August 12, 2012

Some days I find myself craving waffles and then suddenly, there I am– lying in my room at Holy Spirit hospital, counting the large waffle shape ceiling squares that offer no comfort and no answers. There was a lot of time to count them and unfortunately I didn’t keep tabs…

…but I’m pretty sure someone’s laying there right now gazing up at them.  

I frequented inpatient upstairs on three separate occasions, one other time at Phil-Haven and I spent two ‘tour of duties’ at the outpatient program here at Holy Spirit with vastly different results. I wasn’t prepared for the first trip through the program, and I believe this is the key- you simply can’t go through the motions. My second journey was completed after one of the worst years of my life; and it was pivotal in my recovery and with the success I’m experiencing now. I needed outpatient, and it made a huge difference.

Life is constant evolution, but only if you accept this rite of passage.

Living doesn’t rely on objectivity. Life is either happening all around you or you are watching from the slits between your closed blinds– the spare daylight; an enclave reminding you that isolation is reality.

Recently, I crossed paths with an old friend, someone who I hadn’t seen in a while but I appreciated a few moments of catching up. Thankfully he never asked what I had been up to, because honestly- how could I spin it in a way that didn’t set me back: small talk and trivial flashbacks. The moment where no one knows but everyone knew that it could reflect their own tragic steps, so we just smile politely and go back to our day; without ever really looking back.

Mental illness isn’t a splinter that gives you an initial prick, slowly purging itself out of your body. It’ll hang around for a while- but it certainly doesn’t own you. Most mental illness lies dormant with medication and practical living and this is where we want it; a slumbering animal hibernating where darkness and oblivion offer escape.

Yeah, I might have an ‘episode’, get depressed or even have an anxiety attack, but I’m not living in fear anymore. So, in a sense, I’m “living” for the first time in a long time.

 Never forget you were a person before you were a diagnosis.