Monday, June 4, 2012

Funky Nancy

I'm in a funk. Don't even try to talk me out of it because it's nothing anybody can fix. Generally, I'm overwhelmed with the world. Specifically, how messed up it is: poverty, war, injustice, bigotry, the pervasiveness of just plain meanness. Anyone who doesn't believe in sinful human nature hasn't been paying attention. All this stuff is of human origin. And thinking about it leaves me feeling hopeless. So, no, it's nothing that anybody can fix.

I was already in a funk over some personal issues that came to light last week that were causing me to re-live one of the darkest times of my life. I didn't want to go there, but I did. It's baggage I carry around with me all the time. Every once in a while I have to unpack and examine it before I can tuck it away again. So, this awful stuff was scattered all over the place and as the weekend approached I was still sorting through it. All that's to say that I was already down, so it wasn't going to take much for me to get downer.

My Sunday school class has a way of stirring up parts of my brain that I try to ignore. Yesterday we got into a deep discussion about how there has always been this narrow thread of people, a counter-cultural movement that follows the Jesus way of living and being in the world. This thread runs contrary to the values of the dominant culture by design. The really big difference seems to be around the whole idea of power: what it is, who has it, where it is to be found. In the time when Jesus walked this earth, the Romans had all the power. Their idea of power was based on a display of brute force. The early Christians redefined power as something that is found, not in dominating others, but in giving yourself away. They devoted themselves to serving one another in community and helping those in need: the poor, orphans, widows.

It seems that things haven't changed that much. The Romans have become us. And the fact that so many Americans see the United States as a "Christian nation" is ludicrous. When I think about it too much, it sucks the life out of me. I hope that I'm a part of that counter-cultural thread that runs through history and can only trust that it's a thread that will continue long after I'm gone. That's all I have to cling to this morning.

My life is so much easier when I don't think about such stuff, when I engage in my own version of burying my head in the sand. There are some distractions that I usually can count on to bring me out of my funk. On Friday night a friend and I walked to a neighborhood watering hole and I had two tall froo-froo drinks that left me feeling very happy. We came home and slept it off before enjoying some bonding time. Later that day I colored my curls, which enabled me to have a very good hair day on Sunday morning. Worship was fulfilling, with my Holy Trinity family surrounding me, and a few new folks to welcome. I went to lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant with dear friends and got lost in the conversation, oblivious to the time. The afternoon was spent watching my kitten, Guido, teaching my dog, Pooky, some new tricks, until they became exhausted and cuddled with me on the couch. I had a great weekend, and really have nothing to complain about. It should have been enough for me to snap out of it. But it wasn't.

Apparently this is a serious funk. When I'm in a serious funk, I need to wallow in it for a while and trust that it's temporary. Short of a lobotomy, this is who I am. Things eat away at me and I get depressed. And then it gets better. It's nothing that can be fixed. It just has to pass. I know it will. It's just a matter of when.


Heather said...

As someone who has battled anxiety and depression for years, I understand. It will be okay. It's like the ocean waves - you just have to ride it out until you get to the shore.

Anonymous said...

Your hair looked great on Sunday.