Why I am schizophrenic

OK…I’m not actually schizophrenic in the classic mental illness form.  I don’t lose touch with reality.  But I think I am metaphorically.  I lose touch with what is true and right and real.  And I don’t just drift away.  It’s a direct switch, as if I have come to a fork in a railroad track.  I can take one or the other, both leading to radically different places.  Here how it happens to me.

I have lived so much of my life “on stage.”  In my early years it was playing the piano for others, in my early adult years it was being a pastor, in my later years it was being a teacher.  The cycle begins with a familiar anxiety and a pressure to come through for my audience.  Then it’s time to perform for the crowd where I hope to get  the validation I need.  Finally I am off stage and can let down until the next time (or next day) when the anxiety  builds again.  In this system, failure is just not an option.  That would be emotional suicide.  You can imagine the pressure I lived under for years.

Recently I had this huge insight.  As long as I live in this anxiety and pressure, I can’t do the one thing I am asked to do by the Lord.  The one thing I long to do at times.  I can’t love others.  I can’t perform and love.  I can’t be anxious about myself and love.  I can’t demand validation and love.  It’s like a fork in a railroad track.  It’s one rail or the other.  My heart can’t go down both.

And then the Lord showed up one morning in the middle of my struggle here, and this is what he whispered: “Do everything out of love.”   It wasn’t a condemnation.  It wasn’t a demand.  It was an invitation.  An invitation into joy.

This is the way out of my schizophrenia.  It is to stay at home in the Father’s love for me and live out of that.  It is to choose the fork in the railroad track that leads me here.  It is to refuse to go down the old track of anxiety and performance.  Tomorrow, I get up and choose again.  The fork awaits.

I’ll let you know in the next post how it goes!

About Coach D

I have been a teacher and a coach for many years. My real name is Bill Delvaux, but my students call me Coach D, hence the user name. This blog is about the journey into the unknown I am walking and the landmarks I am navigating along the way. The destination: becoming who I really am as a man. I invite you to join me by reading along every Monday and Thursday.
This entry was posted in Heart, Landmarks, Walking with God and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Why I am schizophrenic

  1. Chris Tietz says:

    Good thoughts! A good friend once taught me that “if satan can’t make a good man bad, he will just make him busy…because if he’s too busy, he’s ineffective”. I think that applies to you message as well

    • Coach D says:

      Great to hear from you after all these years! I think that busyness has been enemy #1 for me, just chewing through work just to get through it. This has been my substitute for walking with God. But all of that is being beautifully dismantled.

  2. Jicki Carter says:

    Amen and amen! I’m reminded of Cosette’s line in the movie, Les Miserables: ” I live in his love.” O that we would be so filled with that heart-knowledge of the Father’s love for us, reminded over and over again throughout the day, each day…taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and His word, which so richly proclaims His infinite love for us.

    • Coach D says:

      Thank you for this comment. So much of the way forward for me and for all of us is simply refusing to go down the old railroad tracks and choosing to remain in the Father’s love.

  3. Trey says:

    I can’t perform and love either, I think there is a choice in there! I think this dovetails nicely with Scott’s sermon that touched on how we are tempted toward fame and money when all we need is to abide in Christ’s love. Maybe that is why it is so important for therapists to be real and genuine in their work, because otherwise it is a performance and that has such limited utility.

    Good things to think on for me, thanks brother! Keep it real. 8)


    • Coach D says:

      You are so right, Trey. There is a choice there, one that I need to make every day, every moment. I will try my best to keep it real. I am learning that that is often what helps others the most!

  4. Mark Nester says:

    WOW! How timely this is. I was actually thinking of emailing you yesterday. Our family is in Virginia this week visiting family and some of my old stages that I performed on years ago. I found myself in the old anxieties as we attended church yesterday where I used to serve. Thanks again for sharing your life and being able to put words to these things.

    • Coach D says:

      I know that returning to old haunts can be so difficult as we change. We are not the men we used to be, thankfully, but old associations can beckon and push at us insistently. I hope that you are able to let the walls down and just be in the Father’s presence as you stay in Virginia this week.

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