On Being Strong and Spiritual

This post may not come out right, but it’s there and here’s my blog.  Maybe magic will happen.

Let me first say, I am doing better.  I think the medication tweak has really helped.  I have a lot let anxiety, a lot less rage and a lot less darkness.  I realized today I had been battling a lot of things the last few months that had become just second nature.  They seem to be draining away.  I still get moments that are hard to breathe, but not like it has been.

Now, on to what my heart wants said today.

I had a friend recently have to go inpatient for care.  That is hard.  Really hard.  But that’s not the hardest part.  The hardest part is the expectations of those around you.  They seem to think the hospital is magical and you come out all better.  No more boo-boos.  If only.

Sometimes, on the inside, there have been no medication changes or help.  My first time on the inside?  They took me off all my meds, gave me nothing and sent me back into the world without even a psych referral or anyone to follow up with.  It was four days before I heard from the hospital.  Thankfully, in the meantime, my midwife had found me someone and I was beginning to get help…but I sure wasn’t okay and I definitely did not come out of the hospital strong and ready to take on the world.  I was broken, angry, lost and confused.  And humiliated.

Nowhere in my mind or body was I strong.

It was a disappointment to me and probably everyone around me.  I mean, I had left my 10 week old for nothing.  Absolutely nothing.

When I came out?  I hid.  I didn’t know what to tell people or how to act.  I mean, how do you act when you were taken forcibly from your midwifes’ office and transported by ambulance to inpatient care, stripped searched, lied to and belittled?

I  have no idea what my friends’ hospital experience was like.  We’re not close enough for me to ask.  But I see a lot of people telling her to be strong and that just rubs me wrong.

She didn’t get a magic pill to fix everything.  She may not have gotten much of anything.  If she did?  It’s probably just a road map of where to head from here, not even to her destination, just where to go from here.

Her job, is not to be strong and make everything look okay.  She doesn’t owe that to anyone.  The only thing she has to do is keep her eye on the road map.  And for right now,  that might not even include moving.  She might be sitting at a rest stop.  That’s her job.

It’s also not her job to be able to draw deep spiritual lessons from where she has been or where she is.  If she can, that’s great.  If she can’t, that is perfectly fine.  Paul tells us we are strongest in our weakness for a reason.  We’re not supposed to have all the right words and actions.  Sometimes, we just be.

And telling someone rest in God, God Bless You, or any other thousands of Christian platitudes, might now be that comforting.  I know my journey with mental health issues has also brought me to a spiritual crisis.  I think I’m slugging my way through it, but the process is slow and arduous.  And sometimes, I have to shelve that to get through the day-to-day of a mind telling me lies.  Sometimes, often, someone saying, “I’m sorry” or, if they do, “I know” means a lot more than God Bless You or rest in God.  I think He’s strong enough to not be threatened when He is left out of a Facebook comment or conversation from time to time.  For me, even the little God Bless You, adds a weight to my struggle, makes it harder to keep my head above water when the dark ocean swirls.

I’m not leaving God out, I just need to battle it out in my own way, in my  own time.  Even when I can’t take a God Bless You, I will always take prayers, but even that can be expressed just with a hug.

All this to say, mental health issues are not easy.  They are murky.  They are mean.  They make it hard to see what we know amongst the shattered pieces of what used to be.  Someone walking the dark road, needs love and support, without strings, without expectations.  If you know someone walking through hell, let them do it carefully and at their pace.  Love them without pressure or demands.

Just love them.

Survive til you Thrive!

12 Responses to On Being Strong and Spiritual

  1. Charity, this is so powerful. Never underestimate the power of your words and your advocacy. Love is all we need. xoxo

  2. Loved reading this post! I consider myself a very spiritual person. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hugs and love! Your post is spot on! Love it!!! Thank you for sharing!!! xo

  4. Amazing post! I have struggles with anxiety disorder for years and no one understands unless they have been through it. On the faith side, I have to say giving everything over to God does help!!

  5. Thank you for sharing. I am in a similiar stuggle as you and I appreciate your honesty.

  6. The hospital is just the first step in a long healing process. I know. I was in the hospital for a week and a half for depression more than ten years ago and it wasn’t really until a few years later that I felt I was fully recovered and the depression never would sneak up on me that badly anymore. I am finally free of the depression and I think my relationship with God has a huge part to do with that!

    • It does take a long time after the hospital to get your feet under. It has been a couple years since my last hospital stay. I wonder often if I will end up there again.

  7. This post speaks to me. I had a pretty intense battle with postpartum anxiety–I thought I might actually be losing my mind, and the battles I fought just to get someone to listen and to get treatment…well, that is probably an entire blog in and of itself. Thank you for sharing this post. I think that mental health is all too often swept under the rug, and people don’t know how to respond to it.

    • I’m sorry you had to fight so much for treatment. It took me a long time to get the right treatment, and even now that fluxes, but I had a good team with me along the way. Glad you fought and got help.

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