Saturday, May 11, 2013

Catholic and Crazy: The Asylum of Faith

From Patheos-

When you’re locked in a rubber room, wearing paper pajamas that leave far too little to the imagination, trying to find patterns in the ceiling tiles as cracked as your brain, you wouldn’t expect to find yourself conversing with the spirit of an Irish teenager 1400 years dead—murdered by her own father, the story goes, when she resisted his incestuous advances. But that’s how it works when you’re Catholic and crazy. 

The communion of saints means we’re never alone, even in a psych ward.

In 2009, when I found myself in said rubber room and said paper jammies, pouring out my heart to St Dymphna, I wasn’t even technically Catholic. I was an Episcopalian, at a particularly low point in what I now know is a lifetime of (until last year) largely untreated mental illness. That morning in April, I’d casually mentioned in a Facebook message to my best Episcopal friend that I didn’t want to be alive. Friend that she is, she saw right through the casual and recognized that this was more than just my usual blue mood. She called our Episcopal rector, who, after asking me where God was in all of this and hearing me respond “Nowhere,” bundled me off to the emergency room of the local hospital where he was a board member. He and my friend were upbeat and supportive, until they heard me tell the intake nurse that I did indeed have a plan for hurting myself. That shocked them, almost as much as it shocked me to hear it coming out of my mouth; I was so deep in the abyss of depressive apathy that I couldn’t manage to reassure them with a reminder of how terrible I am at following through on plans, even on the best day.

More here-

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