I’ve never been a very patient person, but 2020 is forcing me to learn patience as I navigate the way from mental health relapse to recovery.
It takes time to find a good doctor - and often a long time to get in to see them. It takes time to see the benefit of wellness tools like yoga, meditation and exercise. It takes time for medicine to kick in - and you may have to try a few types before figuring out what works for your body. If you’re really unlucky, medicine can even exacerbate your mental illness.
Unfortunately, that is where I find myself, seven weeks after starting new medicine to help with my mental health relapse.
With the help of my wonderful husband and family - and some great mental health professionals - I now have another wait ahead of me.
This is a new one. This time, I’m waiting for a bed to become available at a local hospital, where my doctor has referred me to get more intensive treatment as an in-patient.
I am scared. This is new and unknown. I’m reading all the admission information I can, but I still won’t really know what I’m in for until I get there.
I’m scared about handing over control. This admission means putting my faith and trust in a group of strangers to know what’s best for me and to give me the tools I need to heal myself.
I’m scared about being away from my husband and my beautiful little boy. I rely so much on Nick’s calmness and commonsense. I rely so much on Amory’s wholehearted love and affection.
Two weeks ago, when my doctor first raised the idea of a hospital admission, I recoiled like it was a snake. I wasn’t sick enough for that, I wasn’t enough of a danger to myself, I wasn’t the kind of person who needed that sort of help.
I keep thinking I’ll wake up from this and I’ll be in my real life - the life where I go to work, hang out with my friends, and enjoy a range of different positive and negative emotions.
I have spent a lot of time and tears resisting this next step, but in my heart of hearts, I know this is the right decision because it has given me back something that I was losing – hope.
So for now, I’m waiting, practising patience and focusing on maintaining my hope - hope that I will get well, hope that I will get to a new normal, where I’m stronger and have the tools I need to navigate life with mental illness.