Saturday, 8 August 2009

Been listening to Counting Crows this evening. I admire Adrian Duritz's sharing about his life with dissociative disorder. I imagine that would have been particularly gut wrenching to do so. I'm glad he did.

I find it really interesting how he describes dissociative disorder and performing as a particularly ill fit:

I have a fairly severe mental illness that makes it hard to do my job -- in fact, makes me totally ill suited for my job. I have a form of dissociative disorder that makes the world seem like it's not real, as if things aren't taking place. It's hard to explain, but you feel untethered.

And because nothing seems real, it's hard to connect with the world or the people in it because they're not there. You're not there. That's why I rarely saw my family back then: It's hard to care when everything feels as if it's taking place in your imagination. And if you're distant with people, especially women you're romantically involved with, they eventually leave.

What makes my case even worse is that every night I go out on stage and have this incredible emotional connection between me, the band, and the audience. Then, just like that, it's over. I go backstage, back to the bus, back to my hotel room, and sit there all by myself. That deep connection is yanked away in an instant. It's like breaking up with your girlfriend over and over again, every night.

Well, when you put it like that ... actually, fame has never been much of an appeal to me. I mean, sure, like most people I've indulged in fantasies about it. Especially at times when I'm feeling really bad, really raw. All that unconditional adulation - nice. At the same time, this sort of buffer between you and other people, like a mirage that sits between you, like a fur coat.

Except the emperor wears no clothes, and I think the knowledge of that would send me snorting substances up my nose to deal. That mirage would be a prison. Sitting in a prison on the shifting sands of other people's adulation and hatred - no thanks. I already have a couple of prisons of my own, thanks very much. Those will do.

My heart breaks when I think of how many people struggle with different mental illnesses. My homeless friend K suffers from some sort of undiagnosed disorder where she fades out, loses her memory. I feel some understanding of mental illness. I felt out of control in my teenage years from the things I was carrying, the deep dark hate, the covering over of it. I do not believe I had borderline personality disorder but I do believe I could have gone down that path if things had been different. Who knows? And I've got enough fuck-ups of my own to deal with, that's for sure. So many of us battle. It scares us so that we do not wish to talk about it, but humans are fragile things, and we break. I think our technology makes the situation even more dire these days.

Sometimes I wonder what things would look like if the knowledge was spread over the earth that God is a loving God, that there is wholeness in God, that there is healing and acceptance there. I think of that young bloke I saw at the train station a few months ago, screaming to the sky, "But I got nothin' to live for!" Is there something in his heart that is screaming for redemption? Something in every human heart that beats so tenderly but seems too good to be true.

I do think the reality of God is good enough to be true. Like a fairytale. I don't know know how my mental state would be if I hadn't fallen across God. Even just the concept of God, of redemption, of a pressure valve release. Hopefully I would have fallen across Buddhism instead. Otherwise I do not know, for me, how I would have coped.

My heart cries to God tonight for how hard this world is, and how much we despair, and how little hope there is and I wish God would wake us up. I wish the knowledge of God would fill the earth like water. It would wipe away our tears, swimming in God. It would heal our hearts and heal our minds. It would fill us so that we would be able to be god to each other, unhidden, naked, and unashamed.

It would be heaven.

You can read the rest of Adam's article here.



  1. I didn't even know this about Adrian, I enjoy their music so mouch but never got around to learning about the band. Very interesting and devastating. I like what you said here: "Something in every human heart that beats so tenderly but seems too good to be true." I relate to that on some level but mostly I relate to the way the young man screaming feels. Sometimes I wonder what the point of life is. It seems that the point of my life is to get my son's life on track but beyond that none of my personal dreams have become a reality and it seems silly to keep dreaming.

  2. very thoughtful post, my dear.

  3. Barbara - ahh, yeah, the tension in-between screaming like that young man but feeling the redemption beats. Like being strung up on a rack and stretched. I love that Winston Churchill quote where he got up to a bunch of university students and said, "Never give up. Never give up. Never, ever, ever, ever give up" and sat down again. It sort of says it all. I struggle with believing that there is space to hold me in-between where I am now and where I want to be in the future. It feels so gossamer thin. And yet, I think that's part of what faith is all about. Feels like such high stakes no matter which way we look at things sometimes, doesn't it. ((Hug))

    Lucy - thank you, sweetie pie. I wish sometimes this part of everything would *stop* and the next part would start!

  4. It is a thoughtful post, like Lucy said. I've been thinking about it for a couple of days.

    There is so much cruelty & sadness in the world, sometimes I have to look away. We are all fragile, aren't we.

    God knows each of our stories; He knows what no one else knows. I believe He's going to get us thru this, & one day, we'll look back & understand.

  5. Sherry - yes, I have to look away too. I think most of us have to look away much of the time. It is too much to handle. I agree, I think we'll look back and understand one day too. We'll see how even the suffering fit in to our awakening.

    But oh, I wish that day would come soon.


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