Where we wrestle with the sublime, mysterious, powerful and often frustrating paradox of God's necessary grace.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Grace and faceplants in Hell


















I apologize for the stretch of non-posts. For about a month I was snow skiing on the slopes of Hell.

My GP had prescribed Ambien to treat my insomnia. I was taking it dutifully and all seemed to go well. "Seemed" is the operative word, here.

At about the same time I was entering longer and more intense bouts of depression: Sudden onset crying jags, towering rages, insomnia, flash loss of temper, suicidal thoughts turning to plans. (I was going to drive out to a secluded spot and eat a round from my deer rifle.)Everything came to a head last week when I broke down and told my wife. I felt I couldn't burden any of my friends with this--either my problem was out of their league and they'd offer tepid armchair sympathy, or I'd tell them and they'd think less of me. Praying seemed to achieve nothing and I felt as if God either couldn't or wouldn't hear me, deliver me. My world had squeezed down to a pinpoint of pain. I felt nothing else and believed that would never change, until I ended my life and all the pain welded onto it.

My wife had seen my literal disintegration. We tried to think what was causing it when I finally mentioned a side effect of Ambien was depression and thoughts of suicide. She did the loving wifely equivalent of slapping me on the forehead and said, "Don't take the Ambien tohight and let's see what happens."
"But I won't be able to sleep without it."
"What's more important--your life or a night's sleep?"
"Oh. Yeah."
"You bet 'Yeah.'"

I noticed I felt better within 24 hours of stopping the Ambien. In fact, that night I was able to go out to dinner with my wife.

Within 3 days of stopping the Ambien, I felt better then I had in about a month. No more rages, jags, suicidal thoughts, cloud of black depression. It literally feels as if I'd been born again. I still have problems and "issues," but those are part of life and working them out is how we all stay human and humble.

Grace rescues us, even when we'd rather drown, even when we're blind and deaf, crying out in pain and misery. Even when we're convinced God's a joke or a lie or has better things to do. It doesn't wait until we're clean and cheerful and we've all got our shit together. God: No respecter of persons.

I like Him that way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And everything you love.
Fuck their commandments and prophets left stranded to die.