Week 6. In which the black dog lurks but does not win. 

I don’t want to write about this week, but I sense it might be good to process it a little. I want to write some nice tale of how much I managed my anger so much better than last week. The logic going something like: I wrote about it therefore it should all be dealt with. Hmm. Interesting logic. It doesn’t work. Just in case you were in any doubt.

This week wasn’t such a great week in our lives. My brain gave up functioning at a sane level and the black dog prowled around tainting everything with gloom. The deep despair the black dog brings affects everything. Anger is my first response to things that wouldn’t concern me normally. Suddenly being in control becomes very important. Be it of an uber tidy house or small children. Dirty floors overwhelmed me this week. Small ones not doing what I asked provoked rage instead of calm chats and helpful ways of engaging them into cooperation. 

It didn’t help that one of the small ones has been battling a virus himself and uber grumpy with it. It didn’t help that this week coincided with another week of late nights from the husbandface. I have run out of resources when my brain is telling me that I need to over control my world. That combination has led to volatile situations, despair over my parenting, despair over ever having a future and despair as to my value and worth. 

It’s good to write it down and notice it. There were bright spots in the gloom. I asked for help in believing from a friend and heard the wisdom that came back from her. That sounds simple but I struggle so much to ask for help and hear wisdom so it was a massive step that both happened. 

There were fun pj moments and patient moments in the midst of the grumps. We made cakes for a friend. I got to have tea and chats with people and husbandface has been constantly encouraging when we’ve managed to snatch some moments together in the morning. Henri Nowen has continued to remind me of seeking my worth and value in being Beloved and in the Beloved. I want to choose the solid place of God’s love in the sea of change around me. The Inner Voice of Love is a brilliantly helpful collection of writings -especially if, like me, you struggle with boundaries, fears of what defines you, wanting friendships to define everything and if you need to be reminded of the solid freeing enoughness of Gods love. 

I wonder where the black dog came from, whether a combination of tiredness from last week and continual sadness at our church family having to be disbanded have meant conditions are ripe for it to lurk around. The lack of our community hits deep. I’m also feeling the lack of doing things that have nothing to do with small people and everything to do with reminding people of God (which always reminds me of God- a helpful circle). I haven’t led a service or planned small group stuff or led a small group leaders meeting for a while. It feels odd to have lost that part of life. I think I only noticed the loss of that this week (rather than just being glad my week felt slightly less full than usual). 

It is very strange not being part of a church family. It is so hard to remember it takes time to settle and even to work out where we want to settle. I forget it took me 4 years to feel part of my old church. I forget we are going from deep deep friendships and conversations about where God is in our lives with each other to Sunday services where if we manage a small chat with someone it’s an achievement. It’s a massive shift. I miss our small group prayer time where I knew I would get a chance to share what was going on in our lives. I’m not a natural pourer out of my soul to people and it was good to know I had time where I knew I had permission to speak what was going on and be heard.  

‘It takes time’ might have to be my new mantra for this church transition thing. (Which might be more helpful than my despairing rejection of church altogether that I wanted to do this week). 

It’s Friday lunchtime again. Somehow, with the help of Paw Patrol, we will make it to the end of the week and hopefully have a very quiet weekend resting. There will be no home improvement jobs done. Good friends are bringing takeaway on Saturday night and we shall pause before the last week of this half term. Phew. 

Your correspondent, slightly rambling but glad nonetheless to be able to process the craziness of the week and be reminded that there is One who holds on in the darkness. The black dog lurks but has not won. 

How’s your week been? 

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1 Response to Week 6. In which the black dog lurks but does not win. 

  1. Thanks for this Kath. Also reminding myself that “it takes time” as I feel overwhelmed about our move. And sad at having felt ill for the last two weeks. But like you said, there are bright spots too. We should hang out some time!

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