Today, I am at a peaceful place, in my head and in my heart. I’m still on the same uncertain journey with my son, but I now have the tools to start each day with clarity and resilience. It wasn’t easy to get here – it took a tremendous amount of soul-searching, emotional work. Although much of my life was pretty typical, a contentious divorce and an at-risk child just about did me in …
Aside from family, friends and my husband , I would not be where I am now without the tag-teaming efforts of my counselor and psychiatrist ….
10 plus years of team therapy. How lucky can you get?
Pat taught me so much about healthy boundaries. She reminded me that
“shit happens” and what’s most important is how you react to it.
One of my favorite Pat sayings is .. “don’t create the story”.
Meaning, don’t conjure up something that hasn’t happened yet, because it may
NOT happen that way and then you have to live through it twice….
Shortly after my children’s father and I separated in 1998, fear of reality set in.
The wheels were already falling off with our son. I had my first, full-blown, knock your head off, think you are dying, wish you were dying, panic attack.
It happened in my hometown in South Carolina.
My mother had to drive me back to Virginia several days later.
I had experienced anxiety before, once, when I broke my arm, but nothing like this. I didn’t have a psychiatrist back then, so I called on one of my son’s doctors. He fixed me right up with an anti-anxiety/anti-depressant and it held me through a lot of ups and downs for a number of years.
Remember the Christmas that my son’s arm was broken? Just when you think that it can’t get worse… the next Christmas, the anxiety came back to bite me and I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Tucker’s, a Richmond psychiatric hospital. Pat’s husband, Dr. B admitted me upon my feeble request and the recommendation of a few friends…
I needed a lot of rest…. and my meds tweaked. In case you’re wondering,
they do have a Christmas tree on that floor… I took a knitting project (for relaxation), but they had to lock up the needles – hospital rules…
Every decent-sized town has a psychiatric hospital which has long since been the
reason for whispers and the brunt of jokes. In South Carolina, it was Marshall Pickens (Greenville) or “Bull Street” (Columbia).
I remember my grandmother, Margaret, joking about ending up on “Bull Street”
after it was all said and done. (Of course, she never did)
In no way do I want to make light of my brief visit to Tuckers, but it does provide some good material for a few laughs with close friends and the
Book Club ... especially, now that I’m in a peaceful frame of mind.
A little levity is good medicine, too …..