Saturday, June 16, 2007

Check-In

A Quaker blog (or this one, anyway) is some kind of hybrid. It is in part a public forum for discussion of spiritual, moral, theological and political issues. It is also to some degree a personal record. I have tried, for the most part, to keep this one focussed on the public matters, the big issues. (For instance, I am working on a post which may not appear for awhile that discusses what we learned in the 15th Street Barclay course about "Robert Barclay's views of the Condition of Man in the Fall"; that post is more typical of what I write here than the post you are reading now, and far far more typical than my occasional attempts at a line or two of poetry).

That said, I have come to feel some kinship with other Quaker bloggers, and have longed to say more to them, through this blog, about what is going on with me. It seems somehow false and hollow to be pontificating about the nature of God (who, as the apostle John points out, we haven't seen) while maintaining such careful silence about the state of my own body, mind and soul.

Today, I feel some freedom to be a tad more self-disclosing, and some confidence that I can do this to a degree without compromising the privacy of family and friends.

What I feel I can share today is that I am in the process of healing: emerging slowly from a prolonged period of physical, emotional, and spiritual distress. As part of that healing I have had to face some of my own illnesses (such as diabetes) and unealthy patterns (such as the way I eat, the way I spend, the many unhelpful ways in which I unsuccessfully try to avoid unpleasantness, and my unwitting collaboration in enabling the dependencies of certain folks I care about).

This week, I saw my doctor for a three-month checkup. I learned that the program of diet, exercise, medication, and supplements I've been using has successfully kept my blood sugar levels back in the normal range throughout these three months. Even my cholesterol levels, which were once horrendous, are now immensely improved.

The doctor was not so sure of my emotional state. She seems to feel that I am not yet back to my "old self" even though I have recovered partially from the period of anxiety and depression that plagued me in the Fall and Winter. From my perspective, the recovery thus far is far more noticeable than any remaining problem. I find that I sleep well, that I am energized for work, and that I am able to squarely face certain outward problems that seemed to paralyze me whenever I even thought about them just a few months ago. I also find that I am no longer assaulted regularly by weakness, confused thinking, and waves of overwhelming grief as seemed to happen all too often for several months in a row.

I have learned that some of my personal distress had physical roots. On the other hand, some of it also came from my tendency to shoulder the responsibility for matters that are not under my control and not, in fact, my business at all. Underlying this last is a spiritual problem: my under-developed trust in God, and over-developed sense of my own importance. But I have at least recognized this spiritual problem and God is helping me with it(in the company of a group of others with similar problems).

Work on all of this must continue. Many "outward problems" remain even though my attitude toward them has changed. As for depression: the option of using medications to treat it is still open, but for my own reasons I prefer not to take that route and my sense right now is that I can continue to recover successfully without chemical help.

Prayers, of course are welcome.

- - Rich Accetta-Evans

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4 Comments:

Blogger Paul L said...

I could have written much of what you've written here. My prayers are with you, Rich.

10:11 PM, June 17, 2007  
Blogger Contemplative Scholar said...

Thank you for sharing, Rich. I appreciate hearing the real stories of real people's lives. I too find it valuable to consider the spiritual dimensions of the life challenges we struggle with. I wish you well, and my prayers are with you.

12:33 PM, June 19, 2007  
Blogger anj said...

Frankly, I get tired of blogs that 'pontificate on the nature of God' when there is no context of life given, no 'what canst thou say?' spoken to with flesh of the truth of one's life, feelings, and struggles. It is posts like this one you have written in which I see the face of God. I am thankful that you felt the freedom to be a bit more self-disclosing, and understood how to do that with such honor in your life toward others with whom you are in relationship with. The movement toward healing and inner clarity is one to be celebrated each step of the way, I think. There is much wisdom in this post for me to hold in the Light, including the 'diagnosing' of the underlying spiritual problem, and the acknowledgment of the journey to partner with God, in community, in that reality. Thank you for your honesty and integrity in writing and sharing this journey.Thank you for letting me join in the celebration, I will continue to hold you in the Light.

9:37 AM, June 20, 2007  
Blogger cajsa said...

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10:45 PM, July 15, 2007  

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