As I Walk Through the Valley

I have loved Psalm 23 since I was given a copy of it after my grandmother’s death, when I was eight. I memorised it then, and sometimes, when I am not really able to think of things to say, I recite it to God. One line that has always stood out for me is verse […]

Family: Blood and Spirit

One of the few things every human being has in common is that we all have a family. That might be the mother who gave us birth and the father who contributed to our being, or the family who adopted us, or were our guardians; extended families, long-lost families, families of blood, and families of […]

Stripped Bare

Standing before the throne of God can be a terrifying experience. All the pious platitudes, the polite faces we put on in church circles don’t matter any more. My respectability is seen to be a sham, I cannot hide my face. All that I am – good and bad – is open, is in the […]

Thoughts on Prayer

Ideas of what I should, and should not, pray about are a problem in my life. I freely confess that I am not a good “pray-er” – I never seem to know what to say, I am sure I fail to say things I am supposed to, and I can’t even manage to close my […]

He Came in the Storm

I often like to use biblical passages to reflect, allegorically, on our (my) Christian life. One of these is the famous time when Jesus walked on the water – related in Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-52 and John 6:16-21. The disciples had just witnessed the feeding of the 5,000 when Jesus told them to go ahead […]

Stigma(ta)

I’ve written before that words matter . The names we call one another mean something. As the image says, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will also hurt me.” There are names people use of us – loony, attention-seeker, nutter, psycho; there are phrases used to hurt us: “snap out of it,” “pull […]

Peace, be still

I am frequently not at peace. Anxiety twists and torments me, makes me run through my head over and over the same worries and fears. Anxiety makes me fear, and fear turns to depression in me. My soul is troubled by many horrible thoughts, by destructive thoughts, by the haunting idea that I am not […]

Self Harm, and Me – a post for #SIAD

It seems such a long time ago now, when I first started cutting my skin. A one-off response to feelings of overwhelming anger and pain when I was fourteen led me to take a knife to my arm. It would have been just a one-off, too, had I not faced those feelings again, years later. […]

I Am An Extremist

I am a person of extremes. It remains debatable whether that is due to my bipolar disorder, or to some facet of my own personality. As it happens, my mother is also an extreme sort of person. For both of us, it is easy to fall into an “all-or-nothing” mentality. I either do not bother […]

Dear Lord and Father of Mankind

Another hymn for you! I have always loved this one, which is by John Whittier, and enjoyed singing it at school. I particularly appreciate the “reclothe us in our rightful mind” line. Not just because I have a mental illness: the “rightful mind” for me is something we all strive for, because our own natural […]