It was almost like a Twilight Zone® experience, seeing Angela and my brother-in-law, Charles, for the first time in about three to four months. It was as if I’d been somehow severed from my past life. This was necessary, I believe, in order to begin healing and growing stronger mentally, emotionally, spiritually… Mind you, I was very glad to see my eldest sister and her husband; it’s just that it was like some tidal wave washing over me from my previous existence.
Sitting in the small chapel area of the Samson Group Home on that Saturday morning, I found it somewhat difficult finding anything to say. The ensuing conversation was a bit stilted, but happy nonetheless, and, to my surprise, my sister actually said I looked better … stronger, more relaxed, with good complexion. Her appraisal made me feel good and added to the sense of hope that had been growing inside me over the past weeks in my new residence. Evidently she could see something outwardly that I felt inwardly.
She hadn’t called or visited before in order to give me time to really settle in and begin my psychological recovery. I completely understood. I needed the time in that safe, secure, and structured environment apart from the outside world, and I needed this because, quite frankly, I couldn’t handle “life as usual.” I could no longer shoulder life as it had been — hours upon hours behind closed doors in self-imposed isolation, deep depression, fear, mania, frustration and anger, strained relationships…
I had been living to write, which was my love and passion, but even this had become an unbearable strain. Consequently, I’d started to keep a journal shortly after I arrived at the group home, but quickly had to leave off on that simply because it caused to much anxiety … or, at least, it was one contributing factor. I’d also loved to read, but after moving into my new residence I found that I just could not bring myself to open a book. Even the very thought of reading felt burdensome … stressful.
Yes, sitting there in the little chapel area, looking at my dear sister, carrying on an enjoyable (however stilted) conversation … it all felt so surreal. I wish I had words to explain just how detached from the past I’d become. I suppose it was as if I’d entered into some kind of cocoon, and maybe I had; after all, the cocoon is where the beautiful butterfly grows. And in a very real sense, I would eventually emerge from that cocoon, splendidly reborn … heartier, braver, sober-minded and far more tranquil.
Of course, my emergence from the cocoon would come much later. During that first visit with my sister and brother-in-law I couldn’t imagine ever leaving the group home. This is not to say I wanted to stay there for the rest of my life. No, I deeply desired to leave at some point in the future… I just couldn’t conceive of that actually happening. As I sat there looking at my sister’s radiant smile, listening to her encouraging words, it felt like I was looking and listening from across a great ravine … one without a bridge.
After about an hour, we hugged and said our goodbyes. Despite feeling somewhat detached, I was very grateful for the visit, and my spirit felt lifted. All in all, it was a very good (and important) experience. Really and truly, it came at just the right time. Looking back now, I can actually see God’s hand in that event. One might even say it was divinely orchestrated. At the very least, it was a taste of the outside world that I needed then, even if I didn’t consciously realize that at the time.
The next time Angela came, she came alone and took me on an outing, but before getting to that, I’d like to introduce you to some of the precious souls in what really became (in many ways) my new family. Until then, blessings to you and peace.
For previous articles in this series, go to:
Crazy Life: My Testimony, Part I
Crazy Life: My Testimony, Part II
15 thoughts on “Crazy Life: My Testimony, Part IV”
Truth and reality that is what u have written and one can surely go through all this for months and years but so nice of your sisters to come and be of help dear Jonathan. At this time being with God and listening to whatever u feel like or just hearing good souls who want to be of help will make u come out of this self created hole, Jonathan. Pl write cause it is very good to write and keep your mind occupied with other things. As you rightly said nothing happens to anyone if it is not wanted and u r an imagination this world is an imagination then for what r u worried at the most what will happen u know why live in fear. Live for today. Have a great day dear and hold on to his grace and surrender.
So true, dear Kamal… Thank you so very, very much! Blessings to you, dear friend
Blessings to you dear Jonathan and we r all there for u if u have anything disturbing u do send us a message. Take care dear life is so simple and beautiful
I hope all is well JD.. me that another story but I want to try and say something to you I was in the hospital for a day the only thing that got me thought it was to write because I could sleep
As a matter of face if I don’t write I feel even worst than what actually going on for the most part JD I don’t even care what I write because the process I go thought is mostly for me….in as much as sorting out my feelings and emotions
Oh yes, Sheldon, I know what you’re talking about… Writing is definitely therapeutic for me, too! It was really difficult when I couldn’t bring myself to write during those first days in the group home. It was almost like I’d lost myself. Blessings to you
JD there isn’t anything you can’t tell me that I don’t understand……prayers and peace to you my friend
I think it isn’t even allowed to visit the first couple of weeks? At least, we weren’t when my father was in a mental hospital…
Here the patient ~ or “consumer” as they are now called ~ isn’t allowed to go on any kind of outing the first two weeks, but family and friends are allowed to come and visit in-house.
Maybe it also depends on the severity of the darkness the patient is in?
That could very well be true. That would make sense.