Day 79

Day 79 of 100 intentional, reflective steps
Day 79
There was a point in my stay at the hospital where I hit despair. Complete, abject lostness and despair.  I could not form into words how completely alone and useless I felt. Something in my brain just completely gave up. I was tired of working so hard to feel ok.  So. Very. Tired. The psychiatrist sensed the switch immediately. She knew I had given up. Even though my exterior was still talking, laughing and interacting, the rest of me was cowered in a corner. She decided that I needed to be closely watched for my own safety.  For several days I had an aide every where I went. My companion was not allowed to be more than an arms length away from me. I couldn’t go to the bathroom with the door closed or eat a meal without them beside me. My companion sat outside every therapy session and meeting I was in. Even my “shaving pass” which gave me permission to use my leg razors was revoked. 
It is a surreal experience to be in a place where you aren’t even allowed to sleep unsupervised. The loss of privacy was actually very demoralizing. I did  joke that the very dark Puerto Rican aid shouldn’t be the one to watch me at night. I told them that waking up and seeing only the whites of eyes and some white teeth in the dim light was a little disconcerting!


I don’t know when they decided I was safe enough to be on my own or even why. I just know that for a while somebody more trustworthy than myself was charged with making the decisions about whether I lived or not.  I wish that kind of overbearing, good for you whether you like it not, constant care were available to everybody.  This is why friendships and authentic relationships are so important.

I venture to say that every human has a breaking point and someday they will find themselves up against the ropes, gasping for breathe, while wondering whether its life they actually want. Even faith can flounder in these circumstances. Because of this we need to walk with each other, close enough so that nothing, not even a sliver of light can fit between ourselves and our friend. So close that it would be impossible for them to slip away un-noticed. There will always be those who cannot or will not allow this intrusion into their lives, even if for their own safety. But for those who will, the decision to be available to walk with another through the worst parts of life starts today – well before the crisis arises.

I was lucky that someone decided my life was worth one on one attention, even when I couldn’t make that decision for myself.