I Might Understand You

As I pulled into the parking lot I noticed a young man sitting near the back of the gas station. He looked up at me and as I passed him our eyes locked. I felt a need to check on him, but I needed to be somewhere else at that moment. I figured I could circle back around after I was done.

Once I finished what I was doing I noticed he had moved closer to where I was and was now sitting on a bench. I pulled up, rolled my window down and asked, “Is everything ok?”

“No” he responded, “today is the worst day of my life”. And with that we began talking. I parked my car and walked over with a bottle of water and we talked for almost an hour.

I learned he was 33, was having problems with his mom, his ex-girlfriend, his mom’s boyfriend, and life in general. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and struggled with anxiety, depression, unemployment, homelessness, low feelings of self-worth, self-harm, and suicidal ideation. When I asked him if he felt like he might harm himself he responded that he did not plan to nor did he want to do that.

He explained that he’d had a disagreement with his mom and her boyfriend the night before and in order to not deal with them he instead spent the evening outside just wandering. Honestly, he looked like he might have spent more than just one night outside.

He told me he sometimes heard voices, but he wasn’t sure if he was actually having auditory hallucinations or if the people who had repeatedly shown him a lack of understanding and intolerance were lying to him. Truth be told, it could be both.

I later learned that some people who have bipolar disorder can suffer from “Psychosis” and have auditory hallucinations but not everyone knows that, even therapists.

I reminded him that he’s going to be ok and that while things seem bleak at the moment they are likely to improve if he keeps moving in the direction that is in his best interest. Things such as continuing with therapy, getting a job, and finding a safe place to live, either with family or friends. He said he had options.

We talked until he felt better overall and decided on a plan to go to a friend’s home, get a shower and rest before planning his next course of action: either move to his father’s or go back to his mother’s. One step at a time.

I honestly have no idea if my stopping to talk with him helped at all, but I hope so. At the very least I wanted him to know that he wasn’t alone.

Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth) George Harrison

Give me love
Give me love
Give me peace on earth
Give me light
Give me life
Keep me free from birth
Give me hope
Help me cope, with this heavy load
Trying to, touch and reach you with,
Heart and soul

Om m m m m m m m m m m m m m
M m m my lord
Please take hold of my hand, that
I might understand you
Won’t you please
Oh won’t you

Give me love
Give me love
Give me peace on earth
Give me light
Give me life
Keep me free from birth
Give me hope
Help me cope, with this heavy load
Trying to, touch and reach you with,
Heart and soul

Om m m m m m m m m m m m m m
M m m my lord
Please take hold of my hand, that
I might understand you

George Harrison

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