State of Mind
This one's for all of the folks who think that their mental health is firmly "under control"...
No name's necessary, but I spent the better part of the New Year's experience in a state of deep concern for one of my friends. He devolved into a manic episode right at the end of 2017, and it was only then that I learned from other folks in our circle about previous instances of his bipolar condition requiring deeper treatment.
It is very troubling to watch someone you care about spiraling. To know that most of the essence of what makes them THEM is still present, but the dots are not connected and the unpredictable nature of their what next could easily turn violent or lethal. And I don't care how big and bad you think you are, when it actually comes time to possibly snatch car keys, disable social media accounts or physically drag someone to a facility, it is never easy.
I was more like the Hannibal of the operation. I made a ton of phone calls to doctors and other professional contacts. Got advice on protocols and tactics. Recommendations on facilities. Fielded the frenzy of concern and provided updates, as I knew what was happening. Thankfully, there was reinforcement from another friend who knew far better about the details of the sickness and volunteered to be physically present to try and wrangle our boy into care. Not the way I intended to wring in 2018, but necessary. And a reminder that "there but for the grace of God go I."
Have you implemented a viable self-care practice, friends? Are you aware enough of your mental well-being to wage a preemptive strike before you start spiraling out of control? Do you have a circle of loved ones who will not only recognize that you're in trouble, but who are down to be your advocates and get you the help you need? If we are indeed our brother and sister's keeper, we need to also ensure that the village can be there for us when we need it.
Take good care, y'all. Literally.