one in four suffer from mental illness

Hopelessness happens.

I advised a friend to hula hoop for at least an hour duration before seeking further advice from me.

Yes, it’s my unconventional version of take two aspirins and call me in the morning advice. Hooping takes a bit of concentration, engages your core and yet you must keep your body fluid and in motion. Its my fun fitness meditation and the best panacea I can offer to shake the blues.

G: “None of my medication works…”

Jnet: “G. I’m a piano teacher. I specialize in music. You need professional help; someone who knows how to help you. I don’t know nor am I qualified to help you. Do you understand that?”

I felt like a movie was playing out. I had opened my door to a dimly familiar face and became unsure if I would regret it when I realized who she was.

She appeared normal enough though thirty pounds heavier from when I last saw her. Plus she was desperate for the bathroom. I let her in.

I invited her to sit at my table and immediately texted R her name and that I will text him again in ten minutes. My plan was to not indulge too much time and safely as well as kindly reach a close in conversation.

A few years ago I decided to overhaul my social life and nixed a lot of people who had drifted in via acquaintances. I kept people that felt like family and who were several layers deep in my circle. Those who were transient in their work and friendships created no sticky appeal. It was easy to let go of someone who hadn’t endeared themselves.

Unfortunately, the person at my door didn’t agree with my wish to create distance. I had told her to stop calling and finally had to block her number and her facebook. And though I was concerned how deeply buried the ivy league educated person was within this person; I felt alarmed. Last time I saw her was several years ago. She had left her prestigious school having had a breakdown of sorts.

The teacher in me wanted to be helpful and have her continue on with her studies. But sometimes people have an insatiable appetitie for the helpful nature of others. This person was hungry.

G: “It’s good to see a friend. I miss friends.”

In a tiny space of time I got that she felt isolated, restless and not doing any better from two years ago.

G: “I hear voices…”

I stood up immediately. Smiled and made way for my front door to invite her out.

Jnet: “Oh boy, I’m sorry but I’m going to walk you to the door now.”

I trusted a conversation where I had the option of a door between us and neighbors to overhear. R had also texted and I wanted to tell him I was okay.

G: “I don’t know what to say.”

Jnet: “Do you understand that it’s uncomfortable to hear you talk about voices? It scares me. You need to talk to someone that knows how to look after you.”

G: “I don’t mean to scare you. But it’s very real to me….these voices.”

Jnet: “G. You have to understand that hearing voices isnt normal and telling your friends will make them feel uneasy. I dont want to know anymore about these voices. I dont care and dont want to give power over to that. If you can’t handle your mind how can you expect me to handle it for you? It’s not fair. Your doctors need to keep figuring you out and you need to be patient knowing the mind is a very intricate.”

I stood at the door and wrestled with conversations that met dead ends. It was as if she had already read the same script and was convincing me that life was hopeless.

And so I agreed with her…that life had a way of having hopeless moments. She wasn’t expecting that one. She thought the negativity slayer never knew the taste of a bitter pill. In fact, we both had something in common only I was handling life differently.

Jnet: “I refuse to indulge emotions that can sink me. I get them. If I must cry, I give myself a minute not a month. I’d rather struggle upwards than slide backwards. You must want life for yourself despite terrible things happening. G. I buried a friend last week, a really good person who got killed in an accident. His widow has a toddler and a five month old baby. And she is so strong. Life isnt perfect for anyone.”

G: “How do you do it? You look exactly the same if not better.”

Jnet: “I keep my self busy. I refuse to let circumstance mark me, wrinkle me or weigh me down. Right now most of my students are on vacation so I exercise a lot. I don’t need a gym membership or a buddy to exercise. Hula hoop.”

She laughed. She definitely would never get that suggestion from her doctor. Who advises someone that has been diagnosed with mental illness to hula hoop?

A friend maybe?



~ by jnetsworld on August 10, 2012.


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