Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Week(s) (02/10/11)
- TITLE: Unblemished Hope
By Bonnie Bowden
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Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. Step on a crack, break your mother’s back reverberated through Alicia’s mind again and again in that sing-song manner. She had carefully avoided all the cracks in the 12 x 14 square foot room, to save her mom from any harm.
Now she made her way into the beige carpeted day room. The name of the room made little sense to her; the small, mesh covered window left little room for any sunlight to filter in. Eight olive, vinyl chairs and a worn, brown leather couch sat facing a small Sony television bolted to a table. She chose the only unblemished, unstained seat in the whole room. Doreen, her roommate, sat silently nearby humming a lullaby and rocking her dead baby girl, Savannah. Drool was running down Travis’s chin from a drug induced stupor as he stared straight ahead. Lisa, an emaciated anorexic, sat sipping her Ensure.
This was Alicia’s second day in the unit. She and Dr. Richards had decided it would be safer if she admitted herself into this private, Christian hospital for a short time. It looked like two weeks was the maximum time she would be allowed to stay. Her insurance company had only agreed to pay for 14 days. She hoped that this was enough time to allow her new regime of medications to work.
“Please God save me. Please God save me. Please God save me,” she whispered. “I must have done something really bad to cause my illness.” “I feel like a mummy entombed in a sarcophagus.”
Well meaning friends and family kept telling her to “stop” or “snap out of it”. Didn’t they realize that she begged God to give her the power to turn off her thoughts with the flip of a switch?
When Alicia looked down at her watch to check for the time, she noticed her raw and bleeding hands. She literally washed them about 75 times a day. It was her duty to keep herself and others from getting sick.
It was time to journey to the room across the hall for an hour of group therapy. This was her opportunity to open up about her feelings. The problem was that she felt only numb, and had no real insight into the emotions locked within.
One by one they had to go around the table and tell their name and DSM-IV clinical diagnosis.
“My name is Alicia. I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD and Major Depressive Disorder,” she stated. Then each of the other nine patients followed in similar style.
After the introductions were made, a 50ish age woman with blond-white hair and crystal blue eyes stood up to speak. “Hi. My name is Jocelyn. I will be your therapist while you are here in the hospital.”
“First, let me first assure you that your illness is not your fault. Ever since the days of Job, people have thought depression was caused by some sin that a person has committed.” One of Job’s friends, Zophar, said to Job, “… commit yourself to God completely. Reach out your hands to Him for help. Get rid of all of the sin you have. Don’t let anything that is evil stay in your tent.” (Job 11:13-14 NIrV).
Even though depression and other psychiatric conditions are illnesses just like diabetes or heart disease, you will still need to challenge your false beliefs. You may also need to take medication to stabilize your mood. It will not be easy, there is no magic pill or cure that will take away your struggles or lessen the learning process.
Then she read the Serenity Prayer, written by Reinhold Niebuhr, to them:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
It suddenly became clear to her. God was in control! She felt like a Monarch butterfly released from a cocoon; she was ready to try out her new wings.
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