Sunday 7 August 2022

Always a Pioneer

I haven't posted on here for years. I mean, literally, years. And so much has changed over those years; I mean, obviously, right? But when I talk about change, I don't mean the kind of change that is par for the course with ageing: the creep of middle aged spread, grey hair and increased mortgage payments (although I can't deny the reality of any of those things). I'm talking about significant, life-altering changes. I went from being a crunchy home-educating mum to a working mum of schoolchildren. I went from being an evangelical Christian to a liberal, LGBTQ-affirming Christian. I went from being someone who wore long dresses and skirts for modesty to someone with a passion for dungarees, shaved heads, piercings and tattoos. I went from being someone whose idea of Christian thinking was a Joyce Meyer self-help book to someone with a foundation degree in theology. I went from being someone who did the church flowers to someone who led services in a cassock. I went from being someone who had been a Baptist all their adult life to someone who was training for Anglican ministry. 

 Big changes were the hallmark of my life over the past five years. And they were good changes. I was progressing, developing, finally fulfilling my potential. And then, just as quickly as things began to change, things began to fall apart.

How and why they fell apart is complicated and messy and doesn't include any of my finest moments in life, all of which are better left in the annals of time. I will say, however, that I'm waiting for a diagnosis of PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) and, after an 18 month period of Covid-imposed inability to access medical treatment, I'm also finally receiving treatment for Perimenopause. The two conditions together have wreaked havoc on my mental health. Mostly, now, with a combination of HRT, antidepressant medication and hormonal contraception, I inhabit a place of relative sanity. However, there are days, and nights, during the luteal phase of my menstrual cycle where the dark abyss of hormone-induced fear, paranoia and self-loathing threaten to swallow me up.

So here I am, no longer a pioneer of Christian motherhood or first generation ministry. I'm more of a pioneer of survival. A pioneer of brutal self-reflection and personal growth. A pioneer of trying to get my shit together and rebuild some kind of life from the rubble of failure. A pioneer of finding faith and spirituality when church has become a toxic and triggering place. 

I don't know where I'm going, but they say that the company on the journey is more important than the destination, so please, come along with me. Join me in my journeying.


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