GROWING UP WASN'T ALWAYS STRAIGHTFORWARD. I'd been ill for several years through my late teens and early twenties—first with a toxic parasitical illness, and then with clinical depression. I was left debilitated and somewhat emaciated. (I would be diagnosed later as suffering from malnutrition.) Added to this, my doctor then prescribed tranquilizers. After a fortnight of these, I was walking along a corridor when it suddenly felt as though I had been mentally mugged, as though "the lights had gone out." Thus began a long and dark journey, trying to find a way out, to find health and some sort of normality.
Because I was no longer functioning at university in France, I called a favorite aunt, who lived in Wales. She literally took me in off the street—I went there and stayed for the next two years or so. Neither she nor her husband, a medical doctor, were self-pronounced Christians. In fact, he was agnostic. But what Christly compassion! They nursed and cared for me over several years, while I received specialized medical treatment. I don't think I would have made it without this tender and constant succor. There were long periods when it was a day-to-day battle just to hold on. Even the simplest tasks, like taking a short bus ride, were a major challenge. A popular Moody Blues lyric at the time said, "I'm looking for a miracle in my life." Well, I was really looking for one.
As it turned out, that miracle came in the form of my father. Daddy and I had always shared an exceptionally close relationship. He had many fine qualities: a strong intellect, integrity, humor, love of humanity and nature, a spontaneous spiritual sense. We would often seek refuge in a local pub from the sometimes difficult times at home. I didn't like to add to his burdens, but after years of suffering, I admitted to him that I didn't know what else to do. That's when he said, "If medicine can't heal you, Christian Science will!"