Joyce is still struggling with her mental illness. There was a knock on my door late last night. It was Joyce. I invited her in and we sat talking, and drinking hot, freshly brewed sweet tea.
"My mind won't slow down," she told me. "I need to sleep."
"I do that, too," I replied. "I feel as if I am going to jump out of my skin."
"See?" Joyce said. "You understand."
"Unfortunately, I do," was my reply.
I warmed us up a couple of apple pastries in the microwave and we sat watching The Weather Channel as we ate. It was already well past midnight. I noticed Joyce was chain smoking and her hands were shaking. My heart went out to her. She had to come home because her insurance would no longer pay.
"Why don't you just sleep over here," I said looking at my watch again. I was terribly tired, but was trying not to be too obvious about it.
"I need to go," she said as she stood up and gave me a hug. "I think God works in mysterious ways and he was working in my life when he made you my neighbor. Mr. Ed is elderly and I couldn't go to him with my problems."
"Take your Xanax and you get some sleep," I replied. "It will calm your mind down."
I walked Joyce back to her house, making sure she got in safe. I came home and crashed, sleeping until 5 AM. My heart goes out to her. I wish there was something more tangible I could do to help. I now realize how helpless my ex-wife and parents felt all those years I was so mentally ill. Mental illness is such a pernicious and nefarious disease of the mind. Revel in your saneness to those of you who are normal. I can't emphasize that more importantly.