Today I am happy for sanity. I was a once-ago fool in August. Allow me to use that word, not to trivialize what I am about to share. Going on seven years ago, I was not in my right mind. Yet, I knew if I had been able to get off the tiger I would have been sane. Just why oh why had I stayed on, holding on so tightly in fear?
That August, a fellow mom came to my home for a quilting bee. I was a new member and had been happy to host, until PMS struck and I became inordinantly fearful. I could not sleep the weekend prior and was ashamed of my messy house to boot. The event canceled itself because I turned people away as they arrived. By divine grace, she was the last to know the bee had been canceled. When she came to my door, I somehow did not turn her away, even though I had been unable, or willing, to speak up for myself. Somehow she had the wherewithal to call the ambulance to come quietly to our home. She told me she was calling the ambulance and I did not have it in me to object. I did not want to go to the nearby hospital alone, because I knew it would be hours before they would transport me to the big city with its choices of hospital psych units.
That mom, now a friend visiting from out-of-state, told me her side of my story last night. Our friend who was hosting this gathering, asked me if that had been too much for me. While I disagree with her version of my truth, slightly, I can see her point of view today. Then I was a sleep-deprived, out of my mind person. I also was terrified of my "mental illness" which had struck four times prior (making me a March Fool, an April fool, a June fool and a July fool).
This angel who got me to the hospital, however I was dreading it, told me I yelled at her when she called me in my new "digs." I don't remember that. I do know that 2005 hospital stay was one of my worst. They even handled me poorly at my local hospital while I was waiting for their decisions to be made. My husband was dismayed that we picked the hospital that was the least compassionate and competent in dealing with mental health crises. I remember being in a room full of big men with the door closed. A very unusual protocol in my book. But I guess it got me out of view of the patients who might have been afraid of me.
Our home town hospital was never on our list of covered providers, and now we no longer have a local psych unit. I cannot tell you how isolating that made it for me each time, to be sent over an hours drive away. I dreaded going to hospital, and my husband was only able to visit once a week. It was also tough for an introvert (even a mature one such as myself) to be with groups of strangers. Hospitals, in my experience, are not made to serve introverts.
Amen, that today I am not an April fool. Though I feel my fear at the move, I have already looked my vulnerability in the face, and I am facing the future with a faithful fear (that is daily saying its prayers).