Thursday 6th January - Battling demons

I meant well this morning waking up to my alarm booming out Hanson's 'Mmmbop', but the day had different plans for me.

The last few months I've been struggling with some demons. 2010 wasn't a good year for me generally but just as soon as I felt things were getting a bit better, another dark cloud replaced the one that was just leaving.

St Catherine of Siena besieged by demons

I have the support of family and friends but sometimes these things can only be faced alone. I'd like to say I turned to God and how He has helped me through it all, but if I said that I would be lying. I'm trying to get back to my faith, to what it used to be; back to a time when it was my life, permeating every thought, every action. But life experiences have changed me. I've come face to face with the brutal reality of pain and suffering and I don't think I'm ready.

You might argue that this is the perfect time for me to let God back into my life and to some degree I agree. I've gone back to attending Mass weekly and praying occasionally but it's not the same as it was before. Being Catholic is not about ticking boxes such as going to Confession and taking Communion; one needs to feel Catholic: to trust in God, to be open to miracles, to be able to say wholeheartedly I love and believe the one true God. I cannot do any of those - not yet. The only thing I am certain of is how much of a sinner I am.

I upset people because of some of the decisions I make but I just need to go it alone. I don't want people faffing over me and saying they know what it feels like when really they don't. I then try to amend my ways and allow people in, but all of a sudden they think they know better and prefer to stay away. Well fine, stay away then. My demons are for me to face alone.


  1. Dear Rachel.

    During our lives we all have to face difficult and challenging times, times when it can seem like the entire universe is set against the things that we are trying to achieve. And sometimes we do in fact lose sight of who we are and where we think we are going. The things that can make a difference are largely down to circumstance and the people we have around us. As we travel through life and journey from one place to another we will be confronted with moments of decision and choice. Life is in fact a stairway of choice and decision - we can move up or down depending on a multitude of things.

    Looking back at my own life,I can recognise those crucial moments where I have either made good or bad choices that have had major and ultimate consequences for me. I have many regrets to be honest, but not all of the silly choices do I regret because some of them have lead on to other things that have worked out for the best when I consider my faith. If I was not challenged in ways that I thought was harsh at the time, it is quite probable that I would not have moved forward in certain areas of my life. I can now look back and remember the turmoil and the feelings of desperation that I thought would never improve, and feel grateful for those things that once caused me great pain and anguish.

    It wont particularly help you to read about my own experiences, I say this because I can remember other people saying similar things to me when I was younger and everything still seemed so utterly futile at the time. There is one thing that did remain constant in the background to it all and that was a simple and honest conversation with God. I was angry at myself and felt trapped by many of my personal qualities, but I would all the time speak to God, even though at times I would sound quite disrespectful and bitter. But God loves us and He always comes through in the end. We don't always get the answers we like, and at times it seems we are being mocked, but it is important to keep the dialogue open as we travel and grow.

    Learning to pray during times of great anguish and stress is never easy, and I can only say how I feel at times, and this is that I don't always feel able to face God because I feel unworthy somehow, but it is with humility and openness that we can approach God and expect to get some of the best and most positive outcomes to our prayers.

    Life is a journey and we will travel upon many highways and back-roads, and we have to expect a range of circumstances and challenges. I have learnt that what will make the difference between making bad choices and collecting a bagful of future regrets is to keep talking to God, no matter how difficult it seems, and trying to pray and seek out right choices. Take strength from faith Rachel and I am certain you will grow and begin to see new ways forward when the clouds begin to clear.

    Take care.

  2. Hello Rachel,
    Let me assure you that you are not alone in feeling like this! I have spent a long while trying to reconcile my faith with certain experiences I've had in recent years. It's not easy. It takes time!

    I will keep you in my prayers (when I get round to praying, that is!) and continue to banter with you on Twitter (always fun!)

    Love from @emjric x