Chapter 9, The Beautiful Breakdown, Part 1

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I keep asking myself if you are ready for this part of the story. I wonder if this is where most of you will stop reading. This is the part where it gets real, it gets sad and it’s just the beginning.

I had been thinking about heaven. I had been thinking about heaven, a lot. Life’s normal hits don’t stop because your ability to deal is gone. One of my biggest supporters, who I had not known very long, lost a battle with breast cancer but not before leaving an indelible print on my life. Before helping me leave, she taught me the concept of “reason, season, lifetime” friends, and how that was really not a bad thing. She was so happy for me when I got a teaching job. She told me I would always be a kid at heart. On these days I didn’t feel like a kid at all. I felt beat down and left for dead. So, like I said, I was thinking about heaven a lot. I had lost so many people already, my uncle, my aunt, my mom, and my dad. I was homesick

You are in a better place I have heard a thousand times and at least a thousand times I’ve rejoiced with you. But the reason why I am broken, the reason why I cry, is how long must I wait to be with you” MercyMe

Living on this planet really was becoming unbearable for me. I loved my life between 7:15-3:00 when I was in the classroom or in my friend Cheryl’s classroom, everyday after school. When I did go home it was straight to my room with little to no communication with Crissy, because one thing living with her brought was accountability. I wasn’t so happy about that part.

“Help me Lord because I still don’t understand Your ways, the reason why I wonder if I will never know; but even if You showed me the hurt would be the same, cause I am still here so far away from home” MercyMe

Heaven seemed like the only solution to the pain. There was not enough medication in the world to take the ache from my heart and the emptiness from my soul. I felt like it was never really in the cards for me to live a happy life. I had been living trauma for 35 years, why would anything change now? More importantly why would the entire body of trauma, childhood included hit me NOW?

“Grief is like an ocean: it’s deep and dark and bigger than all of us. And pain is like a thief in the night: Quiet. Persistent. Unfair. Diminished by time and faith and love” Unknown

Living with Crissy brought love, safety and stability into my life. Her friendship came complete with a whole family who claim me as their own. The only other time I remembered being that safe was in the children’s home. But everything seemed to get worse with that safety. I would learn later being safe allowed for the inevitable—a complete nervous breakdown. Nights were still hard for me and even though medicine didn’t take the pain away, sleep gave me a rest from it anyway. I was constantly desperate for sleep. And that is what I told the ER nurse when Cheryl took me to the hospital that day. Cheryl was the absolute best person for this task and I look back on it now and know how the Lord had her hand picked. She stayed with me until they took me back, and then in the stainless steel room (seriously, no sharp objects) she sat with blankets wrapped around her grading papers. We laughed because they put a green bracelet on my arm. I asked them what that meant –“it means you are a flight risk”—to which I responded, “but green means go”. They didn’t think it was funny, Cheryl did and I still do. We waited for awhile for the doctor to come ask me all the questions to find out how “bad” I really was—then immediately diagnosed me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, complete with a 5 day stay in the hospital. I am not even sure I understood what that meant at the time. I was kind of stunned by it all. Just 24 hours before I had taken 9 pills just to go to sleep. I really wasn’t trying to kill myself, but I have no doubt that I would have accomplished that at some point, just to get some sleep. After the doctor left the room “they” came to take me to my room. I was fine with all of this. Until they took my phone, then I cried. There was no connection with the outside world and when the doors closed they were loud and LOCKED. And this, well this, was the culmination of a complete nervous breakdown. It had to happen at some point. Heaven still seemed like a better option for me, but if I had to be alive why not be alive locked in a psych ward with people MUCH worse off than me? Here is an excerpt from my blog that I wrote when I got home:

“I cried as they took my vitals, not because of the phone but partially because I was scared, but mainly because I knew this was rock bottom. I really don’t remember much after that.”

The first night they gave me some pill that absolutely knocked me out. I was allowed visitors twice a day and my only request from Crissy was two of my favorite things, some PJs and my Bible. After her first visit I just walked around like a zombie because whatever they had me on absolutely sent me into another dimension. I think that was the point, anything to literally, give my mind a rest. It was a bit of an out of body experience though. It’s just like the movies where all the patients line up for their medication and then have to prove that you swallowed it. I remember the feeling of release, I was locked in that hospital, so it didn’t matter what responsibilities or additional pain waited for me out there, when I was locked in that building, I was at peace. A very strange peace—it was the time I just gave up the fight. It was all too much. It was time to let the professionals help me now. Another excerpt from my blog:

That night I slept well, I was so tired from decades of trying to do it alone and for the first time I didn’t care what anybody thought. Here I had no expectations, here was the time to break down.

And break down I did indeed.

“And I close my eyes and I see Your face, if home’s where my heart is then I’m out of place. Lord, won’t You give me strength to make it through somehow? I have never been more home-sick than now. MercyMe



5 thoughts on “Chapter 9, The Beautiful Breakdown, Part 1

  1. Pingback: Chapter 22: Broke Outside The Old Apartment–a trench-mate’s perspective | Blindsided By Healing

  2. I can,only read in bits. How long have I waited for someone who can understand the dark nooks and crannies,of my soul. Tears flow, heart breaks. If I met you,we would be immediately sisters.My story is not the same but my emotions are. I’m afraid of what’s still inside. I am both She-raand helpless at the same time.Exhausted.Hiding.I Thank God for you.

  3. Beautiful story and beautiful friend who is cherished and valued more than anything. His story for us is never as we would chose in our finite brains, but always so much more beautiful if we allow the refining to take place in our hearts.

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