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

Love gets you through anything.


I didn’t end up blogging yesterday because Chris wasn’t doing too well, my eldest daughter got sent home from school with a high temperature and I was feeling so sick because I was just exhausted. After a better night’s sleep I am today feeling a lot better. However Chris hasn’t been so good again, he’s found today very hard and felt really down and depressed, so much so he’s gone to bed to try and ‘shut off’ again. My eldest has tonsillitis, an ear infection, a bad cough and her temperature has been as high as 40.4, took her to the doctors and hopefully her antibiotics will kick in soon and help her feel better. So I’ve been rather busy playing nurse along with all my usual things.

It is now the start of February half term; I’m hoping the weather might improve a little so we don’t end up stuck inside a lot. I really am still trying to encourage Chris to get out and about when he can so his anxiety doesn’t completely stop him leaving the house again. Not sure what’s happened with his Social Worker, she said she would ring him a few weeks ago and never did, haven’t heard anything since and he doesn’t want to bother her. Thankfully we are seeing our GP Monday, so if he’s still not too good then the GP might even let her know himself.

I have been thinking about my counselling appointment the other day, I bought up about how I didn’t think I coped too well with things and that I didn’t really know what tools I used to get through the past few years. As I was talking about various events it was becoming apparent that I do have a means of coping that I was completely unaware of. It seems that I always remember something my dad told me because his dad, my Grandfather used to say to him and that is ‘as long as you have done your best, no one can ask anything more of you.’ I have a systematic way of thinking that starts off looking at the situation as a whole, then I see what recourses I have to help me, then prioritise starting with ‘most urgent’, right down to ‘it doesn’t matter if you don’t do it’ then I go about following it through. Then when I look back over what I have done, I can never say I didn’t do my best so I can’t criticize myself if perhaps it all didn’t get done etc because I did my best with the situation/events I was dealt.

Take for example the night before my daughters first day at school (Sept 2011), quite late Chris was very unwell and had overdosed; I had sat with him in A&E till gone 3am while his dad sat with the girls. At 3am he was moved to the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) so I stayed with him until he had been seen and then got myself a taxi home. I didn’t get home till just before 5am, updated his dad properly before waiting for him to leave. By this time it was getting on for 5.30am and I knew the girls would be up at 6.30am ish so I didn’t go to bed, instead I sorted packed lunches and uniforms before getting some cereal and watching the TV. I took the girls to school and playgroup pretending I was fine, that daddy was feeling a little poorly so the hospital was looking after him. I then arranged for his dad to come and sit with the little ones again so I could get up to the hospital so I didn’t miss him seeing the psychiatrist. Meanwhile I knew my dad was coming up from London to give me a hand (you have no idea how much my parents mean to me). I sat in the hospital with Chris until 2.15pm because I needed to pick my gorgeous girl up from her first day at school, with no sleep, exhausted, could have missed the psychiatrist (I prayed they would be there later) but it was her first day and there was no way I was going to miss such a big event and not be there for her, I juggled things so I could try and be there for everyone. I took her home, did them their tea, put them to bed, left them in the safe hands of my dad, and headed for the hospital.  The psychiatrist didn’t turn up until almost 7.30pm in the end and when she did let’s just say I wish she hadn’t (complaint is in so won’t discuss that yet).

I know that day I did my best, I juggled everything to cater for everyone’s needs, I was there for my children, I was there for Chris and that’s not just because I love him, not just because he’s my partner but for the very reason he’s my children’s father and I want them to always have him and him them. I always said after someone told me ‘it would be easier for you if you left Chris’ and this I maintain, that it doesn’t matter if I didn’t love him romantically anymore, if we split, if he even hated me, I would never be able to not do anything or leave him to hurt himself because not only is he a fellow human being, it’s not just about me and him, it’s about my girls, they deserve their dad, I would never ever want to sit them down and explain to them that he was in heaven and they would never see him again. I love him and our children very much, I guess what I’m trying to say is everything I do is for them… Love gets you through anything.


Author: acarerseyes

I am a mum to four gorgeous girls, and a carer to my former partner of eight years, Chris who has a mental illness, BPD. I blog my experiences.. life is tough! We live in Greater Manchester, UK.

7 thoughts on “Love gets you through anything.

  1. I just found your blog, it is good to read a blog from someone who is a carer and partner of someone with BPD. Hope to become a regular reader.

  2. Emotional post!! I really have no clue what it’s like from your side of things but I always remember some advice I was given. You know when you are on a plane and they give the safety demonstration and they tell you to put your own oxygen mask on before helping any children or vulnerable adults. I was told to apply this to life. That if I didn’t look after myself then I wouldn’t be able to help others. I know your family are incredibly important to you (just by the way you blog and tweet about them) but please make sure you look after yourself too x

  3. Love does get you through anything but remember to love yourself as well as others. My grandfather used to tell me faith can get you through anything life throws at you. You and your family are in my prayers. Hugs}}}}

  4. I’ve read lots of interesting things on this blog. Thank you for sharing. However, it seems to me that the love you talk about in this post is totally one-sided.

    You give love, care, support, time, understanding, everything, to your children and Chris. You are the children’s mother so it’s understandable. However, Chris is an adult and your life partner. What does he give to you?

    Does Chris care for you? Does Chris support you – financially, emotionally, spiritually – in any way at all? Does Chris listen to and understand you? Does Chris protect you? In what sense does Chris show you love?

    This level of self sacrifice and martyrdom is unsustainable. Do you really think you can force Chris to stay alive by doing what you’re doing? If so, what happens when you’re ill? What happens when you’re in hospital giving birth or recovering from the birth?

    When did you stop being a whole human being with needs and wants of your own and become a full time unpaid nurse?

    Sorry but this is not any form of “love” that I recognise.

    • Thanks for sharing your opinion, if you read my post titled Valentine’s day you will get insight into reciprocated love. My blog is focused on life through a carers eyes, its very young at only three weeks old. Perhaps if you revisit you will see the kind of team Chris and I are.

    • I’ll admit I find that response utterly astounding and borderline offensive and it’s not even directed towards me! I haven’t got the time to list the number of assumptions and value laden statements such a short reply contains.

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