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.