Jul 22, 2016
This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.
Hey there, good to see you. Glad you could join me again. I had a tough time this morning, but I made it happen. And seeing as you are here, so did you. High five! I didn’t do it alone though, it happened with a lot of help from my team. So let me describe my team for you, and maybe it will sound familiar.
My family. If I need to, I get woken up by my family and pushed (sometimes literally) out of bed. Breakfast is sometimes made for me, most times not, but there is company at the breakfast table. There is always a hug goodbye, and the words “I love you,” as I step out of the door. Some days this is exceptionally hard to bear, because I feel like I haven’t earned it, or because I’m unworthy.
My friends. I lean, I open up, I text, I call, I email, sometimes in the middle of the night, when I wake up with cold shivers and such severe anxiety that I feel like I’m freezing to death. Sometimes when the thoughts are more severe and I need talking off the ledge or a hug or to go for a walk. Sometimes when the thoughts are on the verge of becoming actions my friends are there to help me get to places where I can get the help I need. Sometimes I need to be accountable to someone else, when I lose total faith in myself, so they hold me accountable to them.
They all work together to help me be the best me I can be.
My professionals. I have a family doctor that prescribes all my medication. I have a psychiatrist that my doctor consults with and I visit with to make sure everything is on the up and up. I have a psychologist that does my therapy and helps me with the grunt work. I have a social worker that helps me work on my relationships and how being sick impacts them. They all work together to help me be the best me I can be.
You. Believe it or not, I consider you to be on my team. Knowing I’m not alone, that my voice doesn’t die in the wind gives me some purpose and meaning. And if I become part of your team by shouting when you can’t, even better. I’m glad to be of service.
I know I have to be the biggest part of my care.
I lose myself so often in the stream of daily life that it takes some effort and work to get out. Medication, self-care, and my team are all parts of it. But only small parts. I know I have to be the biggest part of my care. I think you know that too. I have to advocate when I think my medication isn’t working. I have to keep in constant communication with my team. Something I’m not really great at, especially when I’m manic or when I think life is just going good, like when I think I have it all figured out, but really I’ve figured out nothing.
It takes courage and guts to ask your team for help, to know you need it, to admit you are worth helping. Although asking is the hardest thing to do; it is also the most necessary thing to do. This is also what I struggle the most with. Let me know if this sounds familiar. I feel like I’m not worth it. I feel like I’m not worth helping, or saving, or whatever. So I stop asking. I won’t let my team help. I don’t let my team help.
I cry where no one can see or hear me.
I cry in the shower where no one can see or hear, and then blow my nose claiming that the steam and heat makes it easier to become decongested. (Which I’m pretty sure is true, but it mostly hides my tears). I sit, alone, on the edge of my bed with my head in my hands, the tears filling my palms and dripping onto the floor, wishing and wanting for the pain to stop. I lose control of my emotions during or even after athletic events. Anger and sadness overwhelm me. I cry where no one can see or hear me, despite the fact I KNOW I WANT SOMEONE TO SEE ME. I keep my team at arms’ length.
Despite it all I am a team player. Team before self. So inevitably my team shows up in the clutch. I still have to ask. I do such a good job putting on the mask, that the mask becomes me. Inevitably people ignore me, and think everything is copacetic. I, like you have to let people in. I’ve spoken a bit about the gifts that make us great, but we need help to make sure we get there. Sure Churchill ran the war from his tub, but someone kept the water warm.
“Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the Me for the We.” You and I have to be our best teammates for the team to succeed. Which also means we need to trust others.
“Love is the force that ignites the spirit and binds teams together.” Despite my brain doing its thing, when the thoughts of being unlovable pop into my head, I know my team loves me, and thinks that I’m worth putting time and effort into. So are you. Let your struggle ignite them, and bind them.
“Always keep an open mind and a compassionate heart.” Especially towards yourself. Your days are harder than most. I get it.
“If you meet the Buddha in the lane, feed him the ball.” Just do it. The man’s got a dozen championships.
Just remember, I’ll still be here for you as long as you need me so please join me again. Let’s stay in this game together.