“Your brain is broken,” said my neurologist. While concerned, I didn’t despair at his evaluation. In truth, I was somewhat relieved. For more than three months I had been suffering from continual lightheadedness, periodic headaches, and a bit of fatigue here and there. The road to the neurologist had crossed paths with several different medical professionals, but now I felt I had arrived at an answer that both corroborated my condition and the narrative that produced it. The diagnosis was essentially an anxiety-disorder where my brain keeps telling my body to stress even though I am not consciously stressed about anything in particular. It’s frustrating, demoralizing, and flat-out no fun.
It’s something I’ve been completely open about with the guys I lead alongside at CCCC. I’ve no need to hide it. I’m not Superman but a limited creature who struggles with the brokenness of sin. I couldn’t avoid my illness if I wanted to. My condition so debilitated me at times that they would encourage me to go home. Nothing like someone telling you, “Yancey, you look horrible! My goodness, go home and get to bed.” to reaffirm you’ve really got a problem. I appreciated their honesty and concern. It also motivated them to encourage me to take a leave of absence for my mental health.
So, beginning this last Monday on the kind recommendation of our elders, I am taking off 30 days from any and all responsibilities at CCCC (no email, no phone, no preaching, etc.) in the hopes the month-long respite will be catalytic for my continuing mental rehabilitation. Do I like this? Not really. I love what I do. I love who I work with. I love CCCC in general. Do I need this? Probably. Only time will tell. I’ve never taken off 30 days straight. It will likely drive me crazy but, after hearing counsel from friends who’ve suffered from stress-related issues and professionals who deal with them, this seems a prudent step to take. You should know, I find myself in better health than even a month ago. My symptoms, instead of being ever-present in some form or fashion, now come and go with decreasing frequency and intensity. Here’s to hoping (and praying) this little respite will speed up the recovery process.
I’m also going to be taking a respite from social media over the next thirty days. So, if you don’t hear from me, know that I’ll be trying to rest somewhere, thankful for my church, and seeking the grace of Christ in it all.