People Who Understand

Every Thursday evening I attend a NAMI support group at Good Samaritan Hospital. The opportunity to be with other people who “get it” is priceless! This group of people know what I’m going through because they’ve gone through it before. It’s very normalizing to be around them. And at the same time, so many of them are far along the path of recovery, and it’s very encouraging to hear their stories of hope of the place I hope to be someday.

After group, several of us head over to Portillo’s (local fast food icon) for more sharing, sometimes less about our illnesses and more about life events. Last night three of us didn’t want to go home and stayed at Portillo’s until they closed, talking about the previous week and upcoming decisions. I had been having a rough day, not sure how I felt, and having to summon energy to go to several appointments. These two women listened to me babble away about not knowing how I felt and identified with me, back when they were first learning to live with mental illness and had these days when nothing seemed to make sense. They ministered to me as I didn’t know I need, both listening and offering hope that recovery would come. That somehow God would use this turn in my life in exciting ways and for empathy with lots of different people in unexpected ways too. All things I knew already, but hearing it unsolicited from friends made it more true, than just something I was making up to feel better.

It’s been important to my recovery that I found community and friends. And the Portillo’s group talks about themselves as family – that’s how important it is to find a group that “gets it,” that knows that life is different when you have a mental illness. I hope over time this blog will help describe what’s different.

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3 responses to “People Who Understand

  1. So true about being with people who get it. So glad you have more family to be with you.

    And Portillos rocks!

  2. chrissy tobias

    Love ya Deborah! and you are part of the family! We all love having you in group and with us at Portillos…. I know I think about how you are doing throughout the week, and keep up on your blog. I pray for you, and always hope you are well. I know this isn’t easy, and I’m not saying I’m in the best place either, but I know what it’s like, and we are all here for EACHOTHER… that’s what family is! we understand one another…. we know what it’s like to not be able to get out of bed, or not want to leave the house or be around people…. we get that…. you get that. Just remember after every storm somewhere there is a beautiful rainbow…. you just have to look around to see it. Your rainbow is coming….
    Call me if you need to, or just want to!

  3. Thanks, Chrissy! You all have begun to feel like family to me too, and I hold you in my thoughts and prayers during the week too. I’ve got to get a hold of phone numbers so I can call you up too. I’ll see you after my trip to Dallas.

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