I don’t want to understand this horror
There’s a weight in your eyes I can’t admit
Everybody ends up here in bottles
But the name tag’s the last thing you wanted
As the world explodes
We fall out of it
And we can’t let go because this will not go away
There’s a house built out in space
I can’t see that thief that lives inside of your head
But I can be some courage at the side of you bed
I don’t know what’s happening And I can’t pretend
But I can be your, be your
Thief : Our Lady Peace
I stopped briefly at the neck of the busy corridor as the heavy doors closed behind us. Unlike the rest of our clinical rotations where the hustling, the alarms, the shouting, the squeaks of hurried rubber soled shoes, the sirens and the quick flashes of green scrubs scurrying from room to room that invited us student nurses to come and play, the psychiatric unit seemed eerily subdued.
“Come, come. Get your assignments,” our short Indian Nursing Professor said while he waved us over to a room surrounded by thick glass.
My patient was a tall woman with beautiful thick black wavy hair.
She was suffering from severe depression.
I watched as she barely made her way out of bed and shuffled down the hallway with the weight of the world on her shoulders.
Her soul seemed so lost behind a veil of darkness; devoid of emotion.
I wanted to pick up her up in my arms and squeeze her tightly.
To tell her that everything was going to be ok.
To tell her that life is good. That it can be good.
But I didn’t.
Instead I listened, I cracked jokes, and sometimes we just sat there in silence.
She stunned me when she grasped my hand tightly.
“One day at a time,” I said.
She gave me a half hearted smile.
When I left that day, I felt defeated.
Did I make a difference?
Did I help?
I still don’t know.
When I’m not well, I know that people feel the same way as I did as a student nurse.
What do you say?
What words will help this person instead of making them feel worse?
What can I do for them?
You feel helpless.
And I can tell you this, your presence, your love, your encouragement, and your support is what matters.
Sometimes we don’t and can’t express how much your support pulls us through each minute, each hour, each day, each week, and each month.
You help us survive this.
On twitter the other day, Katherine Stone from Postpartum Progress asked that people tweet me some encouragement.
I cried as my twitter feed exploded with tweets from friends and people I didn’t know.
I may not have responded to all of you but know that you pushed my one foot in front of the other that day.
You sent me hope.
You sent me encouragement.
You sent me love.
You sent me support.
You made a difference that day.
So to those who tweeted, my readers, my dear friends who send me emails and texts daily, thank you.
Thank you for holding my hand through this.