Do you know where I found God? In a Prison Cell

I can hear you yawning from here. Not another Prison Cell Story. The thing is, there is nowhere you can go in a Prison Cell.

It is only you, 4 walls and a window with bars.

You could turn the radio up really loud but that only lasts for so long. 

[This is a guest post from David Williams. Thanks David]

You can’t drown out the voice of God forever.

My goodness, I tried, as those who are in the throes of addiction are trying to drown her out.

I was 38 years of age when God grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and threw me in a prison cell in the Capital of the Netherlands.

This was in 2005.

He threw me in there, to keep me safe and to save my soul.

Prison bargaining with God

It was in this cell, that I negotiated with God, I bargained with him. I remember the conversation so well.

I was pacing up and down the cell like a caged bear and I was getting desperate thinking about my elderly parents. It was in that Cell that I finally gave up the struggle to try and control life. I gave my power to God.

I said,

“If you look after my parents and keep them safe, then I will work for you after I am released”.

Fourteen years on I am delighted to say that my parents are still alive and at the moment that my working for God is caring for them.  

“Bring my soul out of prison, So that I may give thanks to Your name;
The righteous will surround me,
For You will deal bountifully with me.” Psalm 142:7

I am thinking about what my work for God will entail when I no longer have caring duties to undertake.

I wonder whether I will return to the world of denial.

It is very easy to think that we are in that world continuously if we watch the 24hour rolling news.

Only occasionally will you come across people that remind you of your contracts and your spiritual discipline and one of the few I have come across is Barry Pearman and Turning the Page.

Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them,
and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves
also are in the body. Hebrews 13:3

 

naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me;
I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Matthew 25:36

God came and visited me

God, the higher power, faith, hope, an other, whatever you want to call him or her came and visited me in prison and clothed me with a spiritual yearning and curiosity.

Perhaps because I was and am unable to accept what happened to me as just one of those things, something arbitrary.

Barry’s Blog Posts empower me and my mental illness
to find recovery and hope.

My Mental Illness

My mental illness has been with me since the age of 13. I am 52 now.

At 13 I began having intrusive thoughts that would be quite debilitating. As a teenager, you tend to believe everything that is told to you, even if it is your own mind talking.

It is only as an adult that we learn to be more skeptical, more cautious and more discerning.

By the time I was 38 after a two week break down in a Mental Hospital when I was 21, my brain literally fused and I suffered, endured, enjoyed a ‘Drug-Induced Psychosis’.

Cannabis was the gateway drug to a better spiritual understanding of myself but that only happened months and years after I stopped using it.

When you are in the moment, using and abusing substances to alleviate the pain, it is very difficult to understand what is going on.

You are actually making yourself more unconscious in the fugue of dope smoke even though you think that you are the most enlightened being on earth at that moment.

The diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder and possibly Bipolar Disorder went with me on my discharge papers from the Prison Psychiatric team.

Out of the two diagnoses I have decided to hide behind the Manic Depression although it has been years since I swung from high to low mood.

And Now

Much of my time is now spent in avoiding things that I think will trigger me, like busy and crowded places and situations where I am put on the spot.

I am still mentally Ill because I use avoidance techniques to get by.

I have calculated that I suffer a Nervous Breakdown approximately every 18 years so my next one is predicted for when I’m 56.

Perhaps I’ll write an update for Turning the Page and for Barry when I get there.

Questions to think about

  1. Do you think that Prison works?
  2. Are there similarities between the mind and Prison?
  3. Why do people in mental and emotional distress end up incarcerated?

Thank you for reading and good luck to you in what you do.    

David Williams is a full time carer for his elderly parents in Cymru/Wales. David Williams

His interests are Theatre, Writing and Film.

Follow David on Twitter at @davidredbutton 

Would you like to Guest Post on Turning the Page? Find out how here.

Image cc: Ye Jinghan