In my journal in October 2010, I wrote this line: “I think I’m a spiritual burn victim. I went through the fire and came out damaged and did not heal correctly.”
My journal is unclear as to what circumstance exactly prompted me to write this line down. I don’t think invented the phrase “spiritual burn victim”; a google search brought up five instances of those three words being used together in Christian circles. I do not know where I heard it from. But I do remember certain feelings I had when I wrote it, however.
I had gone through the year without being hospitalized inpatient, so I know I was feeling better than I had been in the past few years as far as my depression went. I had written earlier that I felt like a new medicine had a “miraculous” effect on my mood in that it helped me avoid hospitalization. But my emotions were still very sensitive and raw. I was experiencing nothing but rejection in my creative writing career when I had experienced nothing but success with my freelance writing.
I remember thinking the analogy was apt. Christians going through trials often speak of going “through fire”. I felt like whatever fire I had gone through, I was not able to heal before the next trial came along. And I felt that instead of developing healthy new spiritual skin after each trial, my soul was being covered in ugly scar tissue, making me less sensitive to other people’s pain and only aware of my own.