Is bullshit. It should read, There is nothing too hard that you can’t handle it with help. Because let me tell you all something, everyone and I mean everyone has a tipping point. That point where just one more little tap and you fall over in a field like a cow after being harassed by a few young hoodlums out for a good time. And when that tipping point happens it feels like there’s nothing more you can handle and you want to just lie down in the cow dung and fall asleep for days or weeks or months. Maybe not years, that would be gross.
My tipping point came this morning when my child told me that once again she felt like she wants to die. In that moment I felt myself implode. I felt all the fluid in my body freeze and my brain cease to function as I searched for all my resources and came up completely and totally empty. I left the room and sobbed loudly into my hands and slammed my fists on the counter tops and didn’t even bother to hide the pain from my child who was already in pain and now probably in more pain because of my pain. My systems shut down one by one starting with my eyes, not seeing anything but dark. My ears were ringing and I couldn’t feel my breath or my heart beat. It felt like I wasn’t breathing for a number of minutes and I thought I would throw up but by some miracle I held it in. Probably because my digestive system was in lock down as well. And I called my husband and said the dreaded words “You need to come home right away”. And then I just sat and cried. For a long while. No matter how hard I tried to pull up my big girl panties enough to give me a wedgie so painful it would dull my internal pain over my child, it didn’t work. So I just let it out and it was messy and loud and not pretty.
But miraculously, letting it out allowed me to breathe once again because if I didn’t, I would have hyperventilated and passed out and I was wearing granny panties so the thought of emergency services possibly seeing that was enough to snap me back to reality. Once I began to breathe I began to remember. I remembered that maybe no, I couldn’t handle it this time but I had people in my pocket who could help me. So I called or messaged my pocket people and eventually they all surrounded me and helped me face what was too hard for me to handle alone. They helped me form a plan and to implement it so that my child could get the help she needed in the way she needed it. Not feeling alone was a relief that washed over me like the feeling when you’re stuck in traffic and have to pee so badly that your bladder is screaming and raging and you finally make it to the toilet. Which reminds me about a time I didn’t quite make it to the toilet and peed in a dunkin donuts cup while on lion country safari with my sister but I digress.
My point is that we shouldn’t have to do this alone. We shouldn’t have to be strong enough to tackle the really hard stuff in our life by ourselves. But all too often the stigma of mental illness causes the caregivers and the patients to go it alone. The biggest thing I’ve learned so far on this journey is to open my mouth and speak my truth about what is going on with my child and to gather my resources around me. So to my pocket people, my ladies who come to the bathroom with me and let me cry on their shoulders; my incredible and fairly new friend Barbara who helped me feel like I could navigate the system; Danielle’s new therapist who is so fantastical I may want to take her home with us; and my husband who is my rock of ages, in the words of Josh Groban, you raise me up so I can stand on mountains.