Sometimes My Sanity Is Questionable
I don’t always flip to the right day or month, but sometimes when I randomly open my meditation book, I receive exactly the message that I was meant to hear. If you’ve never read the daily meditation book….Meditations For Women Who do Too Much….I highly recommend it. This book has been a lifesaver for me AND for helping me keep my sanity (which yes sometimes is questionable).
I’ll never forget marching into my therapist’s office with grave concern that I am bipolar. As I recounted tale after tale of how I typically act like toddler throwing tantrums with emotions that range from anger and rage to deep sadness, I was nervous of her response. My therapist has worked with me for a long time and perhaps knows me on an emotional and spiritual level better than anyone. As I shared my deep concern with tears in my eyes, afraid of the answer, my therapist sat calmly. After I was finished expressing my deepest concern, my therapist replied…”I can assure you that you are not bipolar. You have an extremely sensitive nervous system that is continuously over stimulated with no respite. At this point your nervous system is just fried.”
As I reflected on the past several years of my life, a light went off and everything made sense. After all in the past several years I had been an only present parent to an infant daughter who was extremely colicky. There was never reprieve from the screams or noise. On top of that I was the sole income provider for my family and was trying to start my own business while working in the emergency room at the hospital.
A few months after my daughter’s birth one of my dogs was diagnosed with lymphoma passing within a few months and the other needed double knee surgery. Our family was visiting the vet daily on top of my daughter’s appointments to figure out why she wouldn’t stop screaming. Was it reflux/her GI system? Why was she so distressed? As life appeared to be getting harder by the minute there was no one to turn to but ME.
I’ve written before about how I did not enjoy being a mother for the first two years of my daughter’s life. I wonder how that journey would have been different given different circumstances? Of course I felt Crazy! How did it never dawn on me that my situation just “seemed to require a crazy person.” As Anne Wilson Schaef notes, “Often we are not insane. The situation is insane…….
I encourage all of us to look at a person’s circumstances deeply before throwing a diagnosis their way. Thank God for my therapist and her insights. Someone who didn't know me well could have made some major assumptions about my mental health. As I have learned through my own path.... Given the right circumstances, we ALL have the potential to be Insane.