Sundays are hard at the moment.
I’m in a position where I have to see a person most Sundays who is (through no real fault of their own) a human embodiment of my anxiety, a tangible physical reminder of all of the things I don’t like about myself, causing them to come screaming into my head and stay screaming there until one by one I can pry them off my brain, my chest, the base of the pit in my stomach. Some weeks they’re like snails – sticky but come off easy. Other weeks they’re limpets, harder to pull off, they take some time. And other weeks still they are super-glued on, and no matter how hard I pull they just won’t budge, so I have to find some other way to erode them.
And then there’s church. A place that is full of wonderful, loving people who speak words of hope and dreams and want to fill me up with the wonderful promises that are over my life. But right now all I see in those dreams is the ways they aren’t coming true. All I hear in those promises are the way they are broken and unfulfilled. The words of hope sit hollow in my chest and rather than filling me with life they suck it out of me, they chip away at my heart so all I feel is empty and broken.
(To clarify – this isn’t to say I have lost my faith. It wobbles and shakes sometimes but it’s still here. I see the way God moves in my life, I definitely see the way he works in the lives of those around me. But there is a difference between my relationship with God and my relationship with church, and for better or worse right now there’s something about being in church that makes me want to pull away from God and faith rather than going there to find safety and comfort.)
(And to further clarify – this is not about the community in that building. It is about me finding it incredibly selfishly finding it hard to watch other people’s dreams come through while mine feel further and further away. It’s about feeling that I don’t fit. It’s about feeling like it’s my fault that dreams and hopes aren’t being fulfilled, because I’m not working hard enough, I’m not good enough, my faith isn’t strong enough, I pick and choose what I believe too much. It’s about not believing the promises that get spoken over me there. It’s about not being able to face the feeling of not fitting, the fear of not being a good enough Christian to fit. It’s about the fear of admitting that to anyone with a faith because I would be shunned or not understood.)
I’m not going right now. I’m hiding so I don’t have to face any of that, because it’s just too hard. Made even harder by the limpets screaming into my brain after the rest of the day. And then the guilt of not going sets in – and I know that the guilt is irrational, and guilt on it’s own is not as bad as the cocktail of lost, broken, insincere, empty and aching that would fill me if I went – but there it sits, in my heavy, heavy chest, so heavy I can’t sit up straight.
(Side note: I actually can’t sit up straight a lot of the time at the moment, because it makes my chest hurt too much and it makes me physically out of breath. But I legitimately can’t tell if that’s something anxiety based or if I need to go and see a doctor. Advice welcome.)
Sundays are hard. Just existing through them is exhausting. I spend the majority of the day fighting a losing battle against the vampires in my mind, looking for steaks so they can’t drain me through the week ahead. I put on my war paint, cover the cracks on the outside, make myself look good (or try to) so no one can see the chaos inside and it seems like I’m on top of it all.
It isn’t enough. I need sunlight. I need a break in the clouds. I need better solutions, better weapons, a stronger pull.
I need to mix my metaphors less because I get to the end and I don’t know what I need.