Today’s Writing 101 Prompt: Imagine you had a job in which you had to sift through forgotten or lost.
For inspiration, ponder the phrase “lost and found.” If you’d like to continue our serial challenge, also reflect on the theme of lost and found more generally in this post.
In your “lost and found” tale, tell us something larger — a life lesson, perhaps — about finding and losing .
For the previous two installments of this story click on Part 1 and Part 2.
My illness wasn’t solved by one hospitalization. It took several more hospitalizations and then, to finally find the right medication.
Making it more difficult for me to heal from my mental illness was the fact that I did not have the support of my family. Some of them believed I was faking it, all of them were ashamed of me, and a few thought my depression was merely me feeling sorry for myself. That was a lot of baggage to place on me when I was already severely unstable. This type of treatment by family was one of the worst things they could do to me because it practically guaranteed I would not be able to heal or if I were to heal it would take much much longer.
All of my hospitalizations seem to “melt together.” I remember two women introducing themselves to me,
“I am Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow.”
“I am Merry Merry quite contrary, how does your garden grow?”
I remember the young man that had fried his mind using the drug, LSD, who now could only sit in a corner all day and play with himself. I remember the young woman that stayed in her room all day and made herself “feel better.” I remember the young lady who couldn’t talk anymore. I remember the friends I made while being hospitalized.
I also remember the “camping trip therapy” that I attended with my two besties from the hospital.
They took us somewhere in Utah and gave each of us a gallon of water, a tarp, and a sleeping bag. That was it. We were to go off by ourselves and set up a camp and sleep there all night (alone). I set up my camp in close proximity of a very old Anasazi Indian ruins, so the Indian Spirits would keep me safe all night. (The Anasazis are an ancient Indian tribe that have gone extinct. They built their homes on the sides of very high cliffs). I also made sure I could see the two camps of my two friends. I remember being afraid that bugs would get into my sleeping bag and wasn’t able to sleep because of that fear.
The next morning we all stumbled back to the main camp for that “much desired” cup of coffee. I remember how good it felt to make it all night sleeping alone in the wilderness. And, I remember how how hungry I was after not eating for 24 hours.
The purpose of this camping trip was for us to get in touch with our spiritual side.
I remember on our way back to the hospital and all of us campers being very tired because none of us were able to sleep. We stopped at a cafe on the way to take a break. There was a shiny black car parked in front of this cafe. We could see ourselves in the shiny black paint and our bodies appeared grotesquely distorted. We all laughed until we cried at our distorted images in this car.
Finally, my biggest breakthrough from my mental illness came during my last hospitalization and my psychiatrist put me on anti-depressant medication. Once we found the right dosage, I could finally see an end to my suffering. Although I couldn’t understand why my previous doctors had not put me on this medication, I was elated to find a medicine that could actually help. Sure enough, it was a chemical imbalance and we had found the right medicine to solve that imbalance.
After years of suffering through this painful mental illness, I finally reached the light at the end of “my” dark tunnel. Finally!