Somethings are desperately uncomfortable to talk about aren’t they?
Like traumas supposedly buried in our pasts, or when you are tragically hurt by someone, or a lie you are forced to live because other’s just won’t understand.
I think Paranoia, Guilt and Insecurity can be some of the things that we find hard to talk about, or at least I do. But I am at the moment in a terrible slump – amidst the nothingness as I put it – and so now is possibly a good time to talk about these things.
Paranoia. Yes I suffer from paranoia. Really bad paranoia at times and no I don’t often talk about it.
Why don’t I talk about it? Well there are numerous reasons really. Some you might understand even agree with and some you might think are just weird. And hey ho that is ok. We are all entitled to our own opinions.
One reason is that I don’t want people walking on eggshells around me. I want to be treated for the me I am mostly not the freaked out weird me that happens every now and then. And before my inbox is flooded with folk challenging me or reprimanding me for the “freaked out” and “weird” labels above, I understand how wrong and unhealthy they are but I also know how very real those self-applied labels are to me at times.
Another reason is that I don’t want to feed into anyone else’s insecurities of paranoia. Trust me it can happen.
Thirdly I don’t want other to use my paranoia or mental health as an excuse to justify or excuse their bad behaviour and yes that can happen a lot as well.
The last reason, (or at least the last one I can think of at this time) is that as a Christian I am always concerned about seemingly being a bad witness. A fear which is often fed into by well-meaning but extremely harmful Christians who ask such questions as “do you think it could be demon-possession?” or “is there something wrong with your faith do you think?”
And if anyone is out there thinking yeah that is how I always thought of it, let me share the words of Matthew 4:24 from the KJV with you…
“And his (Jesus) fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.”
In the above passage there are 6 different types of illnesses here and a distinct difference is made between ‘demon possession’ and the others including ‘lunatic’ which is to say ‘moonstruck’ or as we would say nowadays – those who have mental illness. (Thayers also suggests that this could also mean the epileptic although it state this is dubious)
But no matter what reason I have for my seldom discussing my paranoia, the fact is that it is a very real and frequent part of my mental health and thus my life.
And paranoia is not a stand alone condition in as much as it never just stops at the paranoia. It creates further damage and damage that seeps into so many other aspects of your life.
And it often undermines and fractures what little stability you have.
Insecurity is one of the spin-offs of paranoia.
It can be cancerous in it’s effects and can damage and harm your perceptions and understandings and even more than that it can cause behaviours and responses which can so seriously and detrimentally impact your relationships.
Anyone who has, despite their best efforts, reacted badly as a result of a severe bout of paranoia will know the intense and extremely disturbing sensation of being left naked, judged and vulnerable as a result of that reaction and the fear of how those who have witnessed it are now going to treat you.
Which brings me to the last of this trinity of torment that of guilt.
Guilt. Along with that insecurity – that naked vulnerability and fear I spoke about above comes the guilt. Guilt which can plague you and eat away at you.
Guilt in and of itself is not a bad thing. It’s function is to motivate change. It’s unpleasantness is designed to cause us to address, repair or right any wrong that we may have done. And having done so that guilt no longer serves any positive purpose and thus should be got rid of.
But what if your mind will not let go of it? What if that paranoia, that insecurity, continue to fuel that guilt?
I have written about how harmful guilt can be in my post entitled Guilt-Edged Bonds and it really is something that I and I know many folk who suffer from paranoia struggle with.
When I do something wrong I want to make amends for it. To right that wrong. To face the consequences if you will. It is a big thing for me and I am sure I am not alone in this. I think it is all wrapped up in a deep desire to not allow my illnesses to have that much control or impact on my relationships coupled with an equally deep desire to not be treated ‘differently’ as a result of those illnesses.
So there you have it. A trinity of torments that so many of us can so easily go through.
In the slump, the nothingness that I wrote of the other day, this is the next phase it seems – the torments.