“I’m sorry”, my mom says as she wiped tears from her eyes, “your Dad is sick and we just can’t go this time”. My brothers 6th birthday was a promised trip to Disneyland. We were beyond excited, what kid doesn’t love Disneyland?  We never did make it back to Disneyland.      

My name is Robin, at age 21 I was misdiagnosed with uni-polar depression. I was given 900mg of Lithium, and sent to a physiatrist who ended my first-ever session by telling me I should become a professional physiatrist because the evaluation I gave of myself was “astonishing”.      

The tremors came next, along with acne that reminded me of my high school days. That was enough for me to throw in the towel four weeks later. Who needs medication? I wasn’t completely broken anyways. A little cracked, but surely not broken. I knew what broken looked like. Broken was watching my Dad draw on walls with my little brothers crayons, talking about Jesus and Revelations, and blowing his home to Timbuktu with a homemade bomb (literally) because “they” were coming. That  was someone who was broken. I wasn’t broken. I thought I knew what broken looked like…I was wrong.      

Broken is lying in bed for 24 hours once or twice a month because you’re too depressed to move. Broken is waking up at 4:00 in the morning to bake Apple Pies for no good reason, but to bake them. Broken is fooling everyone around you into thinking you are ok. Broken is trying to jump out of a moving car because you’re angry. I’m scaring you right now; I get that, but please believe me when I say it scares me too. Broken is having an affair on your husband, six months after you get married, and when you are asked why you did it the only answer you can come up with is “because I felt bad for the other guy”. That, my friends, is broken—just a different flavor.     

I’ve learned that for most of us, our perception is our reality. I’ve also learned that broken is relative to the person. My brokenness isn’t your brokenness. We are all broken in a way…some of us are cracked, some of us are shattered, and some of us are just plain broken. We are all broken, and could use a little duck tape.

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