Happy St. Patrick’s Day! This holiday will always be memorable for me because I was in a mental hospital for depression one year and was upset I had no green to wear. That was maybe 2007, I think? Maybe 2008. Welcome to me blogging again! Throw you right in the deep end of the pool with the first entry, eh? My autobiography is coming along and I can assure you, it will be a HEAVY read. It will make most people who know me uncomfortable because of all the taboo stuff I have lived through. But I am sharing it anyway to show how God has a plan for each of us.
That was the 2nd psychiatric hospitalization I had had, and definitely THE WORST! Mental hospitals have this dangerous habit of placing non-psychotic patients (depression, anxiety, eating disorders) with psychotic patients (schizophrenia, Borderline, Paranoid, Sociopaths, etc.). There were patients walking around naked, talking to door knobs, clicking like time machines, etc. ALL DAY LONG. I WANTED SILENCE. I have always enjoyed being alone for the most part because my brain goes too fast for additional stimuli. So on this ‘visit’, I decided to view it as a Mission Trip from God. Instead of going to Africa, I’d go to the psych ward and be Christ-like as much as I could for people who may not know Jesus. (Some thought they were Jesus, but that’s another story…)
So I found the most normal guy I could, and sat at his table. He smiled, I smiled. He introduced himself, I reciprocated. He asked why I was in there, I told him I was very depressed and ached all over. Politely, I asked why he was there. He lifted his shirt to raw, indistinguishable meat so gross I had to look away. “I poured gasoline on my stomach and set myself on fire.” He nonchalantly told me as if it was something people do every day.
We all have different realities. That scenario made me, a seasoned therapist, very uncomfortable. I wavered between running away screaming out of fear versus asking what he had for breakfast. My scenario is too much for most of the people I know. I keep a lot to myself and have a handful of friends I will call with certain material. I had to learn the hard way people are quick to judge and try to ‘fix things’, want to “pray for you” for the sake of gossiping or backstabbing, and, the best, is suggest you need long term treatment ‘far away’ so they don’t have to feel guilty for not knowing how to help or what to say.
I moved away from all the drama a year ago and am in my favorite place in the world. But I learned from my mistakes. I don’t share sensitive things anymore and before I do share, I ask myself if it will bring God glory. Sometimes, I surprise people and I wish I could take my words back. But I’m learning… I’ll save it for my book.