I get inspiration from social media. Of an evening, I huddle into bed, with my tablet and I like to watch 'Life style Vloggers'. You know young women who haven’t lived for a Nano second giving advice on how to decompress to go to sleep; that sort of thing. So there’s my first bit of advice. Watch, listen and read social media. But use it, don’t let it use you. Stay in control.
I recently watched one of these Vlogs. It was ambitiously called “Five things to do to stop Anxiety”. I’m always looking for a hack, (as they call it, I call it the silver bullet), so I clicked on this video; poised to be cured. The vlogger came on screen and instantly went into it. He said “The first thing I do when I get up in the morning is – I get down on my knees and pray”. Oh no, a religious zealot. As my finger hovered over the delete button, the vlogger went on. “I’m not sure I believe in anything”…my ears perked up… “But I like to feel that if there is something out there it is on my side, by my side. I like to get my anxiety outside of myself. I like to give it away”… This resonated with me. This basically summed up my religious attitude. Do it - just in case.
Over the years I have dabbled in all sorts of religion. I was raised by my mother, my father and my sister. They are all what you would call good Christians. They go to church, they pray, they live a charitable life; so most of my religious dabbling has been with Christianity. I’ve joined more than one church; my favourite being the uber modern one – where the preacher had a band and power point. Really Rousing. I’ve gone to the house of a lovely lady to have one to one bible studies. I’ve directed the nativity play at my mother’s church. And I’ve had more than one alcohol fuelled discussion about God being the centre of the universe – or not. I envy my mom, my dad and my sister because they don’t question their faith. They are steadfast. Their faith never disappoints them. I do, however, doubt. And Christianity as an organized religion leaves me cold. I don’t get it, and I don’t get solace from it.
Interestingly, this lack of believe did not stop Bill and I from sending our kids to a Church of England school. They prayed at lunch, they prayed at the end of the day. The local vicar came into school and taught them about Lent and Advent. How did that fair? Well, recently my young son swore in front of me, a rousing “Jesus Christ”. I asked him not to swear. He replied “I don’t believe in God, so it’s not swearing.” I couldn’t fault his logic. But when did he stop believing in God. I saw this as a perfect opportunity for a mother- son chat…. Apparently he never believed in God. I did not know that. I think Bill and I did some excellent parenting – we gave the children opportunity, we armed them with knowledge, and they made a choice. I asked my other son, and he too is a non-believer.
My children not believing in a God does not surprise me. I would not be the first person to notice that the world has become more secular. I draw a parallel with this and the fact that the world has become more mentally ill. And so I will stand on my plinth and say - I think it helps if we have a higher power to aid us on our journey to Recovery. It helps to have faith, but I’ve had to search for what I believe.
My sister recently emailed me some scripture along with a lesson. It told me to pray. But I don’t believe, but I do like the guy who prays just in case. I’m totally confused. I do like the idea of having the divine powers of the universe on my side. I search inside and I realise I prefer Eastern philosophies. I like the saying “When you pray you talk, when you meditate you listen.” I prefer listening. I told my sister this and she said “As long as you do something.” I think these are wise words.
All the major religions preach and teach good things, ‘All the things that lead to Recovery’ . Even as a non-believer, I can gain health by practising what they practise. So yes, Mr Vlogger, I am going to follow your advice and I am going to get down on my knees and start my day with Prayer.
May God, whatever it is, help me.
Have a great day. In Recovery, Me.
About the Author – Kate Hull Rodgers is an expert by experience. She has been mentally ill since 1986, more than 30 years. She is diagnosed as bi polar and GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) Every day she battles to be in recovery, many days she wins. She speaks in corporate workplaces with her company www.humourus.co.uk. She has spoken in 29 countries. Also she runs Stepping Stone Theatre for Mental Health www.steppingstonetheatre.co.uk with her husband, Bill- and she is still happily married. Mustn’t forget, she is the proud mother of Harvey and Dominic – and the dog, Zebbie.