I've just got back from seeing James. He is back in side St Clements - a secure psychiatric unit. I've been to see James before in this unit (here). James rocks back and forward as he tells me the tale of a knife and six police officers, his memory of saturday night seems blurred.
As he tells me stories of over dose, stories of being rejected by his mother, stories of being in care and running away to London, I'm acutely concious of another members of the ward. Up one side of the corridor and back - same pattern as last time but different person. I try not watch as he eats his way through a jar of chocolate drinking powder, I try not notice as he coughs clouds of cocoa into the air, I try not notice the deep glottal 'urgh' everytime he passes me. I try not to watch the 50-60 year old pirouetting like a 5 year old on a mission to get dizzy. I try not to watch a young girl screaming I feel suicidal I need a nurse... "Don't we all" James mutters.
"The problem is..." James starts "no-one really knows what it is like...no-one!"
I figure 80% of the time in ministry you feel, pretty much inadequate. 20% of the time you are fooling no-one but yourself!