‘Did I tell you that I was admitted to the mental hospital twice?’ Jay said to me, twisting a tissue between her fingers. ‘The first time I was admitted, it came after a spending spree. Apparently, I had taken all my credit cards and bought so many items I maxed out all my cards but when I returned home to my husband, I couldn’t remember what I’d bought. I had nothing in my hands. They say I gave the items to random strangers on the street.’
‘What’s wrong? What did the doctors say?’ I tried my best to keep my face from showing any outward shock. She looked so empty, devoid of all the cheer I once knew her to have in vast amounts.
‘They say I am bipolar and when I’m happy, I go berserk spending loads of money. And when I get depressed, I hide from the world because I think someone is out there, coming after me.’ Jay looked at me and smiled wistfully, ‘I can’t remember how it feels to be unafraid.’
‘Why did you enter the hospital again?’ I reached out to hold her hand, ignoring the shredded tissue on the table between us.
‘I had been on prescribed medication for months and was feeling good. Stable. So I thought maybe, I was fully recovered and so stopped taking the medication. Not a good idea. The wild mood swings hit me again and when I began crying in class in the middle of teaching a lesson, they put me back into the hospital again.’
‘Why did you stop taking the medication? I take vitamins every day… it’s just routine,’ I tried my best to empathize with her but honestly, I couldn’t begin to fathom the depth of her struggle.
‘As long as I’m taking the medication…’ Jay took a deep breath to still her shaky voice, ‘I can’t have children. I’ve been married for three years now and all I dream of is holding a baby in my arms, and I can’t. I hate the fact that I’m dependent on medication to keep me normal,’ she gave me a sardonic smile.
‘Do you have any idea what it’s like to practice being normal?’ Jay leaned forward and stared at me, ‘I need to force myself out of my house to take a walk around the neighbourhood. Every person I meet is like the enemy, and to overcome this fear, I get out, walk for a bit and run home. I do this every day, while I wait to fully recover from this madness.’
She sat back and sipped her tea. Cocking her head to one side, she smiled.
‘I’m better now so don’t worry. I just need to wait for the day I’m fully recovered… the day when I can be stable without ever needing those damn pills. Maybe then, I can start living life again.’
How different am I from Jay?
Every single day, there are certain things I need that help me get through the day feeling, well… normal. I start my mornings with a hunger as I open my box filled with letters from the Dream Maker. Reading them and spending some time listening to Him talk takes me into the happy zone.
Recently though, I’ve been careless with my time and negligent with my ‘medication’. While I can’t understand my change in attitude, I see its effects on my emotions – they swing wildly from anger, depression, hurt to apathy.
‘Just pick up the letters and read them,’ I chide myself as I stare at the box of letters. Oddly, I put it down and walk away, only to face a day battling shadows that I don’t need to fight.
It’s plain dumb, stupid really.
‘Though I have a broken heart
I’m too busy to be heartbroken
There’s a lot of things that need to be done
Lord I have a broken heart
Though I have a broken dream
I’m too busy to be dreaming of you
There’s a lot of things that I gotta do
Lord I have a broken dream
I’ve been told that this will heal, given time…
‘Are you angry with me?’ His quiet voice startles me a little. I didn’t even notice Him coming to sit by my side, that was how consumed I was with my internal battles.
‘Angry? No…’ I shake my head.
‘Don’t lie to me, I can see right through you,’ He replies with a tinge of sadness.
‘I’m not angry, well, at least I don’t think it’s with you,’ I sigh. ‘I’m just tired…’
‘I saw a tear fall while you were asleep,’ He put His arm around me, ‘And I know why.’
‘Can you be faithful when I am faithless? Loving when I am hateful?’ I said, trying to keep the edginess from my voice, ‘Can you see me beautiful when I turn ugly? Will you make it all work out when I wonder if I’m doing all I can to destroy it?’
I was hoping to push Him away with my extremities and at the same time, longing for Him to prove that nothing will change the way He was holding me in His arms.
‘If you will let go of all that’s in your hands, and let me hold you in mine, I will change your world,’ He says with an urgency I haven’t heard before. ‘Look at me.’
I lift my bowed head and turn to look at Him.
‘That’s faith. All you need is to know and understand that I am the Dream Maker – the Maker and fulfillment of every desire in you. I made you, how can I do anything but love you? I see into you and whatever you choose to dress yourself in, dirty yourself with, doesn’t matter to me. I am looking into your heart.’
He opens His hands and spreads mine in His.
‘My hands are bigger than yours. You can try to work destruction, either purposefully or carelessly but My hands will always be bigger than yours. The world I can create from your mess will be far more astounding than any crap you give me. Can’t you see it? I am passionate about you.’
He takes the box of letters and places them in my hands.
‘How you feel on your journey – pain or joy – will be dependent on what you choose to fill your mind with. It doesn’t change its outcome. I’ve already written your story. And it’s good. One of the best, really…’ He smiles as He leans over, kisses my forehead and stands up.
‘I made my choice to believe in you. Now you choose what you want to believe.’
After He walked away, I sat there holding the box and bowed my head. Then very tentatively, I opened it, took out the first letter and began reading.