On The Other Side | Supporting a loved one with mental illness

I have grown up surrounded by mental illness, but never having to step outside the boundaries of kindly words. Until recently, that is. 

A few weeks ago, I found myself sitting in A&E with a loved one who had taken an overdose. I'm grateful to be able to tell you that on this occasion there was no harm done, and we're working on getting this person to a happier state of mind.

Throughout the journey to hospital, I remained very calm. In fact, calm is the wrong word. I was robotic. Granted, it was 3am, I'd had 2 hours' sleep and as such was completely exhausted; however, there was simply no emotional response at the time.

This sudden shift from being the person needing to be cared for to the person doing the caring has been dramatic, to say the least. It's forced me into being more responsible, and it's also made me incredibly defensive of my loved one.

I fear that I'm behaving in the same way as the media. It almost took a tragedy to open my eyes up to how much pain another person was causing. Regardless, now that I've seen the behaviour of the other person in the cold light of day, and seen the effects it's been having, I've come leaps and bounds in my ability to call out atrocious behaviour. 

As all of this has been happening there have only been a tiny amount of people who got to see my emotionless facade crumble at any point. Thankfully, I am incredibly lucky to be surrounded by people who know how to pick me up when I take a fall. Thanks to those people, I'm able to help my loved one through this little piece of hell that they're experiencing right now.

 

Apologies for the sporadic posts. As you can see, it's been a busy few weeks.