growinghumans


Here is my scary story.
November 29, 2014, 7:41 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

People, people like you people, are always telling me how brave I am for sharing my stories; my stories of struggle, of failure, of fear, of joy.

I am not brave. I am broken.

And those aren’t even the worst and scariest stories.

This one is. 

Two years ago, I was unmedicated. I was beyond depressed. I was no longer responding to the life around me.

This built up over a period of months and resulted, I am told, in a morning where my husband was asking me questions and I would not even respond. I was starring off into space like I was in some sort of trance. I wasn’t hysterical, I wasn’t crying, I wasn’t violent or trying to kill myself.

But I was gone.

My husband scooped me up and drove me to the nearest emergency room. They sent us to the state run mental facility for a full psychiatric evaluation.

I do not remember the moments leading up to this building. I don’t remember even going into this building. Here is what I do remember:

After I was checked in, they took my husband from me. I went behind several locked doors and he was not allowed to come with me. I was escorted by two nurses who did not say anything to me, except “sit here and wait”.

I sat in a waiting room just for women. There was a tv on in the corner playing the summer Olympics. Volleyball. USA won, because of course we did.

I was alone for the first two hours of waiting. There was a nurse at the entrance of the room who made sure I didn’t leave and sometimes other people would come in and ask me questions; mostly were questions about my daughter–if I had ever put her in harm. I was disgusted by these people. I wanted to see my husband.

At about hour three another girl came in. She had tried to kill herself, I think. She was hitting the walls. I moved closer to the tv. We don’t have cable and being able to watch the Olympics was a real treat.

In the other waiting room next to mine, were the men. I could hear them, they were loud. I saw one inmate be escorted in with chains and shackles; cops everywhere.

I waited four hours in that waiting room, without my husband with that girl and that tv and in those four hours I felt crazier than I had ever felt before in my life.

But I also felt like I was being a giant inconvenience. I felt like I was in a building that they were supposed to deal with people like me and they didn’t. They didn’t deal with me at all.

I was finally seen by a Dr that was wearing jeans and sneakers and he spoke to me for about 23 minutes. He said I sounded bipolar, not just depressed. He wanted to admit me to the hospital; the psychiatric hospital. He wanted to medicate me and observe me for a week. His words sounded like gold and so I agreed. I signed nothing, but I agreed.

We walked out of the exam room to sign the papers and my husband was standing there, crying.

“What have you done?” he asked me. “Don’t you understand what this means?”

I didn’t. All I knew is that I wanted to go somewhere and sleep for a very long time and this sounded like an ok option. The consequences were not something I was able to process.

Suddenly I didn’t know what I wanted. I didn’t want to be taken from my child, my husband, my family. I didn’t want to be in a place like that waiting room for a week. I didn’t want to go. 

I had an anxiety attack in the middle of the hallway, in front of the desk where the admittance papers lay.

Everyone looked at me like I was an alien; like I was a terrible person and how dare I not know what I wanted at a moment like this.

They looked at me like, “this is exactly why we kept your husband from you for five hours….because he knows you and knows what you need and we can’t have that in here”.

My husband scooped me up off the floor and told them I would not be going across the street to Holly Hill Psychiatric Hospital.

And we left.

I think we went to Wendy’s after, because I was starving.

I was still depressed, for years, even. But I knew that THAT was not the answer. Being treated like there is something wrong with you instead of being treated like a person who needs all this help is nothing I am interested in.

I do not talk about my experience often, not because I am embarrassed by it, but because I am terrified that it happened. Places like that office are what is wrong with this country. People need help and it takes an awful lot of courage or desperation to ask for it at a time like that.

I needed help.

I did not get help.

My psychiatrist has never EVER once made me feel like a nuisance. She looks me in the eye, she doesn’t make me wait, and she gives me medication that makes me feel less out of control. If that medication doesn’t work, she gives me new ones. If I want to stop all of my medication, she tells me how to do so, safely.

She helps me.

I guess what I am saying is that if you need help, GET THE RIGHT HELP.

Go to one person. Get a personal reference from someone, if you know someone you trust.

The mental health situation in this country is appalling and I am ashamed that I had to witness it. I am ashamed that I was pushed deeper into my psychotic episode because of the way I was treated.

If I wasn’t surrounded by people who wanted the absolute best for me, that alone would have shut me down. I would have stopped looking for help. I understand why people see that, and stop. I understand why people see that and give up on life.

Don’t give up on life. There are other options out there that will NOT MAKE YOU FEEL CRAZY.

I promise. 

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On being bigger than your body
November 24, 2014, 12:25 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I was just sitting on my couch, crying.

My Tiny Human turns 4 years old tomorrow and her birthday party was today.

When I was younger; before I was married or moved away from my home, I dreamed of what I would do with my soul. I always would imagine myself moving across the sea to a country that needed help; I would help raise baby apes, I would be the people on those YouTube videos hugging grateful lions. That is the kind of life I always imagined for myself as a child. I imagined a large life with a large expanse and a large feeling of constant validation.

Instead, I am normal.

I moved just far enough from my home to still see my family when I need them.

I went to college.

I married.

I bought a house.

I had a child.

My life is unremarkable on a broad expanse; my marriage has issues like everyone’s, my dining room table is always cluttered, I hardly know what to do with my child half of the time.

I find myself menial. I find myself floundering against the tide that I thought I would be surfing along as a 30 year old.

I have written no books. I have no advanced degrees. People across the world are no different because I exist.

But, today, at my child’s birthday party, I was a good mother.

I felt it, deep in my soul. I was told it. People told me I was doing a great job.

I believed them. 

And something in my soul stirred.

Trying to be a good mother and legitimately believing you are one are completely different things and often times we fake our way through the feeling and believing part because it doesn’t really matter.

It does matter. 

I am here to tell all of you mothers that.

Feeling like you are a good mother, even if just for one night is worth the years and years of effort and emotional turmoil.

My physical, exterior life may not be expansive; to the world I may only be one person.

But to my daughter, to my Tiny Human, I am the world.

And that is the most expansive feeling I have felt in maybe my whole life.

Be expansive.

Let your heart expand.

You are a good mother. 



Why I hate the middle of November:
November 16, 2014, 11:14 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

To be fair, this will be nothing new for any mother, ever, in the history of life.

My Tiny Human was born the week of Thanksgiving, so around this time each year, things get a little bit crazy.

WHAT DOES SHE NEED.

WHAT DOES SHE WANT.

WHAT DO YOU WANT HER TO HAVE.

I SAW THIS DOES SHE NEED THIS HOW ABOUT 12 OF THEM.

wash. rinse. repeat three weeks later for Christmas.

Which is fine because people love my Tiny Human and she loves them and it’s a beautiful thing I AM SURE.

But guys.

There are only so many meaningful and well thought out gifts floating around in the universe for a 4 year old girl. Like, 5 to be exact. And those gifts gets snatched up by grandparents and aunts and uncles and godparents. Which leaves the parents of the Tiny Human in DANGEROUS TERRITORY.

You know what I’m talking about.

We all do.

Princess Crap.

GUYS I AM SO TIRED OF PRINCESS CRAP.

I AM DROWNING IN PRINCESS CRAP.

I AM LITERALLY TYPING THIS ENTRY IN A STORAGE ROOM FULL OF PRINCESS CRAP.

I sometimes ask myself, where did I go wrong? I had so many good intentions when I first had this little girl. She will be gender blind! She will love blue! And trucks! And the Red Sox! She will be wielding a Playstation controller by age 5!

And yet, here we are. And I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong. I think there’s something biologically wired into these little girls that makes them go absolutely crack-addict crazy over princess crap.

And, guys, I AM SO SICK OF FROZEN MERCHANDISE I COULD CRY.

But, none of this matters. When she is opening gifts on her birthday or on Christmas she is only going to recognize that someone thinks she is special enough to get some stuff.

She will not care how carefully selected the gift was. She will not care how much it was or what store it came from.

She will only care about that feeling of awe and surprise.

I need to remember that. I need to focus on that.

I need to

let 

it

go.

I need a drink.

Happy birthday, Tiny Human.



Fall
November 2, 2014, 2:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I am hanging on.

I have felt like I was hanging on by just a thread for what has felt like weeks and weeks but everyday I become a little bit more fragile; a little bit more delicate.

I feel thin. I feel changed.

A cold, crisp breeze hits me in just the right way.

I detach.

For a moment, or longer, I feel terrified. I feel lost and blind and confused.

Then, something magical happens.

I float.

Breeze upon breeze find my tiny, thin body and twirl me between them.

I dance.

There are others with me now. Some look like me, like they have come from the same place as me; but, some look different. We all dance upon the cool winds of change. We can all feel the invigorating dance that life is allowing us to participate in.

We are carried.

We are carried to places we didn’t know existed; that we didn’t know we wanted to see.

All the while, we are spinning around one another, collecting more and more companions as we are carried. We are a multitude now.

What we don’t realize is that while we are dancing and twirling and traveling, we are also falling.

We are floating ever-so-slowing down to the earth.

The impact does not hurt, nor does it even surprise us. It is just that, suddenly, we have stopped moving. There is mass under our tired backs. We look up and see the sky, turning different shades of grey with clouds traveling quickly by.

We miss the dance. We miss the feeling of the constant movement that we had absolutely no control over. We miss the friends we made on the way, even as they lay next to us on the ground.

We do not, not once, miss where we came from. We do not miss hanging onto something that doesn’t move, waiting to be released. We will never miss that.

The sky fades from sight as more pile upon us. We sigh as each one falls to the ground.

We rest.