My homework assignment was to write a letter to myself, about being in the hospital and what I took away from it. What I would say to myself. It was hard to do, at first. Writing to myself seemed strange. Once I got going, though, it became easier.
The hospital really did something for me. Changed me in some way. I still haven't figured that out, not totally,
Anyway, here is what i wrote. Kind of long, sorry, but here it is.
I hope you realize what a good thing it was for you, being in the hospital. I think you do. I remember what it was like for you before you went in. The hopelessness you felt. Such severe depression. How you felt that there was nothing left for you, how you wanted to die.
Today, I know you don't feel that way.
I know your first day as an inpatient was the hardest for you. I think it was also the day you showed courage of such immensity. The strength it took for you to walk through those doors. Full well knowing that to do so meant giving up immediate control over every single part of your life. Walking into the unknown, for that day, and possibly for the rest of your life.
Don't ever forget that you are a warrior.
Think back over what happened to you while you were inpatient. From what I saw, I think what helped you the most was just being able to detach from the stressors in your life. In giving up control, and just letting yourself be, you immediately shed all of that stress. You had no choice but to slow down. You had to rest.
I hope that you can remember that you always need to take better care of your self, physically. You need to slow down, to take life at a pace that you can handle. You are not wonder woman. You also need to take time out when the things in your life that cause stress start to build up. Whether it is trying to do too much, or letting too much build up inside of your mind.
And will you please learn to talk to someone, more than you have in the past? No one can do everything in life by themselves, and no one can know what is going on with you if you don't let them know. For so long now you have been struggling financially. But no one would know. You have told no one. I know you have always believed in handling everything your self, in not depending on anyone for help with your finances. But I hope that in looking back you can see that trying to handle, by yourself, the overwhelming feelings and thoughts that surround your financial struggles, has been detrimental to you.
But now that's different. You have someone working with you to try and help you get some work so that your finances don't get you so overwhelmed. So please, make sure you reach out for help if you need it.
I think one thing you need to speak up about is your anger. You know that that is one of the things that got you to the point that you had to be admitted to the hospital. You need to learn to talk more about it, because I don't want to see you let it keep building and building up. I don't want to see you hurt someone, or get yourself into some kind of trouble that you can't get out of.
And speak up about other things. Whatever it is that is on your mind. Whatever it is that is bothering you. Whatever your opinion or point of view. I know that you can do that. I know that when you do, it helps. You feel better. You get the help you need.
I remember how utterly alone you felt. That no one could possibly understand how you were feeling. How horrible a feeling that was. You need to remember to keep reaching out to the people around you who care about you and who are supportive. And remember that when you reach out, you need to be open and honest about what is going on with you.
And remember, you aren't alone, and you don't ever have to be.
I was there with you, while you were in the hospital. I know you did a lot of thinking while you were there. I know you feel that while you were there you were given the opportunity to almost start over. You feel like you have a chance to build your self back up from the ground, in a way. I also know that you have embraced your spirituality.
I hope you remember that your spirituality can be a huge coping skill for you. And I know that since you have been out, you have made some big changes inside of your self as far as your spirituality is concerned. It is a great start for you. Don't lose your faith again. It can carry you through tough times.
I am thinking that the most important thing that you could possibly take away from your whole experience, is to never let things inside of you get as far as they did this time. You don't deserve to live with all of the pain you felt.
And do you know how proud I am of you? Firstly, and most importantly, for being so strong and having your self admitted. But also for all you have done since your discharge.
You handled losing those two jobs in exactly the right way. Calling Dr K. Talking to supportive friends. And speaking your mind. You got through it. Don't forget, you can get through things, as long as you use your coping skills and every avenue you have available to you.
Embracing your spirituality. I think that, over time, that can be a strong support for you. Keep the faith.
Taking it a little easier. Taking care of the physical you. Rest. Take your medication. Try to keep working through those stressful feelings and situations.
You are doing so well. And try to not get so down on your self when you get feeling like you aren't doing a good enough job. Stop being so hard on your self. Nothing happens overnight, and your healing won't just come. It took you 25 years to get to this point from the trauma you lived through. You can heal, but remember to just give your self time.
Set some goals with Dr K. I think that by now you know what those goals are. Start slowly. Set small goals at first. I know you can do the hard work it takes to reach those goals.
And remember, you don't deserve the pain. You don't deserve to be so hard on your self. You deserve healing. You deserve the best. And you deserve to live.