In sickness and in health

I am feeling pretty desperate at the moment. Between Mike and me, there is such a range of physical and mental ailments that at times all feels lost. There comes a point when the question must be asked – how much more can we take?

Since getting married, my mental health has deteriorated, then stabilised, just in time for my physical health to decline. In our first year of marriage, we had one month when only I was ill, but all 11 others we both were ill at some point. So far, our second year gave us an initial false hope. Mike seemed better – my health remained poor then fell off a cliff, and now we are once again in a position where half the time both of us are sitting at home wondering how life got so darn hard.

I find that recently I feel increasingly isolated, not because we don’t have a strong network of people who love and support us, but because when I see people, I find more and more I have to find some energy from the puddle that used to be a lake. I have to think about the consequences of every encounter, I have to plan ahead, because the puddle is refilling so slowly that in any given week I need to account for every drop so as not to use it all up.

I am scared now, I look forwards and struggle to see how we will cope. We are both so tired and drained, and there seems to be little comfort to reach for.

I find that increasingly when people talk of healing I want to switch off and walk away. I don’t want to hear hopeful stories of people like me being healed because I don’t believe it is going to happen for us – my experience more often than not, defeats my faith. The fight to keep it alive often takes more energy than I have. But I want to keep up, to have a clean, organised and tidy house, to have work, and a social life. I want to be able to go to church and homegroup regularly, I want to go out for date nights more often than we stay in for them. I want to see something shift, but the practicalities of life get in the way of my hope leaving me lost.

Where is God in the continual battle and the never changing story? Where is the hope of health? The daily slog seems to be draining the comfort I find in God and yet, I am in a place where that comfort is easier to find than ever. I feel like there is a battle raging in my mind – the hope vs the despair. I don’t know which is winning, but today all feels lost. I want our lives to change. I want health, I want hope to be fulfilled, I just wish I knew how to get it.

So, we plod on, in sickness and in health. Understanding more and more of what that vow meant. Waiting, hoping, longing for change, and going through the peaks and troughs of hope and despair. Life is a roller coaster I guess, I just wish there were less vomit inducing loop the loops….


  • That’s what we in the fraternity of those hanging on by our fingers call ‘pushing the red button’.
    Some of us have been there a couple of times or more – there’ll be smarter folks than me who can give you advice, but what I have I give you. You’re loved and cherished. You are worth being you. You’re a crap vessel chosen by someone who knows who you really are and thinks that’s good enough for him.
    You guys want to talk, you’ve got my email address and your welcome to come over and have some toast and see how we make it work, day by day. You might have to bring your own bread if you’re into that gluten free stuff. Oh and a box to sit on. (Only kidding, we’ve got a spare box).
    Listen. It’s shit at times, sometimes for longer than seems bearable. but there is a way through and there is a future and a hope. I know. I’m one of those who wouldnt be here except for a chance intervention of someone who cared enough. Now that’s me: I care enough and I don’t even know you guys! Crazy world. And they say the Greeks are mad.

  • All I can offer is prayer, and I expect that from where you’re at just now, that’s just more pious claptrap. But I believe that when we shout at God in our pain and frustration, in His love He still hears it as prayer. Bless you and all that you do for your fellow sufferers from depression.

  • Love to you and Mike.

    Throw open, O Lord, the locked gates of my mind;
    plant in its garden the seed of good graces
    and nurse them into flower. (Eric Milner-White)

    With love to you, your family and the wider praying community supporting you both.

  • Thank you for using some of that precious puddle to share this. You seem to be gifted to be able to articulate feeings that resonates with so many of us. Pious claptrap it might be but – God bless you both

  • I hear what you are saying, I see your plight, I can touch your numbness. My wife shared your blog post with me a few nights ago. How easily I could have written the same words many times over the past years. At one level thanks to a wonderful genetic drug I am around 5 years past my sell-by date – if left to my own body’s self-destruct mechanism linked to my illness. I’m tired – oh so tired. I sleep and I awake tired. I’m always tired. So much of my children’s growing up I missed out o n because I am tired. I believe in prayer – of course, I do. I have prayed with folk and seen them healed- even the barren give birth. Now I find myself frequently in your shoes – healing, mmmm a dichotomy between living as a whole person fighting off illness, or a sick person looking for healing. I live in Ps 91. I won’t tell you to shut your eyes and grit your teeth and healing will come. I won’t tell you why you’re still walking this path [ not that I think that is the right question]. I will simply tell you that you are not alone. I could put a load of cliches here, quotes to provoke, to stimulate etc but I won’t. Plan for tomorrow- enjoy today. Forget others expectations of you, for you – find His hand and just walk today. Shalom

  • The stress axis: the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal! They burn out, and any one or all of the above can make us tired, give us CFS or fibro, leave us depressed and anxious. They’re not too separate diseases physical and mental health. Serotonin is upstream from adrenal hormones. Not enough hormones downstream = bad brain chemistry upstream. And if the thyroid, hypothalamus or pituitary is not right, it will put stress on the adrenal. Hormones have positive and negative feedback cycles so one being screwed up screws up another. And all that is necessary to burn out the stress axis is stress: emotional stress, an infection, chemo, heavy metal toxicity, working too hard, sleep deprivation, could have been anything. Trouble is standard doctors aren’t much help. We have this company in the US called Standard Process. They have some great products that do wonders for these things. Energetix homeopathics have a great hypothalamus one, too. But all these things require a good holistic doctor, chiropractor, naturopath, or the like. Adrenal Fatigue is a good read. It will tell you a lot about the symptoms of stress axis problems–but only about tests and treatments for the adrenal. And sometimes that isn’t enough. Another thing to consider, here in America we have a lot of inability to absorb nutrients–wheat sensitivity and problems from too many pesticides and other junk–sometimes we can’t cope with the assault on our gut as much because of stress and lack of sleep as because of the assault. You need a dose of hope, girl. Try to hang on to the reality that no one doctor or system of health care has all the answers, no matter how cocky they are. If one isn’t helping, try something else. Don’t buy into the best doc couldn’t help me so I’m hopeless. It’s a little like thinking if a charismatic couldn’t help, an Anglo-Catholic can’t either. Or if Pastor Smith isn’t any good with a problem, Pastor Jones will be worthless too. Not so at all.

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