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

Being a carer isn’t all one sided.


I wanted to explain something that I have heard more than once and that’s the comments ‘you are just forcing Chris to stay alive.’ Actually you will find I am not. Suggesting so suggests you don’t understand mental illness and can be rather insulting. You see Chris doesn’t want to die, you ask him when he’s feeling ok and he will tell you, he doesn’t want his children to not have a father; he doesn’t want his parents to bury their son or me to bury my partner. Why do you think he even takes his medication? To help him get better because he wants to live his life.

It’s heartbreaking to sit there when his brain is telling him he wants to die or he can see images of him hurting himself in his head (intrusive thoughts) and he’s attempting to control them and keep them at bay but he can’t manage and they become over bearing. If someone told you they didn’t want to die wouldn’t you do everything to help them fulfil that? I don’t just mean it’s all up to me either, it often means getting health professionals to help him when he feels unable to contact them himself.

You see when he is well I hear the words ‘thanks for everything you have done for me Sarah, it’s down to you I am still here and I can’t thank you enough for helping me’ So you see its things like this as to why I do what I do. If he wasn’t thankful for what I have done, if I didn’t get anything back in return would I still be here after almost seven years? Not very likely. As much as I have helped Chris through things, he’s helped me; I have become so much more confident than I used to be for a start. Then not to mention the fact that Chris has been there for me through all of my pregnancies and more importantly the birth of all my children, he even ended up helping me deliver our eldest because the ambulance crew and midwives hadn’t arrived until her head was nearly out. When I was frightened that day I thought we lost this baby as posted earlier in the blog under ‘Some things are meant to be’ he only left my side to notify my parents of what was happening, I couldn’t have got through that without him. So thinking he’s all take take take from me and no give is wrong, perhaps it’s a different type of relationship, but everyone’s is, we work as a team, sometimes I do do a lot, but is it a ‘chore’? Far from it, would I rather not? No I just wish he didn’t suffer how he does.


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.

3 thoughts on “Being a carer isn’t all one sided.

  1. Its strange isnt it how we wouldn’t expect a person with a broken leg to get up and walk but we still expect a broken brain to think with clarity. Sounds like you are a remarkable family, who love and support each other through the good and bad times.
    Your final sentence says it all “Far from it, would I rather not? No I just wish he didn’t suffer how he does.”
    So do we Sarah!

  2. Reblogged this on Now is the Beginning and commented:
    I read this post from a fellow blogger’s blog, and aside from being very moving, I felt I could relate to it. Her husband, Chris, is not well in a similar way that I am not well, and she cares for him without question, without hesitation, the way my husband has been caring for me. Ever since my breakdown–and even before then–if there was something I couldn’t do because of anxiety, depression, whatever–he never asked questions and he never forced me to do anything I couldn’t/didn’t want to do. Every time I was in the hospital, he stayed by my side the entire time. When I had to stay in the hospital, he came and visited me in that short time period that they allowed visitors. He cooked, helped me fill out paperwork for my disability, drove me to my therapist and other doctor appointments, and not once did he ever ask me when I thought I’d be able to do it on my own or how long this was going to go on, etc.
    And, like Chris, I don’t want to die, but I used to see those things–those intrusive thoughts–that he sees. I used to wonder why I felt the need to die, and if Hub hadn’t been there for me, I would have. Many people don’t understand mental illness, and let’s face it, people are scared of what they don’t understand. When they’re scared, they make stupid comment that make the recipients of those comments want to punch them in the face.
    But, I am pulling through it because I have my loving Hub by my side, just as Chris will put through it, too, because he has someone who clearly loves him as much as Hub loves me.

  3. I get it:) I’m also a carer to a partner with mental illness and was so thrilled to stumble across you on twitter.

    I find the hardest comment we deal with here is when people tell us his illness is ‘mind over matter’. Grr

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s