Monday, June 28, 2010

The Dark Night Of The Soul

(If you're a happy, "Jesus is my girlfriend" type of Christian, then I would recommendyou skip today's entry)

The last few days have been very gloomy. Saw two concerts - that was cool. but rapidly, I fell into a pit of emotional dispair.

I read a story on about the Captain of a ship in the Gulf, employeed by BP, who woke one morning last week, kissed his wife and kids goodbye, went to the ship and shot himself. He wasn't depressed - just a normal guy, in a very, very tense situation. He snapped under the immense pressure of oil clean up and BP's lengthy procedure of paperwork - and he just snapped. His wife and kids have no husband or father. I am grieving for a family I don't know.

I wonder where the line of snapping is for the rest of us?

Christians wants this to be a "spiritual battle" - like a Christian "hokus pokus" magic fix. Put on the armour of God - yada yada. Just what I wanna hear.

My psychiatrist rhymes off a series of weekly questions about diet, concentration, amount of sleep, whereby I give the same answers week after week. He isn't zoning in on my situation or how it envelopes me. My psychologist talks about "The Dark Night Of the Soul" - which is about Christian isolation from God in the wee hours of the night. Like right now.

There is no music, no TV show, no book and no friend that provides comfort. Well, junk food helps.

Once I fall asleep after many stupid hours of lying awake, the morning is surprisingly fresh and the Dark Night is forgotten.

Amazing, after three fabulous weeks of feeling positive about life, I get whacked in the face with rapid depression, (a panic attack - which my shrink says it is not.) I'm still not sure why he tells me how I feel? I'm the freaking patient!

When the panic attack comes - I don't care. About anything. Nothing. If right now you imagine dark thoughts, you'll be getting warm to how I feel right now.

I understand a lot of people have depression for weeks on end. I'm lucky - for me, it's a half a day a week, more or less. In those moments, relationships, the hope for tomorrow, the love for my job, the care for a loved one - is faraway. I don't care.

I watch a lot of positive, happy movies, many Christian-based. I try to avoid any movie that deals with revenge, especially guns. I won't watch violent news reports at night.

I do devotions nearly everyday, seeking new ways to keep my devos fresh and interesting and recently they leave me uplifted. I used to read about Kings and Chronicles and Job but I stay away from anything about the wrath of God which depresses me.

Then, by evening, my attitude has shifted to negativity on the very same topics that uplifted me in the morning. Why?

I promised myself to not blog at this hour because I tend to say things I regret. Well, I am writing at 2am, because it's "the dark night of the soul".

I suppose a public radio personality should not be sharing initimate information but I know I am not alone - and neither are you.

It is a dark, sad hour but relax, I am safe.


  1. I used to be one of those happy go lucky Christians you described until about a month ago I spiraled into a deep depression. I would start crying for no reason. I couldn't eat sleep or do normal tasks. I started to have panic attacks and the thought of being around people freaked me right out. I've never felt so alone.

    I'm starting to crawl my way out of the darkness and the light has never looked so good.

    All that said I get it. And I thank you for being brave enough to talk about it. It helps to know I'm not the only one out there who has gone through this.

  2. Hey Anonymous,

    I have many more good days than bad, but the bad, ooooh, very dark.


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