He Hears, Even in the Spring

By Indigo Blue


In the spring of 1996 I was manic. I could say that of every spring of my life since I was a teen, but this Spring was particularly bad.

Mau and I were newlyweds. I was finishing my Bachelors degree. I was working on my thesis project, which was to write educational literature, and since, of course, I procrastinated, I was trying to write 3 books at one time, within a period of three weeks. And I was doing it.

I was so sick. Jump out of my skin sick. I could scarcely sit still in class, in fact, my teacher, the sweetest woman on earth, told me I was disrupting the class with my going in and out of the room. And I was angry. A low-grade irritability had become a full-blown rage, and I was completely out of control. It was my husband that got the worst.

He came home. I don't even remember the details. It wouldn't have taken much. I attacked him. I remember he kept trying to get away from me, but I couldn't leave him alone. I was driven. I couldn't stop. I kept going after him, he kept trying to get away from me, and finally I grabbed his shirt and ripped it. I can see that shirt in my mind, as if this just happened today. When I could get no satisfaction from turning my rage on him, I turned it on myself and ran upstairs.

I remember pacing the floor wildly, talking to myself. I grabbed a bottle of pills and counted them out in my hands. There were 17 Benadryl tablets. I took them all, no water. I waited.

Something deep within must have stirred up, because I began to see beyond this blazing rage. I tried to tell Mau I had taken some pills, but he was angry, and I didn't know if he'd believe me. So I called an ambulance myself. Don't ever forget this lesson, sometimes you'd better be your own hero. But, be a hero to yourself by not getting this sick before you get some help

By the time the police arrived, I was nearly unconscious. The first stop was the emergency room. I was out of it, but I remember people moving fast all around me. It was the opposite of how I was feeling, and a strange irony, because finally, I had slowed down. They forced a tube down my throat while a burly woman screamed, "Swallow!" in my ear. I cried a lot.

I went into the hospital immediately. I remember I had on a maroon pair of sweats and a long sleeve t-shirt that said B.U.M. (I do not recommend such attire for hospitalization in a psych ward, particularly the shirt.). I remember I was disoriented, missed my babies, felt foolish, and was burping and farting charcoal from having my stomach pumped. This was one of the lowest points in my life. Plus, they'd taken me to a hospital so far that no one could come see me. Add feeling utterly alone to all of this.

Someone had given me a Bible, but I was confused and felt I'd disappointed God. My mind was both a whirlwind of emotions, and blunted beyond recognition. I must have been trying to do something with my hands, flipping through the pages of that Bible, because I know I was not reading it. And then I saw it. One passage of scripture, illuminated so that it seemed to jump off of the page. It said, I am poor and needy, but the Lord hears me." I don't even know what translation it was, because, it reads like that in no Bible I have now, but thatís what it said. It made a profound impact on me. I was poor. I was needy. He did hear.

I have been to seminary, and I went to a Christian undergraduate college. I have been involved in ministry, and I have been in church since I was a teen. But, the best thing I know about God I learned in a psychiatric hospital after I hurt myself very badly. I learned that the weak and the frail, and the angry, and the sad, and the lost, the confused and afraid--and I was all of these at that moment, He's listening to us, and we don't have to change and become strong or wise or holy. Some of us will never get there. He'll take us like we are. He does toilet work! And He's very, very good.


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