On A Serious Note

“Mental Health Conditions” by amenclinics_photos is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

I’ve had a string of good days that have gotten into my head and so I thought I would post about my experience with life (and these last few days.)

As I never try to hide, I am diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and a few other odds and ends like fibromyalgia. What this means is that I am under a constant barrage of day-in and day-out pain and torment. When I am not suffering from the mental equivalent of pop-up ads that play music at full volume (OCD intrusive thoughts), I am finding moving or breathing too painful for words (courtesy of fibromyalgic nerve endings.) It is just what I have had to come to terms with over the last 14 years, especially the last 6 since the birth of my eldest child.

I did not grow up in a healthy home (but then, who does these days?) Both of my parents are hoarders, and at times our house got bad enough it would have fit in among the houses on those awful television shows about such people. Living in a house from Hades was a particularly special slice of hell as an undiagnosed OCD sufferer. It was like constantly having hands around your neck, suffocating you, all while being told “everything is fine” as everyone in your family goes about their day as if the environment weren’t piled high with paper, uncleaned hair, and dust

Like this, but less clean and much less orderly. For the entire house. “I’m a worse hoarder than I am a photographer!” by canonsnapper is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

What was still worse was the porn, which I was first introduced to at the ripe age of 3. Needless to say about something that robs you of your agency and creates depressive moods, it did not help, but while I am free of it now (thank you St. Thomas Aquinas), from age 3 to 22 it was simply the water I breathed.

But God had other plans for me, just as He does for all who turn to Him.

“Sun” by gr33n3gg is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Through my wife I was moved to quit porn (though it took Divine Intervention to accomplish.) Through my children, in spite of the pain they have unwittingly caused, I have been motivated to get help for healing wounds. And through His Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church I have been moved by grace to give up sin after sin (some big and some small, though there are ever more to go I am sure.)

In spite of this, the job I moved at the beginning of the year to start has been a constant battle, as I have been tormented mentally by the specific demands of the position. I have prayer for relief, and sometimes I have gotten it, but always the soul-sucking anguish has come back. I had come to the conclusion that it was just my cross to bear–and maybe it still is–until this week.

This week I tried something different. Instead of picking up my phone on my lunch and breaks (even instead of texting my wife), I decided to pray. Not rote prayer, but not extemporaneous prayer either. Instead it was just receptive prayer. I just decided to listen to what God had to say to my heart. I did one other thing–I put on music instead of listening to the other office-workers’ conversation–but the heart of what I am doing is just being open to hearing God speak.

I haven’t heard Him say anything. There haven’t been any major revelations, nor have there been only unmitigated successes with every prayer. Nonetheless, just like that, the anguish that I am convinced is a form of spiritual warfare being waged against me is (if not gone) very much relieved.

God is Good all the time. Glory be to God.

2 thoughts on “On A Serious Note

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