Monday, April 8, 2013

Patience and Love

There are times lately when I find myself asking "why?" and I feel numb. Other days my heart is filled with hope and encouragement. It is like I'm on a swing set, pumping up and down, back and forth, up and down, but not really going anywhere.

It is hard when someone you desperately love has lost hope no matter what you say or do. The crying goes on, along with deception, self-loathing and darkness. No amount of hugs, listening or tripping over my own advice seems to help. There are no quick fixes to depression and addiction.

Our society is set up to believe that if you get counseling, medication and detox or treatment, you will be well again. What I'm realizing is that nobody can make someone else well. Mental health issues are serious stuff that we can't blame on anyone else. Sure life's circumstances can throw you curve balls -- the trick is learning how to hit them back without taking short cuts like  self-harm, alcohol or drugs. It's hard work. Too hard for some.

If any good has come out of all this, it's that my loved one is still alive. My family has learned how to communicate better (depending who you ask on which day). And I have stopped drinking for my own health and to support my loved one.

We push ourselves and our children to work harder, run faster and follow through. Go to work. Go to school. Check the boxes. Hurry! Clean house. Do your homework. Start all over the next day.

What we really need to do is learn to love each other and ourselves. Be happy in the moment. Put down the cell phones and turn off the DVR. Skip that meeting you really MUST attend. Call an old friend instead of email or text. Breathe!

And maybe, just maybe, the swing will eventually slow down enough for you to jump off, fly through the air and land on solid ground again.

Maybe. I'm hopeful.