I met with my primary doctor today so that we could talk about what happened with Cleveland Clinic. I was anxious going into it because it was, frankly, an unhelpful trip and I knew that would frustrate my dear doctor Amanda. And I was right. We both commiserated that the vagueness of the situation, the insisted urgency paired with long waiting periods made poor bedfellows and that, in a nutshell, the situation is just plain crap. I left the appointment feeling incredibly downtrodden. I simply wanted to go home and hide from everything.
I needed to wait for my Mom to get done with a brief meeting with our church pastor before she could help me get home, so I waited at the pub where church would take place tonight (Church in a pub is a thing for us, it’s pretty cool). It was while I was waiting that the worship leader, Jeremy, spotted me moping at a table and said “oh! I wish I had known you’d be available. I was gonna have someone sing “Shake It Off”, but she’s sick and couldn’t do it. You could have done it!”.
Five minutes later, we’re downloading a karaoke track of the song and I’ve agreed to sing the song for the two services. I get through the first sing through and sit down to hear the message “on tap”, which happened to be self care.
Right away, a quote goes up on the TV screens in the pub’s back room where we worship:
“From a theological perspective, the most dangerous thing about mental illness is that it can lock us in ourselves, convincing us that we are indeed on our own, and completely on our own, isolated in our own distress.” ~Kathryn Green McCreight.
I felt the lump form in my throat and my eyes start to sting. Then Jeremy sidles up next to me ever so briefly and expressed how thankful he was that I could sing for the services and how special it felt, how blessed he felt to have me there.
I couldn’t have held back those tears no matter how hard I tried because I knew, in this moment, some higher power knew what I needed better than I did. God or whatever power you believe in or just sheer dumb luck if you don’t believe in anything put me exactly where I needed to be. Instead of coming home and sitting alone with my fears, my doubts, my anger and sorrow, I was in a pub, giving my energy and my time to people that care about me and to people I care about. I allowed my church to shoulder my burden with me and I felt lighter for it. If I had come home, I would have stayed in that dark, lonely place my depression always has waiting for me. I wouldn’t have taken care of myself.
Now, I feel at peace. My body is tired, but my mind is quiet and my soul feels full. I know the steps I need to take in order to move forward from all of the frustration and negativity of my health and I know that, if I falter, I can lean on a good number of people to help pick me back up.
Much love to all of you, Lemons and Spoonies. I hope you find peace tonight. If not, I’ll try and share some in the morning with you.