Well back to the blogs! At least this is what I desire as I know I have not written in quite a while. It’s because I’ve been through quite a lot.
Without getting into all of the gory details I will share some things that perhaps will help someone else.
After months, heck years of struggling greatly with depression and a variety of other mental challenges I had a complete nervous breakdown on Christmas Eve. I had given up on life and was perfectly willing to leave this world behind. Some of the problems I had I brought on myself with series of bad decisions and just flat-out wrong thinking. Other things were put upon me all the way back from childhood.
During the holiday things came to a head and I ended up spending Christmas in the hospital. Boy what that an adventure. I volunteered to go only because they said it would be better for me when it was time to get released. My family pretty much took things over. Between my sister who showed up at the door totally by surprise, my mother of all people flew in from Los Angeles via the red-eye the night before and came in right after her, I had no choice though I had totally hit rock bottom.
The experience in the hospital was wierd. Sometimes I was calm and enjoyed the quiet. But most of the time I was just reeling, bored and worried about life after the hospital. The staff was minimal because it was Christmas. I wanted to get some help since I was there. But of course there weren’t any doctors and counselors around to treat us. We were just kept.
I met some cool peeps there. Victoria was this sweet lady who wore a hat cause she had lost some hair. She’ll talk you to death. I tried to chill to myself most of the time but she was persistant. One day she just broke out on me. “Christopher, you are a wonderful man. God has something special for you to do and your going to do it!” She was just too sweet. She tried to buy pizza for everybody on Christmas but Dominos wouldn’t take a check.
Delphine was cool. A tall black woman who seemed to regulate the entire ward. She wasn’t forceful but she had this presence about her that said she’s cool people but don’t cross her. She knew the lowdown and seemed comfortable in the hospital… a little too damn comfortable. I figured out she was a lesbian because when I told her I was to see Dr. J, (a female psychiatrist) she said to me, “Oh you’ll know her when you see her. Cause she is the finest white woman you’ll see walking the floor!”
In the meantime I read Andre Agassi’s book, “Open” and waited for my mother to visit me every evening. On one occasion in particular I remember sitting in a room with her alone and crying on her lap like a baby. I’ll talk more about her later in another post but it was all a part of the bottoming out process. I had not lived with my mother since I was 14. Again I’ll explain that later. The point is, here I was a 42 year old man just brought down to pieces laying in his mommy’s lap in pieces. But I got nothing but love from her.
After the hospital there was intensive outpatient therapy. After the first day where I mostly observed, I decided that I wanted to go all in on this therapy stuff. I wanted to open up and be so honest that it hurt. I wanted to go places where I was always afraid to go to before. Places inside that I was afraid to admit even to myself about the way I felt about myself.
I learned some things. Things like that as much as I wanted to be loved, I was not able to accept or receive the love that was offered to me. I heard people talk about ‘loving yourself’ and I asked the question, “What the hell does that mean?” Nobody could answer my question but finally my social worker in group therapy gave me some insight.
Change the word love to ‘accept.’ Once you learn to accept yourself and who you are and what you are, the love will be there.
Finally, I could understand that!
Group therapy was great because I also got to hear about what others were going through and I got to share in their pain, offer support and sometimes advice. We all did that for one another.
While I was in therapy I didn’t work at my 9-5. I only did some basketball games and was mostly able to focus on my healing. In that time I leaned on my family and the people who really care about me. Thats one thing that you learn when you bottom out. You learn who is really down for you and who is not! Very few people know what I’ve been through or what really happened for the last 30 plus days till this day. But I learned a lot about the circle of people I kept around me. I learned what love and acceptance is all about. I learned what condemnation and guilt was all about too.
I just went back to work on Monday. That in itself is a source of stress that I won’t get into.
But I will say this. I want to live. I want to be happy. I want to live right and reach my full potential. I want to be ferociously honest and tremendously free. I want to help and inspire hope and greatness in others.
With that I have made some decisions that I believe are best for me. Not all of them were easy. But I know that now I have been more courageous than I’ve ever been before. I have also sensed more blessings than I’ve ever experienced too. I pray and believe that the rest of my days will be better than the former.
Writing and sharing in this blog is special. I’ve missed it. And while ill I couldn’t create and write just as I could not listen to and enjoy music. (my other love)
But I’m back – I want to be back. And I want to share in this space.