Or which image is real? Unpicking the tangles in my brain.
I've been doing a lot of thinking this week, though I can't say I've got far. Right now I feel like I've just emerged (or am just emerging?) from a hall of mirrors at the fair, where it's never clear which image is reality and everything is distorted and bewildering.
For a start I've realised a couple of things I need to work on, anxiety would be the first one as it is apparently still well and flourishing. There is no way that worrying yourself to a point of near physical sickness over sending an email is normal, neither are "stress nosebleeds". As another DWP appeal looms I do need to get an urgent grip on this; I don't want to end up in the state I was in last time. Though as a side note I am constantly amazed by the fresh and inventive ways that my body comes up with in order to express anxiety, most creative.
The other is that I need to let go of past hurts, trite and hackneyed as that sounds. There are old wounds, some healed, some not quite so healed, that I keep revisiting and picking over like a child picks at its blister and that needs to stop. It's pointless, it's like my mind running round and round on well worn railway tracks getting nowhere except to keep the old hurts and wounds of the past alive. Or rather it serves no positive point, it keeps negative feelings hanging around and allows me to feel like the poor wounded soul, ideal fodder for a pity party. However, the reason I called the phrase "let go" trite is because although it sounds simple I don't entirely know how to do it. Prayer seems like a good first option (it generally is after all) and I suspect that this one is going to require some real wrestling. Stopping myself (and asking the Holy Spirit to prompt me) every time I start to revisit these dark but familiar old haunts also seems like a good option.
Meanwhile the church is looking different to how it looked a couple of weeks ago. Then it looked like a fortress, without any means of ingress, moat, sheer walls, draw bridge drawn firmly up and portcullis down. It felt like you were either cosily in the church, part of things, or utterly outside and on your own. Now at least this blog seems to have blown a small hole in the walls; when I couldn't work out where to begin trying to find an entrance. Hopefully things will be better from here, though it still tears me apart inside that I can't be more involved, can't be there - the guilt every time someone asks for volunteers at life group is terrible. But that's just how things are, not anyone's fault, something I need to learn to live with.
Another thing I have realised, from things various people have said, is that the difference between the person I see as me and in me and the person other people seem to see or say they see is startling. I cannot help seeing the utter blackness inside me, seeing the self obsession, greed, pride, general wimpishness, moaning, self pity etc. etc. I hate all this in me. I am trying to remember grace, to remember the cross, to remember that we are all sinners in need of forgiveness. But at the same time I can't help seeing myself as a self pitying attention seeker. That label keeps ringing in my ears: attention seeker, or attention seeking. When I was so so depressed I ended up so worried about not attention seeking, or not trying to seek help in an attention seeking manipulative sort of way and it worries me now, what if I'm just attention seeking? Maybe I should just keep quiet. I don't even know where to begin to untangle that lot or know what to do with it. That's what I mean about the hall of mirrors, it's so hard knowing what is true and what is distortion.
But as, for some peculiar reason, God does seem to love me and want to know me and want me to know Him, then I want to "follow on to know the Lord" (Hosea 6.3 KJV, via J. Rees Larcombe, Journey into God's Heart). It's always good to have a goal, right? And that's one I want to re-commit to.
A final thought, in the form of a "Not-poem"
A little girl is knock knock knocking on heaven's door,
Asking when she can come home;
Listening to her Father say, "Not yet my beloved child."