I recently started reading Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning. It was recommended to me by the pastor of a church I’ve been attending recently. I don’t know why, but I find this kind of stuff so hard to read. I can read a good fiction book like something by James Rollins or Steve Berry in as little as a day or two but this stuff, it takes a lot of work for me to get through. I have to reread sentences, paragraphs, and pages. It’s not that it’s written poorly, it’s that my mind wanders. I can’t focus. I think part of the not being able to focus, along with many other things these days, is that it’s focusing on something real, something important and something that will help me.
For the past few weeks and months, I’ve avoided doing anything that would be good for me. Yeah, I’ve had fits and starts where I’ve accomplished stuff and thrown myself into self care, but those have been brief and far between. I’ve just finished chapter 2 of the book, it is titled The Imposter. It talks about a false self. This false self/imposter is the addict in me. This chapter was written for addicts (Manning was an alcoholic). The pastor asked me to read it because one of the later chapters talks about grace and God’s love, not because of this. Parts of this book, or at least this chapter read like parts of the Recovery Start Kit by Patrick Carnes.
There’s a part in chapter 2 where he talks about how difficult it is to be in silence and alone with oneself; I know the feeling. And also about a resistance to prayer – so true for me. How the Imposter was forged in childhood to help and protect a wounded child. This has all been taught to me through my various stints in therapy. Yet knowing all of this does not make it easier to come to terms with it. I’m reading this book in hopes that it will help bring me closer to God and that in turn God will help me out and rescue me from my situation.
Some days I’m not even sure God is real. I think that deep down I do have faith that he is, but at times, I do wonder if he’s really the God of love that we are taught to believe that he is. Many days, I think more of God in terms of an ambivalent force that explains all of the things about creation that we can’t explain with science. Does God really care what we do on a day to day basis, does he have a hand in our lives? Does he care whether we love him and worship him or not? Does he really love us? Is he really there?
I say all of that, yet I still find myself asking God for help at times, and attending church, not that going to church has anything to do with believing in God.
My wife and her mother both believe very strongly that without a real connection to God, I will not recover and get better. My wife also believes that until I am sober, and living as I should be, I won’t be helped or saved or get a good job.
I did get a job offer yesterday. It’s fine. It’s with an investment bank down in that other city I was living in before. If I take it, it would mean commuting again. It would mean finding a new therapist. It would mean getting a pay check again. It’s not the greatest offer though. It’s only as a VP, I really should be at the director level these days, IMO anyways. It’s also kind of a shitty salary (150k) as IB salaries go. There’s no signing bonus of any kind. I’m tempted to turn it down outright. Then there’s the terms about background and credit check… I don’t have a conviction from my arrest, but it hasn’t been dismissed yet either. Will it show up? Most likely, yes. What about the credit check? What are they looking for? I haven’t declared bankruptcy but my car was repossed, my credit cards are being managed by a debt management plan and my score is shit. Will I even get the job if they do those checks?
I think often about suicide. I think about it in a wistful way, similar to how I think about winning the lottery. I’m probably never going to win the lottery, but I buy the tickets anyways. I think somehow that if I were to win I could escape my situation somehow, things might get better for me. I’ll probably never win, and if I did it would probably only make things worse. But I’m still going to buy a ticket today. That’s what I do.