This is what I am doing here
Ok, so I don't want to get too heavy here on this old blog of mine, but I did commit to doing 10 postcards and this title out of the 31 titles of confessions jumped out at me this evening.
The hardest thing I think I have ever gone through was a weekend of seeing my husband (to be at the time, we were not married yet) having a breakdown and entering into a psychotic episode of delusions and paranoia in 2005. Convincing him that he needed to go to hospital and be assessed was heartbreaking and because we were living in separate towns at the time he had to be
transferred to where he lived as he was registered with his GP there. I don't want to go into all the details and immense emotional roller coaster that ensued, as I have compartmentalised them and they are safely dealt with and we have moved on. I just remember eventually after a whole day in A & E being transported to a mental health unit in Brighton where I had to admit him and then helped him settle into a room with an en-suite. He was so unwell and very delusional, a 6'4" man standing like a little boy lost. It was so frightening and shocking to witness someone you love going through such torment and in such a vulnerable place.
The hardest part was walking away.I broke down in what felt like primal sobbing at the time and have never felt so alone.
Alice was 5 at the time and she spent the day and night at a good friends home and remained none the wiser. My priority was to protect her and keep things as normal as possible for her.
The shock of it all caused me to stutter for about 3 weeks.
Months went by and slowly Andy got better having been diagnosed with schizoid affective disorder, I learnt about what his triggers were and we have managed well with various strategies to help reduce the triggers. He had done so well up until last year when his work became so stressful he had another breakdown and had to be admitted to a mental health unit locally. Unfortunately, extreme stress is a massive trigger for him and we were aware of this, but some times it just takes one tiny extra drop of water into the cup to make it overflow and this is what happened. I felt more prepared and coped a bit better I think, it was still shocking and extremely distressing especially for Alice who was almost 12 at the time. That killed me not being able to fully protect her, but we have had lots of time to talk things through and I hope and pray I have been able to support her as much as possible and that Andy will remain well.
Life is so precious my friends, so delicate and fragile. I believe in love and this is the most powerful thing for me during these very hard moments in my life. I do believe that I am richer for these experiences and more wise about mental health. Life certainly has it's challenges, all relative to each and everyone of us and I wish you all very good health.
If you like TED talks there are some great ones on mental health, I especially liked this one and this one.
Thanks for stopping and see you soon