Self-care is not selfish or self-indulgent. We cannot nurture others from a dry well. We need to take care of our own needs first, then we can give from our surplus, our abundance. — Jennifer Louden
As most of you know by now, I have recently been on a medical leave from work. This has been due to mental illness. I have once again been transparent as much as I can, and have found incredible support, love and prayers from our community.
On May 25th, I wrote a Message from the Executive Director on The Lighthouse Soup Kitchen and Shelter Facebook page. As a shelter and soup kitchen, mental health plays a key part of what we do. Working with such an incredibly supportive organization has been a true blessing.
On May 2nd, I was “formed” to the mental crisis ward of the hospital. When someone is “formed“, it means a Form 1 has been placed on a person due to safety for oneself or others. This person must go to the hospital or the police will be called to detain them. I agreed with being formed, as I knew I wasn’t safe with myself.
I spent 15 days on C6 (the mental health crisis ward of our local hospital), getting the immediate help I needed. I can tell you more about that experience in a later blog.
One of the things that was set up for me during my stay in the hospital, with the help of one of the social workers, was that we completed an application to go to Homewood Health Centre. Homewood has a program called Integrated Mood and Anxiety Program, which is an 8 week (56 days) in-patient program. Let me repeat that again…8 weeks!! Wow! My first thought…”How will I ever leave home and my community for 8 weeks?”
However, God’s timing is always perfect. I am to attend the program in Guelph from July 5th – August 30th. All my kids are in summer camps or working throughout the summer, so they are taken care of. My husband has a kitchen painting project to keep himself busy. Again, my work has been super supportive. Operations are continuing to house men experiencing homelessness and providing food for our community. Our campaign and incredible fall events are moving forward (mark your calendars for Sept 23th Golf Tournament and Sept 30th for Ride for Refuge!). I will be integrated back into our operations and capital campaign in September.
So…questions?? Yep, tons of questions.
- Why go?
- What will you do there?
- How is it paid for?
- Are you nervous/excited?
- Can you have visitors?
- Will you be on social media?
- Will I have my phone?
- Would you like mail?
Why go? I have been now diagnosed with Bipolar and Anxiety. Mental illness is not something that you ever “recover” from, but more so learn to manage. Similar to diabetes. I have been doing really well for 8 years (since my last big “crash” which is why I started this blog in the first place). However, I don’t want to go through the manic (high) and depressive (low) stages without a toolbox full of tools to manage through the highs and lows. At Homewood, I’ll learn new skills, develop deeper understanding of mental health, and delve deeper into wellness.
What will I do there? Great question! I’m not totally sure. I know that there will be a lot of programs and workshops that I will be attending. My medication will be looked at. And I will have a whole clinical team to care for me. It will be a lot of work. I know that. Not quite a summer vacation! 😉
How is it paid for? Can you believe that this program costs close to $20,000?!? But thanks to amazing benefits packages, I am able to attend.
Am I nervous/excited? Yes! I am so nervous. But I am also excited. Nervous because of the unknown, and excited to get the help that I need. And also be able to take what I learn and help others. I always want to help others.
Can I have visitors? You bet!! Want to come to Guelph? Once I get there and am established, my clinical team will let me know the visitor schedule. I’ll also have weekend passes to come home.
Will you still be on social media? I do plan to go off of social media for most of the summer. This will be hard, since many of you know how much I love my social media! haha! I may check in on the weekends, and I may try to update this blog to keep you posted on what’s happening at Homewood. It will all depend on how I’m doing.
Will I have my phone? Yes, the program I am attending allows me to have access to my phone. However, during programs and workshops, obviously, I will not be allowed it. Plus, I won’t be on social media and will be trying to limit it myself so that I can focus on my task at hand.
Would I like mail? YES!!!!! Over the past couple months, I have received so many beautiful cards, prayers, meals, pictures, etc. Each one I hold close to my heart and am so grateful.
If you feel inclined to write me a “snail mail” letter (but please do not feel obligated!), you are welcome to use this address:
Homewood Health Centre
150 Delhi Street
Guelph, Ontario N1E 6K9
Attn: Linda Goodall (IMAP)
So, there are a few questions answered. If you have other questions, I’d be happy to answer whatever I can. But know that I may not have the answers. Or that I’m not able to answer quite yet.
Thank you. Thank you for your prayers. For your support. For the incredible meals (did you see the Meal Train?! Like seriously! People are Ahhhmazing!!!).
And for just loving me unconditionally, for who I am. My broken self.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28