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Warning signs (and what to do)


The warnings:

  • 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.”

Proverbs 20:5.



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9 thoughts on “Warning signs (and what to do)

  1. As you have, for me. thank you xx

    (the way you have written this post is exactly my brain when I’m in that rut. It goes on and on and I think about all the things that need doing but aren’t done but I won’t do adequately well at anyway and I can do *that* more quickly but I need *this* done more urgently and my brain goes on and on and there is no punctuation to end this train of thought anymore and .. heh whoops)

    the being late & the other drivers parts though (especially when I’m in a cab and running late!). And the ohmy am I being clingy on Emma but like what if you shut me away too and I can’t believe I’m as clingy in this way to someone online(!!) and …

    The majority of this post is my heart! (now is this post specifically addressed to me .. kidding. I think heheh) x

  2. This is so me right now and i dont know how to get out of it. I cant deal with life but i cant be without it, i ask for help but dont know what help i need. Ive been in this place so many times, youd think i know how to stop it, but i dont. And then i get cross with God because he hasnt stopped me from having it happen again, and then i get angry at myself for getting angry at God cos that doesnt feel ok. Id like to just be ok, just for a little while. Without the worry of going down again. Knowing its there waiting.

  3. Hi Kerry. I’m so sorry you’re feeling these things right now – well done for asking for help. Please don’t give up asking; and know that God is big enough to handle your sadness and anger and everything else you are feeling. I don’t know why this is happening, but I do know God loves you and me He is with you in it; and His heart breaks for your sadness.

    You are not alone. And you will not always feel like this.
    Praying for you right now xx

  4. “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… You’re late for everything and you’re embarrassed, but you can’t stop being late.”

    I once spent a whole morning in bed because I could not decide whether to eat breakfast or get dressed first. A whole morning.

  5. i get your blog . i have m.e . migraines .allergies long list health issues people never see the every day effects .i cope deal with by having a good cry and Snotty Nose very often .HELPS ME SO MUCH
    i take part in a lot lot research .i, do a blog.http;//

  6. Hello Emma. Sounds like your in my head. Today and most days at the moment my achievement is getting my daughter to school and picking her up on time. Most of the rest of the time I’m asleep. I have a very understanding husband who has had to take over so many of the chores which also adds to my list of things to feel bad about.
    Managing to put a mask of ‘everything is brilliant’ at church and doing most of the tasks expected of me but as soon as I’m back at home or in the car on the way home the fog of gloom descends on me once more.
    Those that do know are know I think are fatigued by me or my lack of improvement or is that my bad thinking again, which makes me less likely to ask for help. But thanks for the push to talk.

  7. Kaz – getting your daughter to and from school is a big achievement when you’re feeling like this. And while not everyone will understand, some, really, really will. You speaking the truth gives life – if you don’t, I believe that church and God are just for the brilliant and I condemn myself for finding life hard. But when you do, I pray for you and for myself; I’m reminded that our God works by joining us in the furnace, not just taking us out.

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