend you haven’t called and super-nits that can’t be killed.
- you can’t face doing the thing; whatever the thing was to begin with
- You CANNOT MAKE A DECISION – take out the washing or write the report or cook the dinner or pay the bill or turn off the TV or make the appointment. Which is important? Which should go first? You write lists and leave them at home. You’re late for everything and you’re embarrassed, but you can’t stop being late.
- watching the news and finding you cannot turn it off. The sad bad thing has crawled inside your head and it plays on repeat, like an episode of true crime that gets bloodier every time. Feeling like every cry for help/prayer or financial request is specifically addressed to you.
- you’re angry at your dog and your friends and the cashier and the other drivers and the repairman who won’t pick up and the politicians who are wrecking it all and the idiot who keeps moving the sugar and the stupid radio show and most of all at yourself for not being able to snap out of this and for apologising and spewing up rage in the same mouthful.
- you’re lonely but you don’t want to see anyone because they don’t care and it’s too much effort and they don’t get it and you’re so tired of talking about nothing but you don’t know what you’d say anyway
- you’re convinced you’re a meditation/supplement/good night’s sleep away from being able to fix all of this. OR you’re really stuffed and no-one has every felt this way and nothing will make a difference ever.
- the usual stuff doesn’t work. So you’re watching stuff you wouldn’t normally watch; letting your brain and credit card run riot; thinking about what could have been, what you really need, what’s not fair, what’s wasted or broken or ruined.
It’s not ruined; and this is not the ending. Do you know, you can actually say this stuff – out loud? Tell it to another person — a friend. Stop – and let your heart beat, and not drown it out with white noise.
The purposes of our hearts are deep waters; all we see is murk. But a friend — someone with understanding — can draw them out. They can draw you out.
If you’re drowning; call out for help. The knot can be untangled. The dial can be moved, bringing stillness instead of discord. It can happen, because it’s a promise of God:
“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.”