Don’t waste your time on me

I’ve used this space to talk about someone close to me… someone who suffers from mental illness. I’ve alluded to hospitalization… and it’s been about 7 weeks now. They’ve tried medication, counseling, and until Friday – ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) as a kind of last – or next to last – resort. Since none of it has worked they’ve begun to look into some kind of longer term care (than the hospital can provide).

One thing that strikes me as particularly insidious about severe mental illness is the apparent uselessness of love. Maybe I’m making too much of things. I know I don’t have a lot of experience dealing with serious health issues, or crisis in general (thank goodness). I suppose people can tend to think of their own experience as wholly unique (when it usually shares a fair bit with other’s). All the same, it’s heart breaking feeling like you’re completely powerless to give any relief to the person that’s really suffering… that the sum of your experience suggests you have nothing to give worth receiving. Maybe mental illness isn’t unique in that way. Maybe “being there” has meant something.

Either way, it doesn’t seem like enough.

Give the gift of words.