The past couple of birthdays and Christmases have been very difficult days for my son Darrell who is coping with Bipolar II disorder. When life consists of darkness, it is difficult to believe it is possible to ever return to the light of the “True Me” again.
Make happier occasions
This year I tried extra hard to think of ways to help make these two events happier occasions for Darrell. On his birthday, we ate Costa Vida salads (his favorite salad) and then I took him to get a deep massage with a focus on his neck and shoulder area where he carries a lot of stress. He enjoyed his special day which made me happy. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my children happy.
For some reason, I was more nervous he was going to feel sad and depressed Christmas Eve and Christmas day. I prayed God would help and guide me in knowing how to make Christmas a better experience than the last two years.
A nice surprise
My husband had gone to bed and I planned to join him but Darrell and I became engaged in a meaningful conversation about his future hopes. It was unusual because the communication flow was unhindered, in fact, it flowed with ease. I was very grateful we were enjoying an effortless, natural conversation. I couldn’t remember the last time Darrell was able to engage in a conversation without conflict. I was thrilled and pleasantly surprised.
Christmas Eve opening a gift
We visited for a while when out of the blue, Darrell asked me if I would like to open the Christmas gift he bought me. I told him I would prefer to wait until Christmas morning so Dad could share in the “specialness” of the gift he had chosen to give me. I then asked Darrell if he would like to open one of his gifts. He nodded in the affirmative.
Shoe house slippers
I decided to let him open the gift containing shoe house slippers (the only type of slippers Darrell likes to wear). I actually found these house slippers by accident when I was shopping with my husband for a pair of tennis shoes. I eyed them on a clearance rack at Ross and I had the immediate thought, those slippers look like Darrell. They were a nice quality Dockers brand.
I feel joy!
When he opened the package, he was surprised. He said, “I didn’t think of getting house slippers.” I replied, “I noticed your other slippers are almost worn out so I thought you would enjoy another pair.” He quickly took them out of the box and put them on his feet and began to walk around. He said, “These feel really good. They are so comfortable.” He started walking around and turned to me with a spark in his eye I have not seen for years. He said, “Mom, I feel joy!” It was at that moment I knew it wasn’t happenstance those house slippers had found their way to Darrell’s feet.
Then an interesting thing happened. The following words flowed into me and out to Darrell. “You have discovered “shoe house slippers” belong in your “True Me” box. I strongly believe whatever brings joy and happiness to a person is what belongs in their “True Me” box. Everything else belongs in the “Confused Emotions” box where negative emotions wait to be recovered from a state of fear to their original state of love. We are not our emotions. Our “True Me” is not depression, anxiety, worry, or PTSD, etc. These emotions are learned. Our “True Me” is our natural state which is happiness and joy.” *See Diagram Below
I told Darrell he ought to record that he is a “ shoe house slipper man” in his “True Me” box and to be sure to protect his joy from any trend, style, or fashion that may try to steal his joy of being a “shoe house slipper man”. He smiled. We hugged and then said, “Goodnight” to one another.
A very happy mother
God, thank you for answering a mother’s prayer through a simple pair of house slippers. I had no clue my prayers were being answered when I discovered and purchased a pair of $9.99 house slippers. Thank you for your grace and mercy! I retired to my bed feeling true happiness. It felt awesome!
Top Featured Photo by Nick Fewings