Today I took a mental health day. I don’t normally call in, and technically I didn’t as I had the day off, but I took a day off from doing any real work. I laid in my bed well beyond my normal wake-up, and as with the cliché, I wanted to put the blankets over my head and wish myself away.
The last few weeks I’ve been battling pneumonia/bronchitis/sinus stuff and I’ve been working my way through it, but today I cracked. Well, I think I cracked a week ago but I felt it today. The interesting thing, that I also found out today with feeling cracked is that nobody really cares. No, stick with me – you can say you are taking time off, but the emails and messages still come through. You can say you don’t want to talk about it, but you’re still asked but when you explain it, it sounds ridiculous. You can say you feel like you’re having a breakdown, and you’re pretty much told you aren’t. When you know you are. But it makes others feel weird when the strong one can’t carry anything else.
I really shouldn’t have been caught off guard. The crack began when my dad fell in the spring, had a brain bleed, and a week later had a heart attack. The crack continued when my son left for basic training, and then my dog died. It cracked deep when my best friend suddenly passed away, and two other close friends committed suicide. The crack broke again when my mom-in-law was in a horrible car accident and her (mental/neurological) health took a grim turn. This morning my dad’s nurse called with his open heart/bypass surgery date and that is when the tears came and the crack deepened.
The Japanese have an art of golden joinery. Broken and damaged ceramics are lovingly restored with gold or other precious metals, making them even more refined thanks to their ‘scars’. Kintsugi teaches us that being broken can in fact make us more beautiful with time and scars are there to be healed, restored and admired, not hidden away. The cracks are highlighted, they add character and are there to be adored, and not to mention they also make the piece more valuable.
I’m not embarrassed to admit that I’m depressed right now. I feel cracked. Being ill isn’t helping. The inability to make my dad or mom-in-law better isn’t helping. The stress my adult kids are experiencing and not being able to promise them it will be okay, hurts my heart. And all I could do today was find an escape and to cry; to let my soul crack, knowing that it will be healed and restored. Not today, though.