I’m only allowed the one draft on this. I can edit here on the back end of WordPress, but that’s it. No printing it out. No going over it 200 times. No red pen. Just the first and only draft.

Do you have any idea how vulnerable that makes me?

I have an intuitive sense that this is the way I need to write this. And when writing I try always always always to follow my intuition. It’s the key to my unconscious, which is the source of creativity. So okay. Here it is:

I don’t seem to be recovering from having been a minister for 20 years. It was 30 years if you consider the 10 years of education leading up to it. I left. I thought I’d find my place in the world. I felt odd but thought that would go away. But it’s not going away.

The main symptom is a continued withdrawal from people. I don’t want to be around crowds. I don’t really want to interact much. I still love to interact online with the 50 or so people who read me. The readers feel like my friends. I’ve tried being in churches and failed. I have no church now. I seem to have a fear of anyone needing me that is beginning to be a little unhealthy. There are four women in this world whom I adore and who I love to be with. My wife and the three sisters. Being with others is work for me. I can do it. Man, can I do it. I’m very gregarious and outgoing when I need to be. You’d have no idea it was work.

But doing that feels like waking up the preacher. And I don’t want to wake him up. He ruled my life for all those years and I’ve locked him in the cellar. Bringing him out frightens me. So I mostly don’t. Mostly I keep reaching for solitude like an alcoholic reaching for a drink. One drink is okay. But drinking all day long is a problem.

And now my withdrawal is worrying me. I thought I’d bounce back but I just seem to be going deeper into it. And it’s starting to manifest itself in a fear of being physically touched. I don’t want people touching me. If they try I can bring out the preacher for a moment, hug them, then stuff him back down. But I feel the aversion and it frightens me.

Can you imagine how invested I was in Christianity, the Church, and my calling that it is doing this to me? And I’m beginning to think I’m not going to find a way through this alone.

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