gut honest faith

Month: June, 2014

Yes, please


“Do you want to grab a coffee?” “Sure. Can you dye my hair later?” “Sure!”

The kitchen towel around my shoulders and orange color on my head. “Will you marry me?”

I remember my pact with God six years ago. I shall know by being invited for coffee.





Say cheese

Switzerland, next to Lindt Chocolate factory, in a small little house is where some of my childhood was spent. Right after those years in the west of Africa. Where the black continent was impoverished, and especially the poorest country of all, Sierra Leone, Rueschlikon sported several Millionaires. Contrasts between those two places abounded, but one thing that certainly grabbed my attention early on was the food inaccessible to me in Freetown: Cheese. Switzerland and its cheese mountains. How delectable they were piling up. Edible gold to me. I looooooove cheese, holey cheeses and stinky cheeses and slimey cheeses and mouldy cheeses and blue cheeses, melted, ground, liquid.

Raclette, fondue, piled on Spaghetti, on toast, on baguette. Any color, yellow, orange, blue, blackish. Cheese has a permanent residency in my heart. Jesus, my hubby, cheese. That order. Kind of… I believe Jesus is actually found in cheese, as it serves as a reminder of His perfection. My husband hates cheese. Caused me to cut down and loose weight, Still, nothing comes between our love. I guess, if Jesus were to come own from heaven and inform me its either Cheese or Him, I would have to consider for a few moments. Or mourn. Thing is, I can still pronounce Jesus like Cheeesus, like a particularly cute girl in my church always does. So, I would have a piece of cheese with me, always. After all, He says, “I am with you until the end of days”. That pretty much sums up my relationship with Chees, I mean Cheesus, oh, Jesus. And cheese.

Don’t take that away from my palette, and all will be well. I promise. Otherwise, I won’t guarantee for anything.

night time


Oh boy, Benjamin.

This is the story of Benjamin Boombastic, Debbie Downer’s older brother. It wasn’t Debbie though he found sticking to a plush wing chair. Ben had just been away over the weekend, only to return to this gruesome scene. The oven door was still opened, and the scorching stench would probably linger for days. Benjamin had just started his journey into manhood. It hit him like a laser beam, nothing like a dimmer light slowly swelling until full enlightenment has been reached. More a spasm-inducing explosion, leaving him worse for wear. Oh boy, Benjamin. Why wasn’t someone else there to find him? Why did you have to catch that first glance of despair in a nutshell? Five years on, Ben was still suffering the aftermath of this disaster. A person deciding to leave this world is akin to an inner city demolition of a building. It is impossible for near-by buildings not to be impacted.

When I first met Mr.Boombastic, I knew nothing thereof. Neither of the prime real estate location of his flat nor of the calamity he’d once was a part of. I liked his soft spoken demeanour. Indie-Rocker, deep, quiet, kind. This is our story. And our story it is, for once I left his life, I left his life. He stayed with me for quite some time though. Typing away, it suddenly occurs to me that Ben had always wanted to be a writer. Maybe he would be looking at blogs occasionally? The only reason why this may matter is that I am actually using his real name. Thankfully there are many Benjamin’s though, and thankfully Mr.Boombastic is an entirely made up name. He did have something quite fantastic about him. And, yes, he knew something about well written music. We would spend many hours on top of the trash of his flat, listening to Suede and Radiohead and other such things. Anyone worth their salt knows Yorke to bethe cream of the crop in musical terms.

Julie Burchill I knew all by myself. The highest paid female british columnist of all times. She started her career writing for the prestigious NME, New Musical Express. Ben read the NME mostly, whilst I stuck to Julie and Will. Ben wanted a job with the NME quite badly. Maybe he imagined his hording and excruciating depression to be the ticket to a flourishing career? At least, that is how he carried himself the first time I entered his flat. Only, a flat it wasn’t. A very central, Euston station four bedroom place, over one hundred square metres in size resembling a gigantic piece of shit. To Ben though it was exuding an air of  understatement, aristocracy and substance, similar to Withnail & I. To me it stank of cigarettes, rotting food and mould. Why didn’t I run for my life at that very moment, standing in a four bedroom place filled knee deep with trash and swarming with worms and other creepy-crawlies?

I kid you not, we were wading to the living room, Ben shoved undesirable junk off of his settee, haphazardly sat down and started fishing in the pond of dirt. Some time later his arm and hand reappeared with Withnail&I. The look on his face was that of a king in his castle. I knew being allowed entrance into his kingdom was quite the honour. Sitting down was undertaken with overt care. Not due to his kingship though. Slowly I sat down next to him. On my way down I must have swallowed a broom stick, for I was unmovable from the second I took my place. Dear Lord, why didn’t I politely decline the offer and returned home?

A minute decision like that would have spared me two years of being a co-dependent clinical depressive. Ben became the sole content of my life. Anyone outside my head could not quite comprehend how there was even any time left for something as time consuming as caring for a handicapped man. There was my full-time apprenticeship, my part-time University course in Philosophy and a minimum of twenty weekly hours spent in dingy bars and dodgy shops, often way into the night. Being home by twelve or two was my daily bread. Leaving by seven the norm. Sundays was for nursing the accumulated hangovers of the week. Night time work always included heavy drinking. That bottle of Vodka graced the VIP lounge. Not all night time work is  illegal though, and I was no sex worker by any means, but that world with its seemingly easy options lived next to me.

I had to cross London’s red-light district to get to my job. Upstairs was an SM parlour, friends at work would get married for money or sell themselves in other ways. Night life, drugs, sex work. That was my reality for most of those years spent in London, and pretty much all my time spent, yet not spend, with Ben. Once I did get to spend time with Ben, however, I was always already spent. He was too, but for entirely different reasons. Two packets of Benson and Hedges smoked daily manages to slow any decent human being down. Often I would return after those many hours away to find him floating in a fish tank of smoke. The anchor keeping him from drifting away was the overflowing ashtray. The aquarium however did not trigger poetic expulsions in me. Rather, ranting, frustration and a sense of defeat.

All along I imagined depression to be the dragon I could slay. I could force it to its knees. Oh, how wrong I was. Its as easy as trying to defeat death. Only one person has accomplished this impossible task so far. Yet I imagined myself to be the second person to do so. How stupid I was. Depression undoes the ability to experience pleasure. Others are not able to bring a sense of pleasure into ones life. Nothing boombastic in Ben’s life. Instead he was starring incessantly into the abyss. Not very pleasant. Ben spent his time either belabouring his own short comings or having anxiety attacks. Dear God. The worst thing I ever had to watch another human being go through.

We would go to sleep by maybe two, two thirty. By four his tense body spasms would awaken me. He would jump up, his whole body rigid, curled up into some kind of ball of muscle and sinew and bone. His gaze fixed ahead. His pupils widened. He would pace up and down the room, the aggression exuded from his body was terrifying. This would take anything from an hour to two hours. Trying to soothe him only encouraged him it seemed. Animating him to offload by punching pillows or doors did not help either. Anxiety attacks were part of his daily routine. Anxiety, smoking, drinking beer, not eating, hating himself and despising anything around him. We did not have a whole lot of fun.

Those years I would get by on three to four hours of sleep a night. It didn’t go on for very long though. Soon after I found myself being sucked into the same vortex. I was diagnosed with depression and was off work for over a month. Six weeks in fact, and it cost me my apprenticeship. Other than Ben though I didn’t hesitate to take pills. Prozac were fun happy pills. For Ben, Prozac had long been surpassed. He needed the real stuff, not just some gentle uppers. Once he actually got himself to a doctor, who would later subscribed them. First and foremost though he was a horrible man who smoked in his office, suggested Ben go out and enjoy his life, sunshine and women and soon all would be well. Dear God! What Bullshit. Ben considered suicide daily, and looking at the sun would fix that? In a way, Vitamin D does help with mood disorders, but not at the critical level Ben was at.

So, once he took those pills, his depression worsened. He had paranoid episodes. Things that weren’t there appeared to be really threatening. Shadows turned into monsters out to harm him. Nothing the patient information leaflet did not warn us off. However, one month of a worsened experience of something that was already an all together horrible condition? I am really not surprised at the numbers of suicides. One has to really be made of stone to endure such an ordeal, and let me tell you, most people are just human after all. Besides the general shittyness, and now added paranoid episodes, general admin stuff began to mushroom out of control. Bills were left unpaid, eviction letters amassed, once he was only three days away from being evicted from his place. An easy way into homelessness. Purely by accident I found those letters of warning under piles of trash.

His dad got involved. Ben hated me for it. But I didn’t know what else to do. Ben’s dad? I soon knew why he didn’t want him there. All the nonsense Ben got from me only potentiated with his dad being around. It was all only Ben’s fault for being a lazy bum, that was the gist of it. This talented and soft hearted man now morphed into an evil lazy cancerous amassing of cells. At least according to his dad. Ben should just get his act together and things would be fine. Dear God. There was the awful girlfriend laying in to him, clobbering him with well-meant advice of eating salmon and going for daily walks. His totally irresponsible doctor who resembled something out of a comedy show. A dad who was entirely out of his depth, and later, a terrible hospital care to follow up everything. As though the previous shit hadn’t been shit enough.

After an especially awful anxiety attack I called the ambulance. Now I can only explain it as being possessed. Ben was thrown into his furniture, against his walls, a real force seemed to grab him and thrust him around the room. It looked as though someone had come into the room and edited the stuntman, who had relentlessly catapulted Ben across his big pile of trash, out. Doors were yanked out of cupboards, drawers smashed out of their chests, Ben’s crashing body accomplished all of that. The ambulance took him to the near by hospital, literally five minutes away. I remember walking back from there in the morning, having lost my faith in the medical profession entirely.

He supposedly didn’t pose a threat to himself or others, and apart from that one could do nothing. I had just seen a man being hurled across the room into a door which now as a result had a hole in it, and all  that was said was “There is nothing we can do” ? Dear Lord. He needed to be in care, someone who at least fed him once a day. Ben needed help. And none was offered. Calling suicide hotlines did not offer much of relief either. I read all I could on depression, took him to different therapy institutions, made appointments, cleaned his flat more than once, only to see it deteriorate back to its original state within days.

All of the sinks were filled with cigarette buts. Once, the drain was blocked. Water was pouring all over the kitchen floor. The kitchen hadn’t been used in many many months. It was just rotting dishes and ash and animals everywhere. Now there was an amassing of water on the kitchen floor. I called the plumber, Ben spent his time sleeping in bed. I guess, really, he probably wished to drown in bed, finally bringing an end to his sufferings. When I opened the door for the plumber I saw the most disgusted pity in his eyes, and I felt like scum that floats on scum. Probably this is what Ben felt always. Ultimate low-life. Pitied by everyone. It was the disgust however that was hard to swallow. Not quite what a Mr. Bombastic deserved.

Considering my own life deteriorated further and further, I would soon spend my time attempting to break up with Ben. Over and over. A total of maybe seventy times. Dear Lord. It would be actually due to one of Ben’s very thoughtless action that my life was about to take a dramatic turn. He had looked me outside my own flat. Left the keys inside and all. After I had stopped taking Prozac some weeks earlier, my own depression had returned. Finding myself locked outside my flat had nearly given me the rest. Much of my time now was spent deliberating suicide. My life did not hold much in store for me. I was spent, tired, worn out, overly full of all kinds of toxins, and there was no end in sight of my misery. Some months earlier I had started to go to churches. Long story, don’t ask. However, upon entering, two things would happen: First, everyone would turn their heads to see me, the unidentifiable object, half shaved head, the rest in pink, a dog collar around my neck. Yes, I had grown hard over time.

And the staring would get worse once the second phenomenon manifested: I would start to sob uncontrollably. Not a pretty sight, I fled as soon as the service would come to an end. Since this had been taking place for far too often, I had taken to having church come to me. Via the telly. On Sundays. The most old school show imaginable. Ancient chorals were sung in even older chapels. The day I had to go up to my neighbour for the spare keys, I saw her watch God tv. Only a few days prior, I had seen a church featured on Songs of Praise. It had been as though I had found the love of my life on timber, and I occidentally swiped him off. I did not know how to find this church. But intuitively I knew I had to go there. This would be the love of my life, I just knew it.

When I saw my neighbour watch God tv, I asked her if she had heard of this church. And she had. In fact, she had not just heard of it but called it her church. That following Sunday, I found my way to that very church. Since then,almost a decade ago, I have missed maybe a total of ten days in church. But I knew nothing of this the first time I went. As chaotic and destroyed my life was, the routine of going to church seemed absurd but nonetheless magically appeared. The only routine I knew then was smoking all sorts of strange things and downing other funny things. And here I was going to church. Regularly. I was mostly nursing my hang over and avoiding the usual chit-chat. But, I was in church. A dark and anonymous church for me, where I could cry in secret.

Dear Lord. What happened next? Things with Ben got more and more out of hand. Attempts to break up were piling on top of each other. Of course I wanted nothing more but to see him well, but, as with any co-dependant, there comes a time when the realization hits and one becomes aware of the fact that the problem lies as much with oneself as with the other, supposedly sick, person. That cognizance grew, but the ability to do anything about it didn’t. I spent hours in church crying my eyes out. Crying and crying. One day, it was Easter Sunday, some random stranger girl put her hand on my shoulder, prayed for me and gave me a text. God would guide me, and there was nothing to be afraid of. The next day this should become reality.

I went to Ben, and within five minutes I realized something which had never been that obvious to me. The selfish aspect of his debilitating illness would make it impossible for him to care for me. By no means am I degrading people with depression to just have a bad case of selfishness. Remember, two years spent reading up on this illness, living with it and later actually experiencing it for myself didn’t allow for such an easy way out. No, it was a real enlightenment showing me my part in this scenario. The day I went round to his, I needed a minimal amount of understanding towards something in my life. Instead I received copious amounts of verbal abuse. After two years of me giving him almost unlimited support and love, he was unable to give me even just two minutes thereof in return.

Someone had cut a chord between us, our heart string was severed. I walked away. Something I should have done that first day in his flat, two years earlier. I walked away, and for the first time I was not afraid to get a call informing me they had found Ben dangling from the ceiling. This after all had been my main motivation for staying with him, being petrified to be responsible for his death. Fighting death after all is an impossible task. I can only say I thank the sweet Lord above for not yanking Ben out of his life that day. Instead, the next day he would experience a nervous break down, something which finally secured him a place in a care home, eventually resulting in a recovery spanning over many years. Organically he remained fully intact. I wouldn’t learn of this until many months later, since I had managed to break away from something addictive in my life.

Please don’t hear what I am not saying: caring for someone who suffers from depression is an honourable thing and not always a case of co-dependence. In my case, however, it was. Once I broke it off, he too could finally get the help he’d always needed. And I was able to begin to look at my own life. My own soul. Something in it allowed me to sleep in a creepy-crawly infested bed for far too long, after all. Gross. Obviously, I felt as though I didn’t deserve any better. I felt like part of the furniture in his flat, buried deep under piles and piles of trash. I felt like trash, and I had hoped I could rescue myself from there by organizing some exterior circumstances for someone else. It was however my soul that needed rescuing. I must say, the most valuable thing I found within my soul was my Saviour. Jesus. I had been rescued many years before that.

He was there throughout. In that storm of life. I still don’t make sense of this at all. Life still is very puzzling to me in more ways than one. How would He let this happen? How did He allow for all the other rubbish before to make me feel like rubbish? I haven’t a clue. But I know that He kept me save in His hand. Somehow. And I am most grateful to have had this experience with Ben. Not in an adventure-tourist kind of way. More in a I have been eating with the pigs-kind of way. The most treasured possession in my life is Jesus and His church. By far. Only, He is not mine to keep, but I am His love. For ever. I am, so to speak, to die for.

I wish I could say Ben is now well and we are a happy couple. We are not. But he is well. So well in fact, that he blamed me for the whole episode. God bless his heart. One thing I have learned is to take responsibility.And apologize I did. For all my wrong-doings. Of which there are many. I can. Because I know someone has wiped all mine away. I am as fresh as virgin snow. Thank you, Jesus, the true Mr.Bombastic, for saving this Debbie Downer from drowning.


In my sweat

Take a pair of semi good tights. Cut off about one fifth of the bottom. Put on the tights. Use the bottom fifth as socks. The best exercise gear ever known to mankind. Try it. I bet this will catch on. Cheap, easy to make, tried and tested.

Exercise, your routine, whatever that is. I suggest staying inside with the tight/tight combo. Unless you are out for lots of attention. Jump around or lift those weights or bend over backwards. Whatever it is you do with that marvellous tool aka your body. Have yourself marinate in sweat. Once you are done, open the windows for a tender breeze, get your fave drink, be it sugar free this or that, coffee, decaf or high sprung, even bubbly lemonade or smoothies. Your choice entirely. Then get your notebook out, have as much distraction as possible. Telly is a must. Chat with your hubby or with a mate on the phone. Scatter brain, give it something to challenge it.

Sit on a towel, as you don’t want to ruin the furniture with your sweat, and type away. Be done, get another drink, go in the shower and, well, be sweat free.








Blood, sweat and tears

Honesty is way up there for my personality.  Annoyingly so. True grit. One person called me a Pit-Bull once. Not quite a fluffy poodle. Nor your sweet Chihuahua. I hate bullshit, so to speak. Also within and towards myself, though. Not many people like to hang out with me for that reason. Its true. My Birthday party two years ago, not even one person showed up. Not one single person came to my party. I had invited twelve. They all cancelled one after the other. “Here, have a taste of me, blood, sweat and tears.” I am really praying for this one person who just likes me the way I am. Someone who just hangs with me because they want to. Some people have called me an outsider, someone who just does not fit in. At my church, a girl in all earnest y asked me why I am still around. Supposedly someone like me should know all by herself that she does not belong. Another girl comforted me that now the time has come for God to use misfits like me. Stories like this abound. One man suggested I am weird like my husband. At the ice cream parlour where you can find “Blood, sweat and tears”, you would only find one customer. Actually, two. My wonderful husband who is also my dearest friend besides being a magnificent lover. And the Lover of my soul. If you know my blog, you should know by now who that is. It’s not all as bad as it seems, I guess.

da hood


Builders and Ghosts

Ghosts? Have you seen one? Are they not precisely  made of that which one can not see? A spirit from another realm. Invisible? Ghosts are what little kids are afraid of, but once we grow up, we know they are not real, or are they? The biggest world religion has a ghost slap bang in the middle of it. Only, it is a holy one. How do you know its holy or unholy? Who are what is the holy ghost? Some prefer calling it him. Or Him. So, Holy Ghost instead of holy ghost. It’s actually His name, “Oh, hello there, Mr. Ghost”, “Oh, please, you can just call me Holy”, is that a conversation to be had with Mr.Ghost? Can’t believe I am elaborating this, here. Can’t imagine anyone in their right mind is taking any interest in such a niche subject whatsoever. Background info: The trinity, something at the heart of my faith, is something distinct yet separate. Mr. Ghost is kinda one with the Nazarene. Three in one. Kind of. But really, who can make sense of such a concept? It sounds absolutely mad. Three but one? Nowhere else do we encounter such a thing. In a way. When studying something called Mereology at University, I encountered interesting results. Mereology is concerned with how pars relate to whole entities, in a mathematical-theoretical manner. Basically, they don’t. There is always a rest-oddity. Maybe Mr.Ghost? For any basic theory dealing with the part-whole relationship, this is a difficulty to be dealt with. Some mystery sneaks in. When studying this for about a year at university, the idea of three being essentially one did not sound so weird any more.

In Physics, we have something not exactly similar, but we have a gap between two substantial theories. One dealing with with big physical objects which are governed by the theory of gravitation found in general relativity. But then there is physicality found within those physical objects which one can find to be expressed well in quantum mechanics. Now, those two theories do not correlate. Yes, Siree, they do not follow the same calculations. They are not in accordance with one another, but at odds. Still, we wouldn’t draw the conclusion that therefore, the real world surrounding us is fake, not real, false, just because we cant entirely make sense of reality via those theories available to us. We are far from having found the one unifying theory of everything, yet we go along with it, accepting this tension. in matters of faith, one often finds such a benevolent advance to be lacking. Two concepts, like death and life being united in one being, Jesus Christ for instance, that is ridiculous. Well, maybe we just do not have the means to understand it all yet.

Of course, I can understand how someone is finding matters of faith being at odds with how life really works. People don’t come back to life once they are dead. People generally swim in water and don’t walk on it. People don’t generally order water to then turn it into wine at a restaurant. Would save a lot of money, that’s for sure. It looks as though you are either in or out. Either in faith or out. If you are in, please leave your brain by the door. Brain dead people only. Well, here is something true: I find it most hard to believe in the existence of hell. Yep, I am in faith, so to speak, yet there are some things that I just cant wrap my head around. Mr.Ghost is one of those things.. I know, He is the Helper, the Counsellor, Comforter. As of late, I do pray to Him. Daily.

Gosh, this is such a specialist post. I wish I could make things more tangible for people outside the faith to make it, you know, real. It just bugs me how faith often is portrayed as most irrelevant, filled with things strange and pointless and invented. I don’t want to step on any toes here, but really, the whole stance on abortion the community of faith is now known for, it seems just so, what can I say, irresponsible and ignorant. Having one is just one factor of so much what is wrong with the world. People being afraid of commitments, girls fearing to be bad mums, girls dreading being left by their partners. Then of course the whole issue with sex for cash. Those participating in this business are usually the bottom of the pile. It is seldom out of choice, even though often portrayed like that. Some ninety percent of girls have been sexually abused. I have the joy of having met some, and, really, its messy. To now hark in on those seems to me to be so unnecessary. Demonizing the weakest link? Bugs me!

Wearing table cloths is another thing. What’s with that obsession with tradition? Traditions had to be invented at some point. Why can’t they be broken? I mean, we gather to eat His body… Outrageous to anyone not dulled by the whole circus. Christ spoke of eating Him. Gosh, I wonder when it happened that an outrageous message became all about being nice and quiet? Love your enemy? Crazy! Bless those who persecute you? Insanity. And the Nazarene was not irrelevant, instead He truly spoke the language of the people. He spoke in ways people could relate to. Today He may be hanging out on Sunset Blvd. Talking about cars, mobile phones and tv shows and some such things. He may be hanging with His Homies by the mall, outside the Cinema. Maybe He’d be wearing baggy pants. Drinking a big gulp. His dad may be a cab driver. Or a cable guy. He Himself may be a builder! A frikking builder! Imagine working on a building site and being Jesus!…I mean, builders are not known for being the most polite , refined and well behaved guys. They whistle at girls, turn their heads for every skirt that walks past, are drunk in the morning before noon, are sweaty and sticky by noon, and dirty all day long. That’s the crowd Jesus hung with.

Sometimes, when I look at a builder on his way home on the tube, he looks away as though being ashamed of himself for being, you know, just a builder. Well, the Man I consider to be worthy of my time and life, He was nothing better than a simple man, a kind of builder. My true passion?  This Builder dude from far away. There is so much I still don’t even remotely get. Like the Holy Ghost who was sent by this Builder. Sounds spooky still to me, but that doesn’t make it false or untrue. If I could just get one person to give this Man some consideration, for some bizarre reason, that would make all this shit here, this world with it’s trials and tribulations, worth while.