Friday, October 8, 2010

Joy in the Journey

I'm discovering more and more that there is, in fact, joy in the journey. Right now I'm reading an excellent book by Jay Michaelson titled God in Your Body. His chapter on eating has already changed my perspective. Living in the moment sounds harder than it really is.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I've been thinking a lot recently about time. The past certainly impinges on me in the form of that great cloud of witnesses (grandparents, parents, siblings, former pastors) that surrounds me, as does the future (in the form of my children and Zora, my granddaughter). The present impinges on the past (my present memories are really all I have of those witnesses) and on the future (there can't be one without the present). Blessings on the present moment.

Monday, January 18, 2010

January 18, 2010

It's been ages since I posted to this blog, so I thought I should get active again. I've been weaned off most of my psychiatric medications, and am now coming off Abilify. It will be interesting to see if I can do it without going into a depression.

My current spiritual practice is to read the Revised Common Lectionary Scriptures for the day, plus a few words from The Word is Out(Chris Glaser's daily meditations), Mornings With Thomas Merton, and a saint from All Saints. All this while sitting in front of my light box consuming my only cup of coffee. Afterward I meditate for twenty minutes to half an hour, closing with prayers for various people.

When I'm feeling up to it (and I haven't been lately) I go on the treadmill for two half hour sessions. The reason I haven't been up to it lately is that I've been having problems resulting from my prostate cancer. However, I hope to resume my treadmill sessions soon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Faith in the dark valley

"Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen," Hebrews 11 teaches us. And "though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff – they comfort me," assures Psalm 23. These two passages formed the basis for Pastor Jeff's sermon at MCC Philadelphia this week. It was a message that spoke to me very directly.

I have bipolar disorder. I had my eleventh hospitalization for depression last week. Although I have been deeper in that dark valley, I was a long ways down the ledge when I went in the hospital. Suicidal thoughts were plaguing me relentlessly. But I knew I would not act on those thoughts. I am sure that God will protect me from the Evil One when these thoughts come. There was a time when my faith was not as strong as it is now, and there may be times in the future when it will not be as strong as it is now. But I am sure, by faith and faith alone, that God will always protect me when I end up in that dark valley. That protection might require that I check myself into the hospital to be sure that there is no chance that I can hurt myself – and if that's what's necessary, that's what I'll do. But it isn't by any strength that I have that I am protected. It is only by faith. Even the power of faith comes from God. Faith isn't something I developed on my own; God gave it to me.

I must tell you that I am not very happy with God right now. I am glad that I got through this experience, but I'm tired of cycling through depressions and mania and just want to lead a productive life not filled with this sort of drama. But I know that God is big enough to take my unhappiness, and I have faith that somehow I will be shown a way out of the valley.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Schedules and stars

The Scriptures I read yesterday counseled that we realize that things take place in God's time, not on our schedules. And the sermon was about following our star, wherever that leads us, even if it's out of our comfort zone. Since I no longer believe in coincidence, I have to believe that my plans for 2009 will take place when God is ready, not necessarily when I want or "need" them to, and that going out of my comfort zone is okay. What plans, you ask? Keep checking this blog and I will let you know.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Yes, I'm out of the hospital. It was good (and necessary) to be there when I needed protection from my impulses, and now it's good (and necessary) to be out. I went to my therapist on Thursday, the Pastoral Staff meeting on Friday, and today I watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Tomorrow I am liturgist at the seven o'clock service. I managed to do a few things today, like get a haircut, send Andy his birthday present, open the last of the mail left from my hospital stay, and (briefly) ruminate about my hospital experience. Here's hoping none of my readers ever have to spend a day in a psych hospital. It's not all that bad, but it's not pleasant either, especially when you have to work on your thoughts and they mess with your medications. But I survived and am more or less functional now.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The "f" word

No, not that one, "faggot." I was awakened about 4:30 am by my new roommate, Dennis, calling the night nurse, Paul, a "fucking faggot." Now if I were well I might be inclined to stand up to this bigoted person, but I'm not. After thinking about it a little while, I asked to be moved to another room. Probably the guy wouldn't have the guts to actually attack me, if he even figured out that I'm gay, by why take a chance? So now I'm down the hall with Robert, who has the same doctor I do and who is getting ECT. It seems to be working for him. It didn't for me, which just goes to prove that our brains are all different. Anyway, I feel safe again in this space.