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Pauline Lerner

November 14, 2004 at 5:28 AM


This is a follow up to my previous entry.

Last night I wrote another long entry to my blog but, alas, it got lost in cyberspace. It was late and I was tired, so I just went to bed.

Wednesday night one of my friends came over and gave me some hugs, as he had promised. It was wonderful. When we started talking, he didn’t say anything about the problem, even though I was crying, and, at first, I couldn’t understand why. Then I remembered that a lot of people, especially men, have trouble discussing such things. I looked at himthen, and the look of concern on his face was a real gift.

The day after I was fired, the drama took a comic aspect. I was awakened at about 8:30 AM by someone yelling at me in my home. Since I live alone, this was unexpected. It was the police, coming after me as though I were a hardened criminal, because I had walked away from the ER the day before without being seen by a psychiatrist. The police told me that they had come to my home the night before, around 6:30 PM, and pounded on the door and hollered for me. I was home at that time but I didn’t hear them. They returned in the morning, pounded and hollered again, and, when they got no response, went to the management office of my condo and got the key. They returned, pounded and hollered some more and then came in. Once inside they hollered for me but I didn’t even wake up until they were almost in my bedroom. (Many people, including those I’ve lived with and several bosses, just can’t believe me when I tell them that I can sleep through several loud alarms.) I had anticipated the return of the police and made a plan, which I followed. I went quietly. I did ask whether they had a search warrant and they said no. They told me that there is a provision in law empowering them to enter someone’s home if the person’s life is in danger. While riding to the hospital, without handcuffs this time, I chatted with them about home repairs, car repairs, and the Internet. When we got out of the car, one policeman asked me if he could take my picture and I said, “Sure.” He told me that when he gave a description of me the previous night, he couldn’t remember what kind of hat I was wearing, and his buddies had teased him considerably. He wanted a picture of me with my hat on. He photographed me with a Polaroid and I told him that I’d like a copy of the photo if it came out well. He agreed and made a photocopy for me when we got into the hospital. Maybe I’ll scan it and post it on the Internet. He also found and retrieved the gym bag I had left behind when I walked out of the hospital the day before. After a wait which was unusually brief for an ER, I was seen by a psychiatrist who talked to me for a few minutes and then discharged me. I treated myself to a cab ride home.

Thursday evening I had a lesson scheduled with one of my adult students. I knew that he would be a good person for me to talk to. He is a deep thinker and very spiritual in a non-mainstream way, like me. I emailed him a link to my latest blog entry and asked him to read it before coming over. This man spoke with me directly, and with gentleness, wisdom, and understanding, about my problem. He started by telling me some of the things that other people have told me, i.e., think about the things that give you pleasure in life, like a beautiful fall day or playing your violin. I told him that these things aren’t enough. What makes life worth living is love. He told me that I have the love of music, of being with my friends, etc. I told him that this was not what I meant. He had the good sense not to argue with me about it. He talked to me about the importance of an idea in my head. Ideas are very powerful. If I have the idea that my situation or, worse, my self, is hopeless, I will always be unhappy. If I hold the idea of hope within me, then I can enjoy living, minute by minute and day by day. I’m not sure whether he really said that, but that’s the impression I came away with. In this discussion, we reached the essence of the matter. My problem can not be solved by making a list of things to be grateful for, as some people have advised, but only by doing something with the idea that governs me. This man is very, very wise and he helped me so much.

I have been heartened by the responses of so many people, both friends and strangers. I’ve received emails from several people I’ve never met who read my blog. People who have struggled with the same problem I have were very honest with me. Some understood my problem better than others; some responses were more helpful than others; but they all cared enough to write and encourage me. This, too, has been a gift.

I’m always so tired when I finish writing about this.

Stay tuned…

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