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

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Oblivious? The only ones apparently.

Ever looked around and wondered if you were the only person not to know what was going on? It appears Chris and I were the only ones completely oblivious to his social worker leaving; it appears everyone else had been warned it could happen. Shame we weren’t given the same warning and instead found out when she has already left. I am really lacking faith in anyone at the moment, I have never really trusted many from mental health services before but when my faith was slowly but surely coming back I now feel even I am back to square one, don’t trust anyone mode.

I just didn’t think it was too hard to keep someone until they find someone new to take over, and then meet them both together before continuing with the new one and saying goodbye to the old one, but obviously this is too much to ask for here. Instead let Chris down and in turn everyone in our family. If this is going to be the pattern for the next one then I think having no one at all would be less damaging. Funny isn’t it? Mental health services that are meant to care for people that do anything but, it would be lovely just once to feel like we are human beings and not just numbers who can be messed around with.

There is a quote that I keep reminding myself of at the moment:

“When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.” – Unknown



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Sickness and tears

One of the hardest things for me at the moment is Chris has started being sick again, this has happened a few times before and is either medicine related, so side effects or is his body not liking the abuse from the amount of overdoses he has taken both presently and in the past. He is due to see our GP again on Monday where again I will be bringing this up because it is rather concerning. At the moment being more hormonal and worrying about things more than normal with all the bad news of late, every time I hear him being sick I just want to cry; in fact it does bring tears to my eyes.

At the moment, with all the news I have had in the past week, going from what feels like a number of people to call upon if things aren’t going so well to feeling like again we have no one. Perfect timing eh? Do I know what the future holds? No but I do know we have what I always hold onto at rubbish times like these and that is each other, as long as we have that we will be ok.


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It was only a matter of time

Well I am so pleased I told Chris myself about his social worker leaving because it was only a matter of time before the following thing happened and sure as hell yesterday morning it did. Went as normal to depot clinic, which was quiet for a change. Sat waiting in a fairly busy waiting room while people wait for all kinds of treatment while watching the same old drivel they stick on their TV’s telling you things like what accident and emergency is for and not to smoke while pregnant etc. Anyway after a little wait Chris was called through for his depot by his social workers manager. He basically started the conversation off with Chris about how his social worker had left and that they hadn’t found a replacement, that if there were any problems for now he would have to contact him or the duty team and that they couldn’t tell him how long it will take to find him someone else. Well this was a shock because although I had already known she was due to leave, I had no idea she had left and didn’t work for them anymore. Chris said that she hadn’t even told him yet to which he replied, well she has left it to the last minute then hasn’t she. He gave Chris the injection and we left as normal.

Chris contacted his social worker to ask her if everything he had just been told was true and she messaged him back to say it was and she had wanted to tell him face to face. She then told him she would still be his worker until they find him a new one. Now honestly how many different things do you need to be told, do I know what he is meant to do now? Does he even know what he is meant to do now? I just don’t know, everyone says something different. He said to her what the manager had told him to do but she never replied with an answer, so goodness knows. It is bad enough that Chris is losing her after only just feeling able to trust her but it is even worse the way in which they have chosen to do it and their timing as far as the baby and everything else is concerned couldn’t be any worse.

As we go into the next couple of weeks towards the baby being born, all the emotions that brings, the various medical appointments Chris has, the meetings that have already been set up that his social worker would have been a part of I actually feel very down about it all. Once again I feel right back where we were a year ago with no one for Chris to contact and having to rely solely on me. I didn’t see this one coming and in all honesty I am rather worried about the next couple of months now.


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Huge changes ahead

There are always things we don’t want to hear, for whatever reason and times when the timing of things can’t get any worse. So we all know the baby is due in just over two weeks time and the news that was unfortunately sprang on me today was news I didn’t need at all and certainly not now while Chris is struggling as much as he is. I was talking to our community nurse who comes out from the doctors every now and again and she asked me what was happening with Chris social worker of late. I said we hadn’t really had much contact from her and I was worried about Chris but he didn’t feel able to contact her anymore after she last failed to contact him when she said she would.  Anyway she mentioned that there was talk of his social worker changing jobs, areas, I am not overly certain to which I replied ‘well that’s great’ and to which she said ‘exactly not great at all is it’ She told me not to mention anything to Chris and she would ring his Social worker and find out to make sure she had got her facts correct.

Sadly once the community nurse had gone, later this afternoon I got a call from her saying that it was correct and that his social worker was currently doing both jobs and realised it wasn’t the best time for all this change hence why she hadn’t told us yet. There is never going to be a good time to break this to Chris, but it couldn’t get much worse than now. So where did this leave me? Stuck in the ruddy middle of everything again while I work out if I keep it from him like they suggested until things are better or tell him because he is my partner, I love him dearly and he knows when things aren’t right with me. He isn’t stupid, and I am hormonal so it isn’t difficult to tell when I have been hit with something worrying/shocking/upsetting etc. I did tell him, I mean I would want to know, I don’t want to keep anything from him and what if he keeps feeling worse, there will never be a good time to tell him then and he is going to have to deal with it at some point, he’s no choice.

So where does this leave me? Worried sick about how I am going to get him through the next few months, worried sick about who will take her place baring in mind he has had his current one for a year end of July and it has taken this long for him to trust her enough to tell her anything. Worried sick about starting all this again while he is also worried about the baby coming along and being a good father. Worried sick that all this change is going to tip him over the edge. Not to mention my extremely good GP has just started maternity leave, I might have to change health visitor and now his social worker too. I did have a good cry to myself while I was peeling the potatoes for tea, I mean I just want something to go right and continue to go right just for once. I see rocky times ahead.



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It’s a lonely world sometimes

I am finding things pretty lonely at the moment, Chris seems to be keeping himself to himself and shutting off from most things. The loneliness is probably the hardest part of caring for someone for me. It’s nice to know there is someone there for you, even if you don’t need them as such but you just know they are there. I don’t feel I have this at the moment, I feel pretty much on my own. This week has been particularly difficult I think because my parents are on holiday in Devon, the land of no signal, and where as I would normally talk to mum on the phone daily I have only been able to send the odd text message. This coupled with the fact I am super hormonal and it’s not far from my due date now, which won’t be helping.

Also after the last time Chris saw his social worker she said she would ring him and find out how things are going, knowing full well he is struggling with the thought of the new baby and worrying about me etc. She never did call, nor has she been in touch since. His GP has had a few weeks off as well only working the odd day.. support has vanished at probably one of the times they need to be dishing it out to PREVENT Chris from going downhill but no it seems to be wait until he is bad and then we will help him. Too late then in my opinion!

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I haven’t been around a lot lately, mainly because I have made the most of ‘nesting’ so have been busy sorting the house out, still isn’t really how I would like it but I am not going to make myself ill trying. Plus one of my girls has been off for a week on half term and now they are both off, holidays are lovely but I am getting rather tired now.

Had a bit of a family emergency this week, which I am not going to go into and it wasn’t anything to do with Chris but my sister, she is two years younger than me and it really made me realise that there is nothing more important in life than your family. Everyone dropped everything to help her because people come and go, work can wait, plans can wait because when your child needs you, you just go, and you don’t even need to think. She is fine, and like for most of us, time is a healer.

As for Chris, well he is dreading the baby’s birth, worried about how he will cope, bond with the baby and all these other things. He worries so much and makes it so big, when I am not concerned at all, trouble is if he isn’t up to the standard he wants to be then he will beat himself up about it and how ‘useless he is’ which then makes everything worse and we go around in circles. He seems to feel a little better since I asked my parents to be on standby to come and stay in case I end up in hospital or unwell etc, they would then be here to help with the girls and the house etc and make sure he is ok.

Baby is due the end of the month.. Time fly’s!