Monday, May 7, 2012

Tell Me Where It Hurts

So I continue to stabilize.  I'm not having the suicidal ideation anymore.  I'm back at work, sleeping well, spending time with friends.  Laughing.  I realize that I did the right thing, and that feels good.  I'm at peace with myself.  I'm not searching for my voice or my calling.  I just am my calling.  I just am my voice.

Feels damn good, if I can say so myself, and apparently I most certainly can.  So what else can I say?

I wish that I didn't have to pay for an overnight stay in the hospital and an ambulance ride that was less than a city block's distance from one Kaiser facility to another.  But it's the price of doin' business here in America.  And I have healthcare coverage.  A person without my experience and coverage might be looking at a several thousand dollar invoice after an overnight stay for the same affliction.  And that's wrong.  Because mental illness doesn't care if you're affluent, or poor, or middle class.  It's doesn't favor women over men, or one race over another.  It attacks like cancer, without the lesions or visible symptoms. 

I went to work today, but work wasn't ready for us.  The work ran out, and they couldn't come up with a way for us to have more work to do, so they sent us home at our lunch/dinner break.  Half a day's pay for half a day's work.  I gave one of my coworkers a ride home, as she lives in Santa Clara too.  As we talked on the ride home, I shared with her how I had been through a crisis last week (we were already sharing personal stuff so I thought it appropriate.)  I told her that I had been hospitalized because I was suicidal.  I described what that had felt like for me-- that I had felt hopeless, and that I just wanted it all to go away.

"I feel like that all the time," she shared.  She explained her situation, and how tough it is sometimes to get through what life throws at you.  It was a good, cleansing, and nurturing talk that we had.

I wonder if more people have that feeling, and struggle with suicidal thoughts and plans and other hurtful things.  Are there really so many of us suffering out there?  I'm sure I'd be surprised by the numbers.  And the numbers are probably lower than what is happening in reality, because people, at least in this country, don't talk about such things as suicide and mental illness.  We don't ask for help.  We don't admit that we are broken, or hurt, or vulnerable.  We don't want to show any weakness.  We tough it out, with our "rugged individualism" that only goes so far.  You just can't think your way out of a broken mind.  It doesn't work.  And there's a lot more mental illness in this country than people are willing to admit and acknowledge.

I'm reminded of the documentary film "I Am," by Tom Shadyac, and his personal journey to arrive at a healthier place.  Recommended for viewing, I think it's out on DVD now.

That's what is known as a product placement.  And since I blew up my AdSense, it's one of the few ways for me to benefit something on this here blog.

So I think I've given you enough to think about for now.  Talk to you later.  Thanks for reading.


Deb said...

You are so right about people needing to talk about mental health. Everyone has times when he/ she feels hopeless, but keeping feelings bottled up never improves anything. Plus, if you can't reach out to someone because you're afraid he/ she won't understand, then what does that say about your relationship? Anyway, I'm glad you reached out, and most importantly, are feeling better. Love you!

Suzy said...

It is nice to see you feeling better and nice that you found a connection with one of your coworkers. even if it is connection to depression - it can be helpful to both of you. I am always one for sharing the truth and trying to help others. I imagine you helped her in more ways then just giving her a ride home.