Today it's been a year since I ended up in Emerge in the middle of a mental breakdown.
A year ago I was afraid to be around people and afraid to be alone.
A year ago I couldn't handle reading bad news stories.
A year ago I was afraid to go for walks alone.
A year ago I was afraid of turning on the lights at night in case someone would see me from outside and shoot me.
A year ago I was afraid of my own hands. I was afraid of myself and what I might be capable of.
A year ago I knew I had depression and anxiety, but I didn't realize how much they had affected my thinking and changed my behaviour. I didn't realize I could relax and spin around in circles in my own house without being a target in someone's gun scope. I didn't even realize that I was rigidly tensing up and walking in certain ways for fear of my life.
A year ago I felt (not thought, just felt) like if I wasn't a perfect wife and housekeeper all the time, my husband would hate me and want to separate.
That Sunday evening when I couldn't stop crying and I was so, so afraid, I felt the love of God so strongly. There in the ER He answered my prayer that "Please could there not be a long wait." When we arrived there were not many people in the waiting room. The nurses were so caring and compassionate. The meds they gave me made me feel so much better. In the nurses compassion and the effectiveness of the medication I recognized God's care for me. He hadn't left me in the dark terror of my head and heart.
Through the days that followed I continued to feel God's love in the support of my family. First when my husband didn't mind me waking him up in the middle of the night when I was too scared to be awake alone. Then when he took me to the ER and was so supportive. Then in the next few weeks as he worked his normal long hours and then came home and made supper or cleaned or did whatever needed to be done. Also when my mom came and visited and brought candles and books.
I felt God's care through the Christian counselor I saw. She listened to me and helped me see that some of my thoughts were ones I didn't need to listen to or believe. She helped me see the boundaries between myself and the rest of the world and between myself and my illness.
Today, I am doing so much better.
Today, I am on meds that help me to function.
Today, I know that I am not a threat to myself or the human race.
Today, I know that if I am feeling or thinking badly, I can get help.
Today, I know that bad days happen. I know that it is ok to not get everything done.
Today I know that I can walk down the street or curl up on our living room couch without being guaranteed to become a victim of crime.
Today I am learning to fully appreciate the good days, because I know a bad day is just around the corner, but I am not going to let it ruin the good days.
Today I remind myself that while life often seems hard and pointless, it has a purpose. If I can't see the purpose, that's ok. God knows what it is. I just need to live today.
I know that this better health might not last forever. I know that someday I might again have to quit work and spend my days taking naps and trying to breathe. But that's ok.
I also know that one day all of this burden will be behind me. One day everything will be light and joy. One day there won't be anything to be afraid of or even cautious about. One day I shall be with the God who has shown me so much love and care. No matter how low I go in this life, He who sent His Son to die for me so I might live with Him is able and willing to also care for me so that I can live with Him.