Life in the ICU
It has been a few months now that I have been wanting to place my thoughts on paper.
Life has thrown me unexpected changes, and forced me to finish some chapters in my life book that I wasn’t expecting to finish.
We all want a “forever” and “happily ever after” story.
I was one of them. Thinking changes like the one I am going through would never happen to me.
It has been a long process where I have had the need to pick up the pieces of my own heart and figure out how to glue them back together .
I have experienced deep sadness, anger, frustration, fear, and many moments of feeling “numb” just going through life without feeling anything.
As I write this to share, I also want to acknowledge those who have been there for me.
One of them being one of my best friends. One life sent me through yoga, and we have created a beautiful bond and friendship. Our Hispanic heritage, our language was one of the connections we had, but we soon noticed that we have met each other not only for yoga but for something deeper. Friendship. As a professional - She is the best Psychiatrist in the world, and life outside her profession she is one of the most amazing, genuine persons I know- and although I am not her patient, she has kept me “alive” in a sense. Our talks go from the simple things like talking about coffee, to very deep and hard conversations. As she has continued to help me every day, she always has her “psychiatrist” wisdom better know as her “hammer” which she throws in when ever needed.
As you read all this, you may ask yourself why is this paper called Life in the ICU.
Well let me explain after this brief necessary introduction.
On this rollercoaster that I am trying to navigate, there have been moments of deep despair. Almost feeling like I am at the hospital for a severe injury or surgery. Feeling I can’t move out of the hospital bed, feeling afraid of what life would be after I get “discharged” from the hospital.
One day I broke down and told her how I felt, and she very wisely said - well, you can recover and get dismissed from the hospital, but at least you are no in the ICU unit.
Correct. I wasn’t. I was in a sense waiting to recover, heal and hearing from the doctors so I could go home. Remember - this is all a metaphor. I wasn’t in the hospital. Just felt like I was. (and still sometimes do).
A few weeks later I felt my heartache, my own condition and reason I was at the hospital worsened. And then I felt I was rushed to the ICU.
Intensive Care Unit.
What happens when a patient is admitted to the ICU?
“ICU cares for people who have life-threatening conditions, such as a serious injury or illness, where they receive around-the-clock monitoring and life support. ICU patients can be connected to a wide range of machines, the most common being a heart monitor and artificial ventilators (when patients can’t breathe for themselves)”.
Do you see what I am trying to explain?
That’s how I have felt at times. And it takes a while to leave the unit.
Although I don’t have a serious physical injury or illness, I do have a broken heart and shattered dreams.
I don’t need a machine or a heart monitor or artificial ventilators. I need lo learn how to heal this heart of mine. I need to breathe and trust the universe and a higher power has something good prepared for me. I have to start dreaming again, and writing a “second” book of my life, because even though it feels like the end of the world - As others say and I must trust - It’s not. It the beginning of a better one.
I turn back to my yoga practice to help me heal. I turn to my pranayama practices to help me breathe and cope with anxiety of the unknown.
I turn to my closest friends for support and my children for motivation. I turn to the care taker of the ICU for advise and wisdom. I turn to God and pray to help me come out of the ICU, hospital stronger with a resilient heart.
It’s not magic. It’s not a one day process. It’s a day at a time journey. One step at a time. Go in and out of the ICU how many more times I need. To go back to the hospital bed to recover, to gain strength so I can walk out of this process and see a new light.
Because everyone deserves happiness, and what has not killed me will make me stronger one day.