A slightly different Monday Missive today...
I sit here in my corner room. The room that I was shocked and scared to find myself in a little over a week ago. Tonight the room isn't a bare-walled holding pen with locked cabinets but my room. The scuffs on the wall, the sticky patches on the floor are familiar. The sounds of my slippers wresting from the adhesive effect and clapping back down on the linoleum my own personal theme song. The simple room calms and comforts me. I am safe here now.
My name on the whiteboard seemed so securely emblazoned and yet I know it will be easily whisked away from its compatriots. I feel tears of joy and sadness welling up as I think of leaving my friends behind. I am so grateful for their companionship, their insight, their understanding and support. I wish that I could ease their pains, accelerate their journey, somehow make my graduation our graduation so that we may all leave together.
But our paths part here and while I am sad to go I am hopeful for all of us. I have seen such beautiful things among all our darkest feelings and most tragic memories. We have shared such tender moments, reaching out to help each other despite our own immense burdens. That is something remarkable. Not every unit will experience such grace or kindness on any given day, let alone for as many days as we have shared and I commend those special souls for contributing to such a marvelous healing atmosphere.
Somehow we have created a magical equation where immense sadness plus more sadness equals hope. Part of that has been the wonderful relationship and supportive peer community we have forged and another large part is the amazing staff here at 2 East. All the hard work they have poured into this program and all the care they take in coaxing wellness back into our lives is as sneakily effective as it is beautiful. This culture of caring is not universal and it is not a fluke. Well done. I never thought that having my vitals taken would become therapeutic!
I leave with a lighter heart, a good dose of fear, and a rekindled sense of hope but I also leave with tears in my eyes and a deep, deep gratitude for all those that have helped me on my path to recovery. From fleeting smiles to life affirming and life altering conversations, I have experienced a level of respect, care, and consideration that I had never conceived of before.
To my special friends and the staff of 2 East, thank you. Thank you and best of luck. I must give myself credit for hanging in with the program and letting the magic happen but I also appreciate the special effect that such a wonderful group of people added to this experience. Not every unit can do what we did here. I may have been able to recover at some other unit with some other people, but I know that I would not have felt as good as quickly if it had not been for all of you.
Keep on fighting the good fight.