Choosing Your Reality

Big picture beliefs can be defined as one’s “fundamental sense of reality”. I love this definition. When I left the Army, my life began to fall apart. Mentally, I was not doing okay, and it was getting steadily worse. After getting put on common antidepressants, I went off the deep end and straight into the ocean of madness. My doctors began discussing bipolar disorder. And so, it was, manic-depressive, but that wasn’t all. PTSD and traumatic brain injury were wrapped around my manic-depressive like tentacles, making the symptoms inseparable from one another: I began another few years trying medications, which is a slow and torturous process, on both me and my family. I couldn’t take it. I wanted my wife to leave me; take the kids and get to safety. I wanted to take my own life. I was hallucinating, paranoid, irritable, and unstable, even while on sedative anti-psychotics. One day, during a therapy session, I told my doctor, “I don’t know what reality is anymore.” She replied, “Jason, every day we wake up we choose our reality.” Boom. I knew which reality I wanted: I wanted the one where my wife was, where my daughters were, where I was wanted and loved by a God that had tenderly, meticulously created me. That’s a long story to say this: big picture beliefs are what anchor us to the day. A person might believe that our world is a computer simulation, but at the end of the day, they wake up and must play the game. Faith in the reality that God reveals to me, via my five senses and beyond, is what keeps me moving forward these days. I believe that He is showing me the truth, through the same reality that Jesus Christ lived and died in. If it’s real enough for the incarnation of Jesus, and his continued presence in the Eucharist, then it’s real enough for me. “There are two ways of getting home; and one of them is to stay there.” – G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man.

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