I’m part of a community that works with men who are addicted to substances. When I first started working with them I learned a valuable lesson, relapse is part of recovery. Not everyone who relapses is lost, in fact successful people who recover from addiction all have stories of relapse.
So I kinda relapsed.
There was a time when I was a believer where I found it more and more difficult to pray (for reasons that are now totally obvious). In this time of desperation I discovered the Catholic discipline of the Daily Breviary and prayer books. Using the prayers of the ancient church to speak for me when I had run out of words. I really enjoyed it, and I thought it neat to integrate the Psalms into my prayers, to actually pray scripture that was written for prayer. Spiritually speaking this kept me afloat for several years after the boat had already been listing hard. These books are still in my office and I still think of them fondly. More fondly than the Bible.
Monday I broke it out and used it. Yep I prayed Evening Prayer. Then I went home and laid in bed. Starring up at the ceiling I asked if God was there. If He was listening to me. If he could help me. And I began to “pour my heart out” in prayer. And do you know what happened next?
I don’t know what I was expecting. I don’t think I was expecting anything, but I was certainly hoping someone would answer. I’m sure there are times when someone who is divorced wants to share a moment with their ex, maybe to relive old times, maybe to reconnect at least as a friend.
I prayed and I wanted to connect.
It’s too bad there was no one there to connect to.
I went to sleep disappointed in God. I woke up the next morning disappointed in myself. I very often still slip into the denial and bargaining stages of grief. I still have a desire to know a god and for there to be a god who knows me. I still desire grace and forgiveness in a spiritual sense. I want something that doesn’t exist. I want something that I can’t have.
I knew this was going to happen, Mark told me last month that even he still finds himself trying to pray.
I just got to shake this off and move forward.