I know.. its been some me since I have written & I can say in all honesty not only dealing with stresses of every day life but still trying to cope with the loss of my sister Marykay who committed suicide September of 2020. Yes at a time with a crazy pandemic was going on but also at a time when depression, addiction and abusive situations were on the rise. My sister her whole life battled with mental health issues as a matter of fact it runs in my family blood line from my grandma, my aunt , my sister & who else? From the time she was 18 she was in and out of doctor offices who labeled her bipolar and put her on meds. As her life spun out of control in her late 30’s losing her fiance, bad car accident, she started using drugs from pain meds, illegal drugs and of course alcohol to help cope. She engaged with wrong crowd, doing jail time and eventually becoming pregnant with a child who would be taken from her due drugs in her system. My sister’s life as you can imagine did not get better, she started using heavier drugs and ultimately serving prison time again for stealing. Being the 3rd youngest of 9 kids my sister felt like a failure and ultimately was outcasted by most of my family. Never invited to family parties or holiday events afraid of what kind of commotion she might cause. I could never imagine being in her shoes and what she felt! Over the next couple years she would lose her fiance from a drug over dose and be in and out of a mental intuitions & half way homes which never helped her succeed.
My sister Eileen & her family took her in, gave her not only a home for the next 2 years but LOVE. It may not have been an ideal place but the bond between my sisters were like Laverne & Shirley; they would make you laugh at amount of bickering they would do between the two. My sister MaryKay got a job at Burger King, she was good with people & got a place of her own (literally 7 minutes from my sister Eileens home). Just as she started to establish her life again when my sister Eileen suffered 2 strokes which ultimately left her family to make a decision to move her to California to be with her son. My sister Marykay did not do well after that, she lost her job, she was being evicted from her apartment. She tried to commit suicide and was put on a waiting list to go into a treatment center, BUT was sent home with meds to help deal with the depression. She succeeded in committing suicide September 1. 2020, 3 months after being in care for help for depression. I will never forget that night as I went on a blind date and I couldn’t wait to call and tell her as it was someone she would of loved. I called and she called me while I was one on another call, “I will call her back tomorrow I thought” but there was no tomorrow.
In the next couple days me and my sisters took boxes of meds from her apartment & not one helped her. It haunts me everyday how so may levels of failure played out here for my sisters life. Yes there will always be the shoulda, woulda, coulda’s….BUT what if we assessed mental health care at a different level. Did you know that psychologist who treat your brain (the most complex organ we have) do not scan your brain? They simply go by symptoms which as we know just from these days flu symptoms and covid systems are similar but different treatment plans. I do see the treatment plans change from some one who really needs the meds to someone who might need an adjustment to their nutrient levels. Lastly most hauntingly is my sister was on a waiting list to get help at a dark time in her life. We have no other options but a bottle of meds & a “we’ll call you” that my friends is failure from our mental health care. And my sisters story is one of so many! It is my hope that just as JESUS never gave up on the lost & broken as a society we must start to rebuild the way we think and heal people.
I myself was broken, abandoned, depressed, intoxicated and it took a family of faith (my church) and lots of hope not only in the surrender to god but to the hope of rebuilding myself so I may stand with others. I end on this note, the other night my best friend and I went to a Christian Christmas concert and the leader of the band said “Just as our lord Jesus was the light of the world, we walk with him & for him. Be the light in the world full of so much darkness”.
You are the light of the world. … Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” ~ John 8:12.