acarerseyes

Through the eyes of a carer for someone with a mental illness


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You are important

I was looking through some of my belongings that I had kept from school when I saw, on the back of my Year 6 class photo was written a poem. I don’t know who it is by but I thought I would share it.

YOU ARE IMPORTANT

In moments of doubt

You may say it aloud,

“I’m nobody special

just a face in the crowd,

I won’t be remembered

For the things that I’ve said,

I’ve little to show

For the life that I’ve led”

Well, listen to me,

Get your head of your chest

Don’t judge your importance

By fame and success,

You’ve set yourself standards

And values of worth,

You’re loved and considered

the salt of the earth.

For the genuine feelings

That set you apart

And the caring affection

That springs from your heart.

With the warmth and the wisdom

In the words that you speak,

These are the talents

That make you unique.

Plus one added extra

Required of a star,

You’re the last one to know

How important you are.

~Unknown~

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The end of a chapter

I attended Chris ward round on Tuesday where he was discharged from hospital, it was pretty easy really, tell them what they wanted to hear, have his depot and he was as good as laughing. Much hasn’t changed, yes he isn’t hurting himself or attempting too but he has these periods of time which occur before the cycle repeats. There is still no therapy in place to maintain or help him manage being better. Anyway it was possibly the hardest ward round I had been too, for one I knew it was my last, this is where a chapter of my life was about to draw to a close and secondly because they asked the question directed at me ‘are you any closer to working out why Chris suddenly got so much better?’ this usually implies that me leaving him was his ‘cure’ so therefore it must have just been me then? Nothing like feeling like it was my fault eh?

The thing was, I couldn’t answer that anymore than I have told anyone else, that yes me leaving probably made him fight for himself and that made him a lot better along with the natural cycle he goes in, whether they want to admit that is how it is or not. What upsets me is what I wanted to say I couldn’t, maybe one day but not now. I had to sit and smile and be all like yeah life is a bunch of roses and deep down it really isn’t.

I closed that chapter of my life walking off the ward, one that was extremely tough and demanding, that sometimes was so rewarding but then would rip me to shreds too. I learnt so many things, good and bad and met a fair few people, some awful but many more so, amazing. I went on a journey, not knowing where things would take me, I never imagined this would happen but then I never imagined one day I would write this blog or have ‘met’ so many amazing and supportive people as you.. yes YOU, reading this now.

While now isn’t the right time to say a fair few things, I wanted to thank you for reading, thank you for listening to me and thank you for supporting my blog. I opened up some of my life to show you some of the things I faced, to help others understand and make those, like me, feel less alone. Thank you to those who have been there every step of the way, including:

@femalePTSD who went as far as to drive me to the hospital, pick me up when I didn’t know what to do and provide an ear and cuddles.

@mentalhealthcop who referred to a few of my blogs on his own and was the reason I started blogging two years ago.

@StMHNurseRahs who answered my questions on becoming a student nurse and is generally lovely

@Ermintrude2 and @mattplaysdrum who were always willing to help answer mental health related questions as best they could.

Two of my amazing friend’s offline C and T… they know who they are, providing copious amounts of support especially recently, I couldn’t have done many a thing without them both.

Finally, my four gorgeous girls, the only reason I ever got up on days when life seemed so tough and difficult, they would always find a way to make me smile and never fail to make me proud.

I still don’t know what comes next, I haven’t decided on my blogging journey or where the next step will take me but I wanted to give you an update, this blog is going nowhere in the hope it will continue to show others they aren’t alone and to provide a point of view of caring for someone with a mental illness. When I know however what the next step for me is after taking some time to look after myself and spoil (just a little bit) my girls, I promise to let you know.

Once again thank you, keep the comments coming and we shall see what the future holds.

Sarah


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Two Years

Today marks two years of A Carers Eyes, and what a journey it has been. I have blogged my way through one of the toughest chapters of my life. As you know more recently my relationship with Chris came to an end and although we are going to remain friends this chapter of my life is almost over. I am no longer his nearest relative (NR) now he has been taken off his section and what with me hoping to be moving closer to my family and friends down south, I will eventually have little to do with his care.

I will never stop caring though, he is the father of my four children, I will always want him to be well and ok, and eight years of my life is a long time just to throw away. I have shared things with him I won’t ever share with anyone else. This isn’t going to be my last blog post, that probably won’t happen until Chris has been discharged from hospital completely as supposed to just staying at his dads on ‘home leave.’ I would like to continue to share my journey but I have yet to decide how I go about that if I do.

Thank you once again for continuing to support me and I will let you know of the plan when I have decided what to do.


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After just 24 hours informal

So after twenty-four hours of Chris being off his section and having agreed that he would remain in hospital informally he was already avoiding going back by asking me to stay at home over night. This I didn’t agree to at all, I am shattered, he wasn’t sticking to what the plan was, not that I was surprised. I needed to get a good night’s sleep and not be worrying about what he was up to. Then throw his state of agitation into this and lack of his PRN and night time meds I just thought it was a possible disaster waiting to happen.

If he didn’t want to go back to the ward the only place he could go was to stay with his dad, so that is what he ended up doing, much to his dads disapproval.  After all how many times has his dad and I been in this situation. It doesn’t surprise us anymore, so is exactly why when the ward start saying ‘be positive, give it a chance’ really? I did once, this is god knows how many times since and let’s face it; it is just how Chris is.

Anyway he went to his dads and stayed the night there. I didn’t sleep very well at all, a combination of too much on my mind and not feeling so well again. I feel so lost still, I know the things I need to do but physically doing them and having the emotional strength and courage just seems so difficult. I just know that there will never be a relationship with Chris and I again, I have been looking for that person I fell in love with, and I still cannot find him. It still hurts.


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Sectioned to informal

The conclusion from ward round that I actually ended up missing and arriving afterwards was that Chris section would be receded and he had agreed to remain in hospital informally. I knew this was the most likely option but nothing makes it any easier hearing it when you have to beg the question what they have actually been doing apart from locking him up for weeks on end. No therapy has been arranged, no plan was made, we have just been ‘waiting’ and waiting no doubt for Chris to improve, like we all know he does after awhile but for how long?

I was made aware when I did get to the ward that Chris named nurse wanted to talk to me. I made my way to the nurses office where she told me what had just happened and that they were in agreement that he didn’t need to be on his section anymore and they have decided to take him off it. I couldn’t help it but before I had chance to think about what I was saying I came out with ‘Want to take bets on how long it will be before he is home?’ She said she hoped it wouldn’t happen and she wants to remain positive about it, yes it’s ok for her and a lot of other people who haven’t lived in this cycle for years, where they lock him up for a bit and let him go without there being any change to keeping him well long term.

My heart sank, would he be ok from now onwards? I see the point they make that this might be the time he leaves and never comes back. Yeah it ‘might’ but that is pretty hard for me to see and while I hope for that more than ever, especially for the sake of the girls nothing will convince me not to be cynical anymore. I pointed out to her that if I didn’t laugh I would just cry, I have lost count of how many times I have been sat in that office, how many times I have heard the same things said to me and I know the moment Chris doesn’t like what he hears or is told to do he will be like ‘discharge me’ and then he will land on the doorstep again. What happens now no one knows.

He came home for most of the afternoon and once the girls were in bed I found myself having to convince him to return to the hospital. So his word lasted long then. After some time of convincing him and a lot of patience on my part he agreed that he would go back to the hospital and would be home again first thing in the morning. So we could now be looking at him using hospital as just a place to sleep basically… and so we are back to how it was before. I really hope he continues to do ok, it would be unrealistic and damaging to my own emotions to just assume that this is it, he will be fine now and it’s like he is cured. That would be more believable if he was having therapy and had a long term plan of care, which seems far from the case and with an eighteen month psychological therapy waiting list. Could they actually drag this out any longer?

Anyway only time will tell, there is a lot of things that could still make the road very bumpy for him, here is hoping the next few months go without too much of a hitch.


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Numb. Hurt. lost.

I think the best way to describe how I feel at the moment is numb. I went into the New Year wanting a fresh start, moving near my parents and building the girls a better life and continuing my studies.  While I never expect anything in life to be easy I sometimes don’t appreciate how super hard absolutely everything in my life seems to be. It couldn’t possibly go simple for me could it? I mean, what is simple?

Firstly my parents ask me if I know what I am doing, if I have thought about it, they shot me down for ending my relationship with Chris in the first place putting it on me that ‘we thought better of you than that.’ They have since made it quite clear that anything I wanted to do or any happiness I had found, especially over New Year that they didn’t agree with and were going to make life even harder for me. At least before when times were hard, I could ring them up, now what do I do?

I feel like I have lost the person I loved so much, that I will never get back, that I desperately searched for, for so long until I accepted the grief that he, as I knew him, was gone. Now too I have lost my parents, they have ignored my phone calls, have ignored my texts and emails and kind of left me to it. It is a lonely place for me at the moment, those I relied on have vanished for whatever reasons and yeah I just see myself stood alone with my four girls. I want a fresh start but where? Who with? Do I go it completely alone and have faith in myself that I will be ok because I will make sure of it? I don’t know, I really don’t know.

It hurts, I am not going to lie, I just wanted to try and make things better for everyone and again I seem to be the one who comes off worst. I sure hope that one day things change and it is me that gets some happiness. New Year gave me hope that I was allowed to be and feel happy, it is just a shame it didn’t last as long as I would have hoped. It just went to show it can happen and I am sure it will again, I just have to battle the hard times, again! I wish I didn’t feel so lost and had a plan of what I wanted and what to do to make it all happen. I need to believe in myself and stop doubting, I just wish I didn’t feel so alone with it all.


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Looking towards the Tribunal

I know it has been awhile since I last blogged, I have been trying to look after myself for a bit, anyway enough about me.  Chris has been improving week on week and his tribunal is now on the 31st of January so not far off. I was speaking to his nurse last night who said that there would be a ward round this Friday to review his section and that she didn’t feel he should still be on it. I see her point, because in some respects neither do I, but then if he comes off it I know it is likely that the first time anyone said something he didn’t agree with he would be like ‘sod ya, discharge me.’

I am all for least restrictive but when you have been in this position so many times and there is still no plan of care that looks at keeping Chris well are we just in that period of he’s ok again before we hit another really rough spell and how does everyone handle that then? I don’t know and actually no one else really does because we just don’t have any means of a plan. I am hoping that on Friday we will know more and maybe start to properly move forward with Chris having the care he needs so he doesn’t end up back in this situation again in a couple of months like last time.

I have been ok, trying to look after myself and making the most of the girls while they are little. I am not going to lie though, I have really had a rough couple of months and sometimes I still don’t know whether I am coming or going. Things surprisingly aren’t that good between my parents and I but that is another blog in its own right. I think at the moment the best way to explain how I feel is lost and fed up of playing second best to what feels like everyone.