What should I do?
– I have been at a monastery for 9 years. Monasticism has been life filled with the highest purpose for me. I was tonsured as a nun only two years ago. Half a year ago my parents were taken ill with covid and both of them had to have critical care at an emergency department. I took this very hard and prayed hard, and the Lord kept them alive. Right after my mom got better at the emergency, I fell gravely ill. The illness has had a grave impact on my nervous system, and I began to fear everything.
At first I tried to be strong and said to myself: it’s ok, the Lord is with me. But then new troubles appeared, and my hope started disappearing. I began hesitating about faith, having demonic fear and panic attacks. During my illness at the hospital, I almost did not sleep and prayed a lot for everyone who was sick with covid (though it is bad that I had not taken a blessing for that). I also said in the heat of the moment that it would have been better if I had fallen ill instead of my mother. When our shchemanun, who had poor health, fell ill, I was accused of infecting her. And I, in agitation, said to her, “Let me have this condition instead of you.”
In the end, I overstrained myself through my unreasonable zeal and I cannot come out of depression for 4 months stillalready. The most frightening thing is that I feel bad at church. It seems that everything is pushing on me at the monastery. I try to receive the Eucharist more often, but I feel worse from it and I am oppressed by the monotony of prayers at church. I cannot imagine myself without a monastery, but I feel some spiritual damage inside. What should I do? Please, give me a piece of advice.
– This is not the only case when people have such consequences after covid. I think you need to have a vacation in order to recover psychologically. It is a necessary step after the hospital. If you will simply fight against all this, you will overstrain and break yourself. Come to visit us, if they will let you at your monastery.
Archpriest Sergiy Baranov