Where do I begin. Under two years ago, I was standing in the hallway of Arbor Fuller Psychiatric Hospital on the payphone talking to my dad.  He said the most loving sentence I have ever heard during those two years I had a membership card to hell.  Come here, he said.   Huh??? To Puerto Rico?  What… ? Are YOU crazy?  No, he said, come here, heal, figure out what you want to do, HERE, the island will heal you.  I was overcome, I stood there crying.  I hadn’t even considered it as an option, grown folk don’t go home.. pfft!  Your grandmother wants to see you, he said.  My heart twinged.  I sighed. Not like this, I thought.

Shamanic View of Mental Illness

Anyway, after I left the hospital, I bought a plane ticket and had to wait about a month to leave.  All my irrational fears rose to the surface.  I succumbed to the oily, slimy hold of the abyss and believed every dark thought that crossed my mind.  A loser, fat slob, worthless daughter, horrible mother, useless noni, a weight around the neck of all my loved ones.  Then, I anticipated the look of disgust that my father would have upon seeing me exit the airport.  How had I screwed up so badly??  The thoughts kept coming until the day before my plane was to leave, I went to a hotel room and tried to take my life. 

I woke up back in Arbor-Fuller Hospital almost four days later, with NO recollection of any of it, except I had not caught that plane. 

Couple of months later my grandmother died.   I could have hugged her one last time.   Nope, didn’t get to.  This weekend, I went to see her grave for the first time.   I sat on her tomb and wanted to climb in there with her.  I told her I was sorry I hadn’t come, but I was wrestling demons, and that she would be proud of me now.  I laid beautiful yellow roses around her tombstone.  Cried like a baby for the woman who reinforced my belief and inclination toward unconditional love.  My heart and soul are all full of … something, I don’t believe I know a word for it… this?? Shakes my head. Yea, nothing.  Not yet, maybe I’m looking for ‘my word’.  

In Search of my Word

If a loved one tells you their depressed, don’t judge, listen.  I am not convinced mental illness is what society has taught us.  I rather think it’s a sign of extreme ultra sensitivity to chaotic vibrations of this planet and its inhabitants.  It’s a powerful and poignant cry for community.  I know my soul craves it, even now. There is a payoff, stand by one of these souls in severe incubation and when they/we hatch casting off the slimy, gelatinous remnants of hell and shining with lustrated luminescence, they will share the wisdom obtained on their s/hero’s journey.  Watch and see, I know this for fact! 

When people share their story, after slaying the dragon or while amid the battle, recognize that they are trusting YOU to hold space for them. Trusting YOU to recognize they may be tender from the skirmish. We NEVER know what demons our loved ones are fighting, so let’s be gentle with each other.  I apologized this weekend, when I wasn’t sensitive enough to someone else’s pain while in the middle of my own.

Let’s do, at the very least, the best we can.   
Sat Nam family.

2 thoughts on “The darkest gifts

  1. WOW!!!! Powerful words and sharing. Yes to the advice to listen up. If someone reaches out and shares their struggle, they have trusted you with something fragile and precious. Those who have not walked in depressions cement boots don’t understand that we cannot just “snap out of it.” Even in our more rational moments, we can’t even talk ourselves out of the pit. Don’t ignore the call for help and ask what they need and how you can help and if they cannot tell you, just be there with them to hold them and hug them when they need a hug! Blk\essings on your healing journey.


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