ANOTHER SLEEPLESS NIGHT, and once again, I found myself literally walking on my knees on the concrete of my driveway. Looking up at the sky, I wondered how long I would have to endure the pain of my life. At that time, I rarely slept more than an hour a night. Maybe I would nod off sometime during the day, but the sleeplessness was relentless. And then, some months later, I found that I couldn't eat, drink, or get out of bed for days at a time, I was just constantly uneasy and in misery.
I could list all the ailments that were bothering me—but I'll just say that at one time I actually did write down 24 problems—physical challenges and emotional upheavals—I was going through. On a good day, only two or three problems would plague me, but on a bad day, there were four or five things I'd be dealing with. Through all of this I really did know, deep down, because of my study of Christian Science, that God could heal me of this severe depressive state. I finally went to several physicians trying to get relief, and I was diagnosed as being clinically depressed. I took medication, but it didn't help. I eventually threw all of the medicine in the trash can. The only thing that ever made me feel better was to be around my upbeat spiritually thinking friends, my Christian Science friends who wouldn't give up on me, no matter what. Somehow I would get myself to church, and once there, I didn't want to leave because of my fear of being alone. During this time, which covered about 16 months, various church members took me in, cared for me, prayed with me, visited me, brought me food, comforted me, took me on trips with them. They always knew who the real Alvin was, and they didn't buy this picture before them.
A slide into unrelenting anguish and pain completely reverses, bringing joy and freedom with the dawn.