As the nervousness of anticipation subsides, I’ve had space to reflect on the appointment. What the psychiatrist said. Without the effort of trying to recall, I remember more.
I remember the analogy of brokenness. How, if you have broken your leg, you are more, not less, likely to break it again. So it is with my illness. Each time I relapse into crisis, the chance that I will do so again increases. My mind is fractured: it will take time to heal. I shouldn’t be surprised that I am not yet well again, especially given the nature of my illness, which will barely be touched by anti-depressants, and which will take intensive sorts of therapy to put right. In fact, I’ve never truly been well, even as a child, I’ve just mostly managed, and found ways to function, keep the emotional rubbish hidden, keep going.
In all of this, I have a choice. I can push, and push, and push against my mind (I can neglect that it is broken, in a plaster cast, and keep walking on it, just the same) , to drive it into further brokenness that will take longer to mend, or, I can listen to it, hear when it is hurting or tired and needs rest, remember it needs a plaster cast, and treat it kindly.
I know that “there is time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3 v 1). God was thinking directly of me when He wrote that verse, I’m sure. Kindness and patience are not among my strengths. Especially not with myself. God knows my impatience to heal, my desperation to be working at my job properly again, my resistance to allowances, being ill, being weak. I want to be better now.
He knows all this. Yet, He says, healing will take time, patience, kindness. There was something else, too. The psychiatrist asked, “What is is that you want, from therapy?” The biblical undertones of her question ricocheted between the edges of my mind like lightning. I stuttered, “Help with anger, with trust“. Through my tears, she said that I had done a brave thing, and the right thing to seek help. That I have real mental health problems is not my fault, and never was. That I could be helped. If the above verse is true, then it follows that God’s timing is perfect. There will be time for healing, and a time when I am healed. I just need the patience and kindness to wait on Him.