Monday, June 3, 2013

Thank God I Can't Keep a Secret

Now that I have gotten over the embarrassment and shame of  'outing' myself as being one of the millions of people hospitalized because of depression, I have to say I feel lighter and strangely free.

Get Real Mama, a fellow blogger at responded to my post "There is no Before" and remarked, "I hope you are proud of yourself..."  It took me back. I had to think about it for a second.  Not to contemplate whether I was proud or not, but a little surprised at the fact that I am proud of myself.

Confessing my hospitalization actually provided a release for me because my relationship to it is different.    In the time it took for me to write my post, those three days in a mental hospital went from a terrible secret to a mere experience.  Yes, it was a profound experience that changed my life, but an experience none the less.  Experiences are in the past, but secrets - secrets are always present.

You have to keep a secret.

Secrets need a cover-up.

Secrets need attention.

Wherever there is a secret there is a lie.

I think we form secrets when something traumatic changes what we believe about ourselves.

A college counselor once  pointed out that I had plenty of reason to be depressed.  I was in an unhealthy relationship, totally broke and my father died of cancer. She insisted that healthy people get depressed all the time after stressful situations, so I had nothing to be ashamed of.  I never breathed a word that the depression was there long before my stressful situations.

There was only one thing for me to believe. If I feel like jumping out of a window even when times are good, than I must be...crazy.  

Cut to April 2012.  I am laying on a stripped down gurney in a cold cinder block room.  There is one ceiling light enclosed in a dusty brown cage.  I am wearing creased straight-out-of the bag scrubs because my clothes were confiscated. There is no pillow or blanket. My arm is thrown over my eyes even though the light is dim. I can hear the people come and go through the locked door in the adjacent room.  People are screaming and crying.  The police are in and out. One woman is begging to leave.  The nurse tells me it will be a couple hours before they can get me a bed in the psychiatric ward.  And this is a nice hospital. I picked it myself.

I am so anxious and sad that I feel like my insides are on fire.  The only thing keeping the flames from erupting is the confines of my skin.  I am trapped in my own body. I find myself shaking my head back and forth because I can't believe that I am here.     Please God, don't let anyone find out.  I am so ashamed I let this happen to me.

I stayed ashamed until I decided what people thought of me wasn't as important as my need to tell my story. The funny this is that after I hit 'publish', the nerves vanished and I didn't give it another thought until I read the comments.  I actually thought about that day I checked myself into the hospital. It was a traumatic dehumanizing experience.  One day I will write about it in detail.

Once I found my way onto that gurney, I didn't budge. I waited alone and scared in that nasty hole of a room for almost 8 hours. That memory alone would have made me cringe in sadness a couple of days ago.   Today is different. When I see myself on that gurney with my eyes covered, I am proud.

I stayed.

I got well.

Thank God I can't keep a secret.


  1. I applaud your courage. Of course you could have kept the secret. You chose authenticity, and that is a hard path. I hope you can see as you read what you've written what a strong, brave woman you are. Your words will help others tell their truth too.

  2. Thank You Reticula. You are so right about authenticity sometimes being a difficult path, Truth can be hard, but in the end you will always be free.

    Thanks again, also look forward to you new post as well. I like snatching a couple of minutes of adult time!

  3. Hi CJ! I am so glad that my comment meant something to you, because I meant it. You had the strength and courage to get better and then to tell your story. It is inspiring. I have my own story to tell...someday. :)

    1. Thanks and Your Welcome. Look forward to hearing your story...1 day. Whenever it comes, it will be the right time.


  4. I went through a periox of depression, which I found quite strange because I have never been the "depressed" type. However, during that very difficult season, the Lord through His word introduced me to some men who I found common ground with, in a way that I hadn't before. Men like Job, Elijah, Jeremiah, David...and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, when He was in the Garddn of Gethsemane.

    I found God to be more than faithful to His word and to me as my Shepherd and Comforter. What an experience. I hated it, however without it my faith in God's word probably wouldn't be what it is today. He literally stripped me of every notion of some "source" for "deliverance" that I had sought. There wasn't a single soul who.could pull me out, not my wife, Pastor, friends, motivational one with a so called "word of the Lord for me."

    During that season, the Lord made it plainly clear to me that He had allowed me to find myself in a place where the only thing that could bring healing, confidence, asurance and peace back into my life was His promises found throughout the Holy Scriptures of the Bible.

    When I finally realized what He was trying to show me about where I could find help, then His promises...His truth became THE most valuable possession that I realized that was there for me all along.

    As a living and breathing collection of historical narratives, letters and eye witness accounts, I can attest with absolute certainly that God's Word is true, because it is the truth and it is reliable and trustworthy.

    1. The thing about those dark moments, is that it really shows us where we are in terms of our faith. Which is good. And we also realize that no one person is going to come rescue us. That everything that we need is with us because God is with us. Being in that space last time really brought about a new revelation about the "Mind of Christ". Truth is the only thing that can set you free. It is one thing to just read the Bible and quote the bible Scriptures. It is another thing when the Word is made Flesh - tangible and real in the midst of our very present experiences. Thanks for sharing Martin.

  5. Ugh. Why do experiences with mental health have to be like this? I mean, we live in a modern society. You would think we would be more advanced.

    As always, I think you are awesome, and thank you for sharing your "secret". I feel exactly the same way. The more I can purge and throw out there on my blog, the better I feel. It is true catharsis. Thank you again! Mwah!

    1. Jodi! Thanks! I know it's crazy (no pun intended). I am actually proud of my experience in the hospital now...not that I want to repeat it. I'm glad "you write it out" too. People who have not experienced depression may not understand, but people who are going through really need to hear that they are not alone.