For Christmas one of the gifts I wanted and got (thanks Geena!) was a memoir called "Hurry Down Sunshine" by Michael Greenberg. Thanks to some car "trouble" at the lake Christmas Day I got trapped out in the wilderness (or warm cottage with a crackling fire) for an extra day (a christmas miracle, really), giving me lots of time, in between marathon games of Trivial Pursuit with the fam, to read read read.
The book is written by a 15 year old girl's father about her sudden psychosis, how it all unravelled, and how they tried to piece things back together. Mental health has always intruiged me, how someone can be ill without any outward signs. Even the experienced doctors in the book have no real answer as to why these things happen. Brain chemicals, neurotransmitters... but no one seems to know what sets things off down the road to some mental illness. It sounds like it may be a depressing book, and it kind of is, but I can't stop reading it...
As I was out for a run yesterday I went past the psych ward at St. Boniface and thought about people spending their holiday there. Personal experiences make my heart break when I think of things like this. It is a horrible feeling to love people and see them sick, yet not be able to fix it with a cast or antibiotics. At the same time I sometimes wonder what's the fine line between any of us breaking down. Ane Brun sings: "I wear rubber bands round my soul... they keep me from falling". When I think about it this way it makes me want to treat everyone with a little more kindness, a little more love, and a little more gently. A rubber band can easily snap, and although we are strong and hardy folk (to see people bustling about in -40 windchill proves this), we are also a delicate mix, our hearts pumping through hundreds of tiny vessels, keeping our souls held together.
Ane Brun: Rubber and Soul- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xF92Q884ezE