Entry 14

Dear Reader,

“What was it like?” That’s the question opened up in the last entry. What is it like to go through a mental health crisis with a loved one?

As I begin to answer, it’s easier to start with the dragon.

Agonizing. Waiting.

Those two words leaped into my mind at the question. That’s what it’s like.

No quick fixes. No “better in the morning”s. No “take this and you’ll feel better”s. Medications for mental illness don’t work like that. They are slow and the brain is complicated. For Mr. B and I, we waited 8 weeks. (More, if you count the time it takes to re-establish normal life again afterwards.) That how long it took for the meds to take full effect and for Mr. B to feel stable again. Symptoms slowly, slowly receded; flaring up right to last day of 8 weeks. Symptoms such as paranoia, delusional thinking, high levels of anxiety, trouble sleeping, inability to focus or handle conversation, not to mention the unpleasant side effects of coming back onto the meds.

The difficulties I went through can’t even compare to Mr. B’s suffering during that time. He’s the strongest man I know; I love and admire him dearly for it!

But anyway, I’ve touched on the waiting. That’s easier to talk about than the other one — the agonizing.

Entry 14

Entry 13

Dear Reader,

A friend asked me the other day, “What was it like?” She was referring to walking through Mr. B’s mental health crash last fall.

Talk about a difficult question to answer! I’ve chewed on it for weeks. Even now, as I sit here, that little cursor is blinking at me. Blinking. Blinking. Blinking.

Where do I even start? I wonder if everyone who goes through a traumatic experience — even non-mental health related — has this trouble. How do you describe something so complicated, so painful, so beyond myself? They never dig into stuff like this in movies!

Imagine you have a fiery, terrifying, life-threatening encounter with a dragon; you narrowly escape, not only alive and whole, but somehow better off than you were before. Unlike the movies, you look back; the obvious is so humbling, so startling, so astonishing.

By no power of your own did you escape.

How do you describe not just the fact you encountered a dragon in all its terror but also encountered God in His faithful defense of you?

Jesus makes all the difference when you live in the land of dragons.

Entry 13