Friday, December 16, 2016

A Stranger’s Act of Kindness Towards Me and My Bipolar That Surprised Me

I hit rock bottom in life a little over 10 years ago. I lost everything that was important to me, from my child, to my car, to my my dignity.

This is when I was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and ended up spending 6 weeks in a short term psych ward. The average stay there was 5-7 days, I blew that average right out of the water.

I made a lot of poor choices before that hospital stay, which ultimately cost me custody of my child, and for a time it lost me my family and friends.

When I was staying at this hospital, I had no friends or family to come visit me, everyone had written me off. I had no one to call during open phone time. I had no one to bring me money to get a soda, or something besides the semi-edible hospital food.

That kind of isolation will wear on a person, until they begin to truly believe that they are nothing more than a mouth breather taking up space. This being a very difficult point in my life, I actually contemplated ways to end my life while in the hospital. I hated myself, and felt like no one should waste their time on me.

And since I had that attitude, several of the nurses and techs treated me as such. There was one who didn't though. He treated me as if I were a person. As if I mattered. He was always subtle in his approach to letting me know I had value, but it was always there. It was the little things like getting me a soda every week or so, or buying me french fries from the cafe downstairs because he knew I wasn't getting that stuff any other way. He would let me choose the radio station and encourage me to rock out.

These don't sound like huge things, but they were life altering for me. I was able to slowly come back from the brink of the dark abyss because of his actions. I started writing while in the hospital, to get the words that were poisoning my soul out. I started trying to live again, even though every day was like having a glass shard in my heart.

I learned a valuable lesson from this man's treatment of me. I learned that you never know how much of a difference you can make in a person's life by being kind, so be kind, always. He'll never know that he helped save my life, just by treating me as a person. Now I try to pay that forward whenever I can. Random acts of kindness are my favorite things to do. If you're ever in a position to either be kind, or say something hurtful, always try and choose the higher road. You never know when you'll be saving a person's life by doing so. 

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