Catharsis. Places in my mind I can’t seem to go otherwise. The entire cycle of numbing, dropping into a state of being a redneck who doesn’t care about cerebral things, then waking up jittery and hot and horny, then aching through the morning — if I’m lucky, I drank on a Friday or Saturday, and I can nap it off. Or, I go home for lunch. I feel like a sick dog of doom, all miserable and contrite and certain I’m going to hell.

Then, by the evening, I feel cleansed and ready to try it again.

It isn’t right, and I should stop.

There are pieces of me and pieces of life that just don’t seem to add up or fit correctly, and nothing I’ve ever done has quite gotten them smoothed down or converted or deleted so that everything grooves and functions nicely.

I recognize the absurdity of some of my out-of-control thought processes once I’ve allowed reality to kick me around for a while. I always return to Jesus. I wish I could stay with Jesus.

I hate sinning. I hate the temptations of lust and alcohol. I hate it when I lose my temper.

Being a good Christian can be pretty boring if there is nothing informing this path other than more books about being a good Christian. It can be downright miserable on those Sundays where everyone at church seems to be scowling at me or merely patronizing me with a smirky kind of look when we pass the peace.

I start to let everything about my life that hasn’t gone right get the better of me. And, there is a lot to choose from.

I stopped writing

I stopped writing. A piece of me was becoming too attached to my writing. My writing became my idol. The idea of me obtaining fame through my writing, even if only after death, was with me every time I wrote. And as that piece of me grew in importance, other pieces of me atrophied.

Some pieces of me I tried to kill a long time ago, because I quickly realized I would never get to do or be those things. However, they persist. They live on.

Mostly, these fall in the area of being a physical man, out in the natural world, doing masculine things like killing animals, camping, being on a boat, etc. The wandering spirit that I let others crush.

When I get closer and closer to God, immersing myself in the teachings of religous people, I think I become attached to the idea of being a religous person. I think I start to make the corpus of religous writing and history of the church my idol.

When I look at topical news feeds, I quickly see that what the world has done is set up as many opportunities as it possibly can to make an activity, object, person, people, movement, idea, etc. the idol or idols of others.

The moment I am idolizing something is a moment I have this sense of immense satisfaction, that I am immersing myself in a cozy little nest of knowledge and activity to help me escape from the problems that press upon me from the everyday–the concerns and sins that press upon my very soul.

I don’t refrain from immersing myself into studying that thing. Perhaps there is a smarter way to go about becoming a subject matter expert in a field without letting something become your idol, your obsession. I don’t know what that is. I guess that’s why I never succeeded in specializing in anything. The Lord always catches me before I completely make that thing my god at the expense of cutting myself off completely from Him.

Then there is the issue of having feelings for someone now that I’m married. If I fight this, I seem to create an unnecessary tension between me and this person. And, since I am her boss, I create an environment of uncertainty and confusion for her. But, if I don’t fight it, I feel like I am letting in little pieces of the start of something that would be completely inappropriate and unhealthy for both my family and my soul.

I don’t know how men deal with these things, because I’ve never had to deal with them before. In some ways, I feel now more sexually alive than when I was 18. I feel weird even writing it. It’s not like I want to do anything awful and sinful, it’s just that sometimes feelings I can’t seem to control do come over me.

Also, I want to live my life as a man. I hate that feeling when I have been sitting around the house too long, and the in-laws come and visit, and everything is so domesticated and female, and I feel like a tubby, castrated eunuch, put on earth simply to fire off a sperm….