I once heard someone remark that everyone who comes to therapy does so because they are stuck in some way or another. They may be stuck on a particular event or period of time. They may be stuck in grief and are unable to move on. They may be stuck on a particular relationship which ended badly. Whatever the case may be, there is something in life they cannot move past.

For me, as 2016 begins, I find myself stuck largely on 2015.

stuckI know I have been rather vague about the events of last year which led me to become so deeply depressed, and some of that has been out of necessity. I did not want to exacerbate what was already a bad situation. To be more specific, though, losing my job near the end of July was absolutely devastating to me. How it happened, when it happened, things that were said… All of it was extremely traumatic, and I quite simply have not recovered from the shock of the whole thing yet.

On top of that, I lost a relationship that meant the world to me. It was the type of relationship that is simply not replaceable, the type which only comes along once in a lifetime. I would give anything to restore it. Combining that with the loss of employment whipped up the perfect storm, resulting in a major depression for myself. I’ve wanted to sleep a lot. I’ve found myself zoning out at times. I’ve even shed some tears. And these are just the thoughts I’m comfortable sharing. Some have been much darker.

I am stuck on these issues. In a way, I believe this is a good thing. It encourages me to not give up, no matter how insurmountable the odds may seem. In another, though, it is killing me. I simply cannot move on. My thoughts are consumed with fixing things and setting them right. I wholeheartedly believe that is possible, but circumstances and people are not cooperating with me at the moment. I get frustrated. I get hopeful. I get angry. And I get depressed.

The question everyone who is stuck eventually faces is this: Is this worth holding onto or should I just let it go? I have not reached the point where I am ready to let go. I still have hopes and dreams which are precious to me. Maybe I am deluding myself. Only time will tell. What I do not want, however, is to approach these issues as a “stuck” person. I want to forge something new. I want to make things better. I’m ready for a new day.

That’s my story for now. I’m sticking to it.
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3 comments on “Stuck

  • I have several friends who’ve had difficult experiences involving (presumably) God-centered institutions. I’ve had one particularly difficult experience that falls into that category myself. This type of “holy trauma” is unusually difficult to move past, I think. A connection with a sacred institution carries with it more intimate emotional, spiritual, and social ties than a connection to other organizations. Many people build their entire lives around their church (or para-church organization). If something comes along that upsets the equilibrium, a person can find themselves without the bulk of their community/support group instantly. That will shake a person up. Beyond that, there’s all the second-guessing about who was really right in the “divine sense.” There is usually a strong notion of divine authority and dutiful obedience in most ministry settings. If two or more leaders decide a person is wrong… boom. End of discussion. Not only do you no longer have your community as a support system, but you’re now dealing with the idea that you and God himself are perhaps at odds in such a significant way that you’ve been deemed unfit for fellowship with other believers. If you believe in God at all, this should do more than shake you up. We’re talking full-on crisis situation. It always blows my mind when I take a step back from our modern cultural busy-ness and look at how much we all really need each other. I try to put myself back in the time of the first century church. Christians are being thrown in prison, killed, chased out of town… were they really into breaking fellowship over differences in eschatology? “No, Steve, you can’t hide from the mob with us in this cave. This is a pre-trib only cave.” I think the breakdown comes from leadership overestimating its need to micromanage the Body. Not just in terms of organizational management, but individual spiritual management. Theological management. Social management. And on and on. Always reminds me of the Malcolm Muggeridge quote: “Wherever two or more are gathered to exercise authority, it is truth that has died, not God.”

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