The flight back home was uneventful as well. Although I didn't think much about it, my medication must have been doing its job. Or perhaps my schizophrenic episode was just that: a single episode. But regardless of any permanent chemical imbalance I may have had, I'd been so deeply frightened by my loss of control and constant paranoia that now, back on the job, it felt comforting to know I was on medication prescribed by a doctor who I trusted like no one else. My relationship with this kind and brilliant man helped me feel that by following his advice I was doing something important for myself. I was improving my chance at living a normal and productive life.
Dr Lebensohn had told me over and over again that having a serious illness can be a blessing in disguise; it can help you realize how essential it is to take care of your basics needs and requirements. So with my first flight out of my way and a growing sense of confidence, I began to focus my attention on Dr' Lebensohn's other "prescriptions."
So soon after my first month of flying, my grandmother persuaded me it was time to go to church. Dr. Lebensohn had put "pursuing a faith tradition" on the list of things to do. I was hesitant. Church going would require I be around lots of people, that these people would get to know my business, and I'd have to set aside time each week to attend. It all seemed like an inconvenience.
But Dr. Lebensohn said it would be good for me so I had to give it a try. Not by following my devoted Grandmother's lead to the Southern Baptists. Her church didn't believe in predestination and for some reason I did. As a child, I'd been drawn to the idea my path had been chosen for me by a divine force. I didn't know much more than that. But somebody must have had something in store for me since I hadn't been struck dead that memorable day while burning my Bible in the kitchen. So Granny, mother and I drove off to service with the Presbyterians. Although unhappy about the prospect, I imagined the coffee and cookies at the end of the service would provide some relief.
I remember little about the service except that the church was filled to capacity. We found a seat in the back next to no one I knew and close to the door in case an escape was necessary. And then the organ began to play, "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" and I was hooked. All at once I felt there was something bigger in me than I'd ever imagined.
To be continued ...