God, Please Row My Boat


God, Please row my boat.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2017

Advertisements

Janet was my friend

12/29/12     5pm

Dear Jesus,

I don’t know if she believed or not, but I like to believe that Janet is in your arms today. Please bring her all the comfort and peace that she couldn’t find here and introduce her to joy. Thank you for the time you gave me with her. She is an amazing friend. Please be with Chrissy as she deals with this trauma and help me to provide comfort and support to the group. Give me strength to hold everyone up, to maintain my link. Thank you for giving me the resources and fortitude to do this. Thank you for hope.

In your name I pray, Amen.

Janet 2010

Janet hung herself.
I’m going to the donut shop now.
To be with Joe & Chrissy.
(pause)
Janet was my friend.

Chrissy found her.
Janet was my friend.
I saw her on Wednesday. We worked, talked, had dinner.
I knew she was bad.
I didn’t know how close.

Was the cleaning up all part of the plan?
I doubt it.

She hung herself in the bathroom.
The bathroom we just worked on.
With the flowered rug.
And the Tinkerbell towels.

Janet was my friend.

We went to Noodles & Company after.
She bought me food. We talked.
She laughed.

I met Janet in 2004 in Henry’s group when she was living with her family in Borrego and getting ECT. She was a wreck, but she helped me. She would walk me through guided imagery. We talked on the phone hours a day. She jumped out of a car on the freeway, ran away. Her parents screamed at me. So much drama. But she was my friend.

I couldn’t tolerate her anymore and was glad she disappeared. I hadn’t seen her in years when she showed up at DBSA. I heard of a Janet and prayed it wasn’t her, but it was. I was scared it would be the same drama with her parents and Fidaleo and 17 drugs. But it wasn’t. She was different.

The crippling depression Janet experienced while at DBSA was a vast improvement from when I met her. She had skills, sometimes hope, and a desire for a good life. She lived on her own or with a roommate, drove a car, fed her cats. Those cats were her family, her reasons for living. And the whole month of Halloween.

Janet was a broken little girl living the devil’s fairy tale. With a body that wouldn’t die. But I guess enough is enough sometimes. Her body & mind were weary. It was time to let go.

I can’t imagine her believing it would work. One last try out of desperation. Care for the cats and care for myself. I don’t blame her. She endured years of torture, loneliness and pain. The people she wanted love from the most were mean to her. She had nothing left in the reserve. No doctor, dwindling meds, persistent severe depression. She had her note cards and her kitties and her best friend. She fought the good fight and now it’s over.

Janet was my friend.

I find myself grappling now with the what if and why questions. The words that have no answers. The words that need no response.

I’m going to the donut shop.
Janet was my friend.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

My bitter love isn’t

3/20/12     10:25pm

Something magical between S- and M- tonight. I am left with a feeling of peace, calm. The most beautiful set – emotional, powerful, soft. He had a realization. He shared some music with her. I watched. I treasure the privilege. It was a moment, her listening, him watching intently. A love. A piece of magic.

I wish I had something like that. Not a romantic love, but a trust. A history. A hug.

I am so grateful to share in the energy, to talk with S-. To pretend. Maybe if I imagine it I can live it in my head. I’ll be loved and no one can get to me. Love will protect me. Bitter love.

– doesn’t know I like him. And he doesn’t like me back. And that’s okay. Bitter love. The silence doesn’t go away.

Dear God,

I watch the dots pass by me.
I am not in control.
You drive my car down many paths.
I am not in control.
The dots pass by. I fill with light.
I am fire. And then I am ash.
But I am not in control.

Be, they say, not do. But how?
Please, God. How?

The dots pass by.
I listen and breathe.

-M

My sadness fills rivers.
My heart, it shrivels.
My body is in pain.
I am alone.
I am alone.

Jesus, I can’t feel you. Are you there? I’m scared. I choose love but feel fear. I feel alone. Am I alone? Why can’t I feel love? Is it a brain thing? It just is. Everything just is. Could you make everything isn’t? I’d appreciate that.

My toes are cold. The tv is on. I’d like it if is were isn’t. Would life be better in isn’t? I don’t know. Please, bitter love, love me or go away. My bitter love isn’t.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

The Prayer

12-17-10

I said a prayer yesterday. I’ve been sick for a week and I was laying on my mom’s bed staring at the ceiling. It started out a standard prayer – thank you for this, please help me with that. But then I stopped and it changed. And I just said to God that I don’t expect any of it. I don’t expect any of these things I ask for and I know they are out of my control. I know and I ask for help accepting that none of this is up to me. I am part of a plan too big for me to even imagine, serving a purpose I might never comprehend.

When I’m supposed to understand, I will. Until then, I’ll wait and know that my life is in His hand.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010

Help & A Magic Dress

5-11-10                 6:04pm

M- posted this this morning:

What would you do if you knew someone needed your help, but you knew there was nothing you could do to help?

I’ve been thinking about it all day.

I find myself in that position often. So many people want or need my help, but I often don’t have it to give. I pray. And call my contacts. I have an extensive network of colleagues and resources. I usually know someone who can help or know someone who does. But there are situations that can’t be fixed, hearts that can’t be mended, questions that have no answers.

The short answer is – I pray. And I hurt. I have to accept there is nothing I can do. It’s not easy. And sometimes there is something I could do but it would hurt me to do it and I have to say no. And sometimes I have the perfect solution but it’s not my problem to fix.

Helping people is tricky. Many times I find what people are looking for is not a solution but comfort. Someone who will listen, a hug, a note just to say you care. For me, just being near people who mean a lot to me helps. Like Sacha. Her voice and her presence, for the most part, are calming to me. If there’s nothing I can do, it’s not my help they need.

I run a non-profit support organization for people with mood disorders and their friends and family. I see a lot of people in crisis. I get 3am phone calls, emails and texts 24/7. I’m the designated crisis person because I know what to do, what to say, who to call or not call and why. But it takes a serious toll on me. And it’s taken many years to realize that I can’t save them all. It’s not my responsibility. Does it hurt me to watch some suffer? You bet. But, for my own sake, I can’t save them all.

So I do what I can do, what I’m willing to, and I pray. God, please hold this person. They’re hurting and there’s nothing I can do. Then I make sure I have the support and comfort I need. Helplessness eats at me, especially if who I can’t help is special to me.

I also find it frustrating when I’m the one asking for help and there are no answers, there is no response. It would be nice sometime to find someone like me who will do everything in their power to find an answer. Until then I pray, and write, and sing, and accept, and help people. Every day.

—–

5-12-10                 2:17am

I love what he said later: “I just wish I could make a magic dress that when worn would heal anyone of sickness or woe.”

That would be such a beautiful dress. I close my eyes and smile just to think of it… Makes me feel light yellow and reminds me of the little yellow house I dreamed someday to own. :) I don’t know of a dress that can heal but the one I bought for my birthday this year made woes goes away for awhile. I was still sick but when I wore that dress I felt beautiful. And that feeling, that feeling like I was worth it and could conquer the world, won out for awhile. Just one night. I remember that feeling. It didn’t matter that I was sick. I just felt good. I didn’t want to take it off…

Tonight it makes me wonder why if everyone’s searching for the answers we haven’t found them yet. I don’t know. A magic dress. Why not? Are clinical trials required for healing articles of clothing? Hmmm… Sign me up! :)

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010