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

The weekend


My weekend, I knew it was going to be hard, I was after all completely dreading it and really unsure as to how I was even going to get to Monday. When you looking after someone in a crisis minutes can seem hours, hours can seem like days and well weeks are more like months or years! Saturday was hard, it was exhausting but just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse Chris decided to down a large bottle of Malibu, straight. That is right, not diluted with anything; this for someone used to drinking is a lot, let alone someone who isn’t used to drinking. I had made an attempt to stop him, suggested other ways he could help himself but he wasn’t listening, I may as well have been chatting to myself. He told me he didn’t want to feel like this anymore, he wanted to take all his tablets and the only thing he could think of right now was alcohol.

Once he had finished the lot he fall asleep on the sofa, he woke acting very strange so I saw him up to bed and said goodnight. I locked the house up, got ready for bed but before I could get into it, Chris started coughing and choking, that was my cue for no sleep tonight. I made sure he was ok, before going back downstairs, I hadn’t even reached the bottom before I began to cry, and the more I tried to stop the tears the more they ran down my face. I was crying because it had just hit me that I didn’t know who this was, what had they done with the Chris I knew, he rarely drinks, he wouldn’t dream of drinking himself like this and be at risk of choking on his own vomit. I missed him, I desperately wanted him to cuddle me and tell me everything would be alright but he couldn’t, for I didn’t know where the Chris I recognise was.

Sunday morning was a blur, I had only ever managed to doze on the sofa on and off between running to Chris every time I could hear him choking to see if he was still ok. I had asked for his dad to come over and sit with Chris and the girls while I grabbed some sleep as I was struggling to function, I was shocked when he agreed. He arrived at 11 o’clock and shortly after I went and lay on the bed. Two interruptions later from the girls Chris was saying his dad needed me to go down because he needed to go, I looked at the clock, he hadn’t even been here an hour. Apparently though it was more important for him to go and have the lunch his mum had made him than to help me look after his son and grandchildren. He left, I sighed, I got on with it.

The rest of Sunday was spent guarding the key to the safe, and talking Chris back from two places when he decided once my back was turned to leave. He was agitated, he was pacing, couldn’t keep still, his thoughts were racing and he just kept telling me he didn’t want to be here anymore, and that we would be better without him. He said he was tired of fighting and tired of living like this. It was exhausting; don’t forget I was also doing all the ‘normal’ things you find any mother doing with four children and a house to run on a weekend. Last night I managed to get him to stay in the house, I gave him a Zopiclone and prayed he would sleep; he went to bed, closed his eyes and put it this way… It was one looooong night!


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.

2 thoughts on “The weekend

  1. Oh no. What an awful weekend! Am sorry! If there was any way I could come and babysit so you could sleep, I truly would (one random mother on the internet in tears at the struggles of another who is having a very hard time and wishes she could help!)
    I cannot believe the crisis team etc aren’t helping you. You shouldn’t be having to play nurse and deal with this. He needs proper help and medical supervision (I know you know that, I’m just saying it aloud!) I’m sorry, he must be feeling awful, to be in such a place, and for you to have to cope with it all! 😦
    And I won’t comment on your father in law and his “help” ‘cos it would be too rude to publish!
    Any joy from the care team today?

  2. I’ve just found your blog Sarah, and I am so sorry to hear what you are having to go through. I cannot imagine what it must be like to try and cope with both young kids and an ill partner like this.

    I have to care for my daughter who has a mental illness, but she is only 16 so at least her life is relatively uncomplicated. And though I do have another child he is of an age where I can get him to fend for himself for stretches while I concentrate on her.

    Hope you get some sleep and will be following you.

    Best wishes, JM

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