babysitter’s coming tomorrow.” I say as we shuffle back and forth in the bathroom getting ready for bed. “I have to
see my Psychiatrist,” I add, drawing out the word in a way that makes it sound
seven months after hospitalization, I’m still uncomfortable with the idea of
being one of those people.
your last appointment?” my husband asks from his seat on the radiator, speaking
over and around the toothbrush in his mouth.
“Um, I’m not
sure. Maybe February?”
At the sink,
I pull my toothbrush from the cup and squeeze out a daub of toothpaste. “It’s kinda silly, I still have prescriptions
I haven’t filled because I’m not going through them as quickly as I could.” In fact I’d been tempted to cancel the
appointment this week – it felt inconvenient, coming on my kids’ first day of
spring break and unnecessary as I really didn’t need any refills.
a pause, I add, “I think it’s important, though, to help me remember.” Then, in case he doesn’t know what I mean, I
continue, “I was in the hospital, ya
know? It was a big deal. It is
a big deal. I don’t want to forget how
hard it was, how close we were to the edge.”
The edge of
what, I do not say, but I feel it. The
edge of darkness, the edge of all-consuming fear.
“Do you feel
like you forget?” he asked.
“Yes, I do.”
because I don’t want to remember. I
forget because no one wants to talk about it, hardly anyone asks. I forget
because I’m afraid – afraid that it happened in the first place, afraid it
could happen again.
bottles help me to remember. Pulling the
two red bottles from the cabinet, putting in the extra time to cut pills down to
size for the days and weeks ahead, feels like a welcome humility.
to see a counselor, perhaps more often than she thinks I need. Those
hours set aside on the calendar remind me to look at myself, to come up for air
and do a systems’ check.
appointments with the psychiatrist who listens briefly before handing out her
scripts, they help too. Driving up to
the building, I enter the same door I excited that bright August day. Every time I face that place, I face the
past; I face a part of myself that paid a price for being neglected for far too
long and I remember.
I don’t want to
It may seem
counter-intuitive or self-punishing in some strange way, but in the Christian
tradition we acknowledge remembrance as a necessary part of the journey toward
healing, toward resurrection. This is what we do in Lent and
Holy Week. We re-walk the steps, re-read
the texts, take, break and eat the wine and the bread. We re-enact the suffering and saving so that
we will remember.
We don’t want to
We tell the story of our own
bondage and salvation; we return to the tomb if only to remember how
cold and deep the darkness was before we saw the first piercing shaft of
remembering be blessed. May you find the
courage to not forget.