A few weeks ago, I posted about how hard it is for me to accomplish normal, everyday tasks. When I’m in the throes of a lengthy depressive phase, my brain dons the camo gear and starts painting the landscape of my grey matter with disruptive patterns. Radio signals with supportive messages are shorted out and chemical warfare commences. My cerebrum and all its lobes totally hate me; I’m in combat with my own head.
As of this writing, I’m without a regular day job and have been off-and-on freelancing just to keep myself moving. This is not ideal for my mental health, but for the moment, it is what it is. I’ve been faithfully taking my antidepressant, however all the other “you know you’ll feel better if you do it” things are still a daily battle.
I showered today.
You have no. Idea. How hard it was. My brain has been engaging in a drawn-out, fully-weaponized, mostly-successful CRUSADE to keep me from simply GETTING CLEAN. Every single morning, once I’ve dragged my eyes open, the whisper campaign begins.
You don’t have to shower today.
You aren’t going anywhere. Even if you go to the store, you won’t see anyone you know.
You can skip it. No one will care. No one will notice.
It’ll take forever for the water to get hot, like always. Just get dressed.
You don’t need to take a shower.
Just put yesterday’s clothes on. It doesn’t matter if they stink. You’re staying inside.
You’re allowed to blow this off. You’ve been through a lot lately.
It’s okay to skip it. Nobody cares. It doesn’t matter.
Don’t bother. It’s okay. You don’t have to.
If I had just two uncompromised brain cells to rub together, I could see this for what it is. My own mind gaslighting me, abusing me, torturing me.
Leaving a seat for Satan in my skull.
It’s hard for me to know to what extent the devil is the driving force behind my brain’s ongoing counterinsurgency. We’re living in the 21st century where we have greater understanding of mental health issues and their very real medical origins. It’s no longer an automatic “demonic possession” diagnosis when we have head crud. But I do believe the father of lies plays a part in keeping me sick.
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (KJV)
In John 8:44, Jesus is in the midst of upbraiding the locals for not believing the Truth. Satan has a long and colorful CV as a deceiver and accuser, and a very successful career in obfuscating reality. He can even cite Scripture to do so, as when he tempted Christ in the wilderness.
He’s a sore loser.
When a person is truly saved, born again and made a new creature by God’s grace through faith, Satan loses custody. Romans 8:38-39 assures us:
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (KJV)
The devil can’t get his hands on me now. I’m one of the ones who got away. But he CAN still use me. By worming his way into my head and whispering his lies, he can harm my testimony. When I believe his deceits, my behavior doesn’t reflect Christ, and that could keep others from seeking salvation.
So how do I fight back? I can quote plenty of Bible verses about resisting Satan, putting on the whole armor of God, and fighting the good fight. But like so many other problems in my life, the question is not WHY. It’s HOW. All the well-meaning people I’ve ever spoken to have either cited Scripture or tried to explain why my various cranial afflictions don’t make sense and are harming me.
This morning, I was able to force myself into the shower. I can’t remember the last time I took one; probably at least a week ago. If I could use logic and reasoning to repel these thoughts, don’t you think I would have by now?
I can’t be sure that I will shower tomorrow.
I don’t even know if I’ll be capable of getting out of bed in the morning. If I’ll be able to open my eyes.
Not gonna worry about it for what’s left of today.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (KJV)
— Matthew 6:33-34