There are so many people who let me down when I was in the hospital. More than I ever could have imagined there’d be. Being honest, I’m quite bitter about it. But I need to let go of that bitterness.
One thing I never wanted to be was bitter. I’ve always believed that bitterness halts you. It keeps you in a moment that’s already passed. And it’s an understatement to say that I feel ready to move on from my time in the hospital. It seems to be all I’ve focused on for the past few months. One of the ways I can move on is by forgiving each of you.
I was so incredibly hurt during my time at the hospital. Almost every moment I was awake was spent hurting in a number of different ways. No one outside of the hospital saw a reason for me to be hurting so much. I’ve always been so good at hiding the parts of myself which were in pain. So good at building walls to keep people out of the darker sides of my mind. When those darker parts began to grow and I had no way to keep people out any more, I had to submit to people being able to see how much pain I was in. But they still couldn’t see the reasons.
That hurt. I’d never fully understood the stigma of mental illness until that moment. Growing up, I suffered in silence. By the time I became open about it, it was (temporarily) a thing of the past. Something I was able to inform people about from my history, which they didn’t feel an immense pressure to comfort me about. After all, I was fine now. Standing with a smile on my face and a strong posture. I’d obviously recovered. Everyone suffers in their teenage years, she just happened to need therapy for her suffering.
I was afraid that if I let people in, they wouldn’t understand and they’d end up hurting me. Unfortunately, I was correct. I was hurt by a lot of different people. People who didn’t come to visit me, afraid of saying the wrong thing, or behaving insensitively. Those who said uncompassionate things to me and gave me unsolicited advice which showed they didn’t understand what I was going through. Loved ones who, instead of asking me what I needed, hurt me while thinking they were doing the right thing. And I understand that some of that couldn’t be helped, some people were doing their best. But that doesn’t erase all the ways in which I was hurt.
The People I Lost.
I lost a group of very good friends. A group who I still barely talk to. I lost them for a number of reasons. Prior to my hospitalisation I was sick for a long time. This meant I wasn’t a great friend. I knew that at the time but I couldn’t do much about it. So people gave up on me. Which was their choice. I wouldn’t deny them that. However, it did hurt that they gave up on me at my very lowest-when I was alone in a strange place.
But I need to forgive that. As much as they didn’t understand what I was going through at the time, I didn’t know what was happening with them. As painful and torturous as it was, I got through it. That’s the only important thing.
I’m sorry to say that I fought with my family a lot. My family hadn’t been very familiar with treatment for mental illness before I came along. This caused a lot of rows due to miscommunication from both sides. I don’t mean to imply that I was the innocent party. But it hurt fighting with my family during my time of need. If I’m being truthful I’m still harbouring some resentment towards them. But I need to let go of that. We all did our best in what was a very difficult situation and everything has been resolved in the months since.
Being in the hospital took everything away from me. My control, my independence, my ability to choose and it unfortunately took my loved ones away as well. Some temporarily and some not so temporarily. That last part was the hardest thing to process. I thought I had an unshakeable support network around me, but it wasn’t the case. We can’t ever fully rely on others, I learned that the hard way. But I’m ready to move on and forgive and thankfully the people still around me have allowed me to do so. You can’t spend too long feeling bitter when you’re surrounded by love.
Read about a kind woman I encountered in a hospital here.