The National Alliance on Mental Illness recognizes the potentially deadly consequences of when police respond to calls involving people with mental Illness. That’s why the organization and its nearly 1,000 branches across the country are working diligently to encourage a more robust training of police in the area of mental health. For police, it’s hard […]
©©When it hurts to write (my number one love), when it hurts to counsel, when it hurts to breathe…within my crux. My well is dry. My give is limited. My encouraging spirit, well it is in wound. This is new. There have been times in the past I was unable to write. This is different; my life experiences are genuine, unique. I try my best to learn from them and move forward. I hold no ill will towards anyone. This is more than hurt feelings, more than depression, more than overworked, more than transitional. All of me is in such a painful turmoil; my thoughts, my spirit, my body…yesterday I cleaned my face with fingernail polish remover. Smh/laugh, I did. Yet, I know this is more than I need a vacation phase.
I am not sure what this is, what it means. I quit social media for a minute. I have been fasting since May. I have taken the necessary steps to welcome this transition and yet it seems I am still failing.
My flux—Monday through Wednesday schedule is when I give all of me to others. Monday: work, see clients, facilitate grief group. Tuesday: work, see clients, and attend class. Wednesday: work, see clients, facilitate divorce group. Thursday: work, work on proposals, homework, more counseling projects. Friday: looks like Thursday. Saturday & Sunday: self-care days…even with some sort of training—in ethics or sex trafficking and conducting prayer hotlines. I think my self-care is suffocating because I do not know where I am at, who I am becoming. In addition, how is it possible that there is more to life when it all hurts?
I am alone in my crux. I see, hear so much hurt. From planned suicide to displaced wives and children to grieving individuals. Their hurt pains me so much and I know to run, walk, talk, pray for them outside of my counseling sessions. I do not carry their weight although the heaviness is substantial. I could list all my credentials, my leadership roles, my accomplishments, my wants yet it still is what I did —not what I am doing. I have only the premise that I am in the middle of something huge and I cannot go backwards nor move forward in front of God. It all frightens me.
“There is nothing My Holiness cannot do.” ~Marianne Williamson
Fighting for joy…to keep it…to live with it and in it in spite of what I see, of what I hear and no matter the mistreatment keep fighting for joy. My purposes are my purposes…God-divine. When things come up hard, when reasoning makes no sense, when everything seems to fall short, when the fluxes of this life overwhelm we must remember all that God requires is never easy. Jesus, His son suffered more than anyone. He set the standard for being obedient to God’s will. He won. His victory is for us to win as well.
There will be times I cannot be all to everyone. There will be times my spirit of encouragement is nil. There will be times when how alone I am in this world flattens me. (When Daddy & Momma are gone, it is a whole other kind of growing up.)
I do not talk. I do not complain. I encourage. I smile. I cover up. While in this transition phase one person said to me: “There’s something behind that smile.” I broke down. I cried. Not those hard cry just silent tears. There is my brokenness. There is the pain of being told my last seven years are a farce. That my struggle, my fight to be a counselor is of all things–unethical.
Normally, I have a few choice words for people who intentionally harm or disrespect me. I have my say. I am my best advocate. Yet, this time the weight of others, of it all, of this journey made me pause. I give. I give a lot. I give out. This time, for this moment I gave in. Whammy after whammy is depleting. The core of everything I am, everything I am becoming has to be fought for and I am tired.
“I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guardpost. There I will wait to see what the Lord says and how he[a] will answer my complaint.” Habakkuk 2:1 (NLT)
There is peace in my wait. There is more of me in my wait. He is there for me in my wait. I awake smiling. I enter my space, my chosen time alone is outside where I can see, hear, smell, touch, breathe in His love. There is where I begin…within my crux. I am trusting God to do His possibles for me and for you.
Fyi: For those who do not know I am in the practicum/internship phase of achieving my master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
Teen: “Ms. Michelle you play?” Me: “I can show you better than I can tell you.” I missed my first few shots so I took off my heels and we began to play. He is 15 years old, plays soccer; he has never held a basketball, heavy accent, overdosed once. He is the new kid, the quiet shy kid. My third day on post and I cannot remember his name. He shoots, misses horribly. I begin to teach him the techniques of holding a basketball, of bouncing. He continues to miss. He bounces the ball to me saying, “You try.”
I get’em all in! Sundress, barefooted, happy, sweating and connecting. During our conversation, I learn that he speaks nothing but negative statements about himself. “I can’t do it.” “I won’t get close to the blackboard.” I learn that his parents are from Honduras and El Salvador. I learn that he is a US citizen and that when others call him, “Mexican” its the only time he corrects anyone. I learn that I cannot pronounce his ethnicity but I continue trying until he laughs. He doesn’t mind repeating, teaching me.
It is just him and me. All the other teens have gone elsewhere along the park. I see him relax. I see him smile. I see him continue to try. I am learning to be his biggest cheerleader. I clap and yell when he gets a shot in. He then asks about me: “How did you learn how to play?” Me: “I have older children and I like the game of basketball. I watch it. You have to keep trying. Find a spot on the court you feel comfortable with and go from there. Keep practicing. Don’t give up.” Him: “Okay, Ms. Michelle. You got WNBA skills!” We laugh. I did outscore him.
After our interaction, sitting at the counselor table, Older Guy, smiling: “You have to meet them right where they are.” Me: “It was nice.”
Our moment healed my “self-tearing” struggle from last week. “Don’t give up.” They tell me I am no more than 32 years old. I dare not correct them. They know I am not a recovering addict and my first day they dismissed me as confidant. Yet today…today was a good day.