We have an ex-All Black (Rugby Player who played for NZ) who talks on TV about depression. He suffered from bouts of depression. John Kirwin was a magical winger for NZ and always gave 100%. I don't suffer like he did but there are times when I have to battle depression. I try to analyse it, but it is not always tied to things that are happening. This week I am battling with depression. It does not worry me in some sense because I have been there before frequently, but it tends to drag you down. John Kirwin speaks of being in the car and having crazy thoughts of self-harm he would like to do, but he says, "you never do them". Tonight I was driving home from Port Chalmers and the thought went through my mind, "I'd just love to drive over the bank and have no more responsibilities!" Of course, like John Kirwin, you never do it, they are just bottled up emotions coming to the surface. I keep going and know that some time I'll emerge. (Though I suspect that scratch the surface and there's always a tinge of depression there.) This morning I spent most of the morning listening to people at the brewery, at Space2B and two lunch time meetings. I then was interviewed by the social work student (Angela) we have working with us. After that I went down to the office to check emails and have my first cup of tea since breakfast. (It was around 3 p.m.) I found myself reading the emails then blankly playing solitaire wondering what I'll say on Sunday. Anyway, I am lucky my bouts are not debilitating. In the link above John Kirwin speaks of it being similar to an athlete's over-use injury. I suspect that is where mine is coming from. My mind and emotions are always being taxed and my "work" is never finished, there are always more things I could do or some deadlines waiting. Sometimes I suspect my inner being just says, "Enough!" It is not really because I am over-worked. I think perhaps it is because my abilities are not up to the tasks I try to demand of them. A more gifted person would find my life a breeze.
Today I was interviewed by Angela, our social work student. It was very difficult to give answers. Any eloquence I thought I had disappeared. (She was recording it!) "Why did you get into ministry?" "What do you hope to achieve?" "Where will you be five years from now? Will you still be doing similar things?" I answered logically enough, but inside I found it hard confronting the fact that some of my dreams will never come to fruition. I became aware that while I have done some good stuff, I really had not made much impact on making the Church really relevant in the community, which was the heart of my "call" to ministry back in 1970. I always seem to live with the feeling that "someday" it will all come together. Today in the interview I was reminded that the "somedays" are about run out.
As well as this some of the medical symptoms of old age have been making themselves felt this week. There is nothing drastic, but just some things that I know are never going to improve, its just a fact of life.
There are some good things happening and I continue to relate with lots of really good people. While I am not rich, I don't think I owe anybody any money. I eat well and have a loving family. What more can one ask for?... now I have to stop this introverted navel gazing and choose some songs for Sunday. Wish me luck!