Close To Home

Last Updated: 12 Aug 2020
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We recently had an emergency that required a trip to the hospital with one of my children.  When a child is hurting, there are no words to describe a parent’s feelings of hopelessness and loss of control.  My heart broke at the realization that I couldn’t fix this one on my own.
 
After my daughter was admitted and situated, I had a choice to make.  Would I allow my anxiety to run the show and only complicate the situation, or would I commit to some necessary self-care to prevent myself from getting sick.  I chose the latter.  Here’s what I did:

Pray.  I asked God to heal what I could not.  I asked for wisdom for the doctors.  I asked for peace in the midst of the anxiety.  I remembered the bible story of Jesus calming the storm, and asked the He would do the same for this situation. I thanked God that even though I felt out of control, that He was not.
 
Put down the credit card, and back away slowly. Maybe it’s a guy thing, but when a loved one is hurting, I tend to go into hunt-and-gather mode.  I want to buy things to make everybody feel better.  Instead, I did the opposite.  I had to make a conscious choice to not wrack up debt, and to save the money for impending copays and prescriptions.

Rest.  The next day, I took a nap.  I had to remind myself that nothing I could do or buy would speed up my daughter’s healing.  The best thing I could offer was a well-rested, healthy dad.

My daughter is home and feeling better, and thankfully, I remained healthy. How do you cope when a crisis hits close to home?

About the author
Jon Press is a husband and father living in the Chicago suburbs. He holds a BA in Religion, an MA in Christian Education, is certified in Mental Health First Aid, and has taken several graduate level courses towards a Masters degree in Community Counseling. He was first diagnosed with Bipolar I in college (1989). After many seasons of depression and (hypo)mania, his diagnosis was later revised to Bipolar II (2002). Following a hospitalization in 2010, he became fiercely committed to his own recovery and connecting with others in the bp community. Jon was featured on the “This is Me” page in the Winter 2012 Edition of bp Magazine. He facilitates a depression, bipolar, and anxiety support group in the Chicago area called Fresh Hope. He is delighted to be a part of the bphope blogging team. In sharing personal stories and experiences, his goal is to foster community by challenging, educating, and inspiring positive change.

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