30 January 2013
So I am now a couple of weeks into my tweaked working pattern. In that time I have worked some seriously long days (longest was about 14 hours, don't tell anyone ;-) )and have achieved loads. I have found myself able to sit down and read sizable chunks of real theology - something I have not been about to do since chemo addled my brain almost two and a half years ago. I have had the kind of energy I used to take for granted (albeit with kn*ckered joints to limit my endeavours somewhat). And, importantly, I have started to find sermons 'flowing' rather than being wrung out of me. Sermon prep has finally stopped feeling like wading through treacle, and twice in as many weeks I have sat down and written what I think to be a half decent draft at the first attempt.
Is this, then, me emerging finally from chemo-brain, or is it more that I have found a pattern that works with my strengths? Who can tell. My memory is still not what it was, but I do find that I am starting to retain more 'new' information and I have less 'holes' in my mind that I did... or at least I think I do. Some of that has to be down to better coping strategies, because I still totally forget about things unless I write them down.
Perhaps then, it is because I have, finally, just about recovered my full energy levels? I have felt like I was at 90-95% for a long time, but never quite been able to recover that last bit, the bit that gives a spark. Could it be that re-ordering my days has done that for me?
Long term drug side effects continue, I have no doubt of that: there are times everyday when I feel generally bleurgh for a few minutes. The low grade exhaustion of almost ten years in ordained ministry has its inevitable impact, and I know all too well that I need space for spiritual refreshment. For all that, I do feel as if I've finally climbed out of the treacle I've been wading through the past few months, and begun to walk freely again.
I just hope it lasts! And I hope it has a positive impact on my ministry.