Holidays are stressful enough. When a loved one suffers with a mental illness, it can be overwhelming for both of you. We all have visions of perfect meals with the smiling family all around. We also try to hard to make it easy for our loved one, who may only want everything to follow the
One of my first questions when our son was returning home after a suicide attempt was, “How do we ‘watch’’ him?” I didn’t get the answer I wanted: “You don’t.”
I was prepared to have a 24-hour watch, and do it all myself if I had to. That was neither possible nor practical. In the emotion of the moment, I wasn’t thinking; I was reacting. I didn’t, couldn’t, think about myself.
Like any traumatic change, acceptance is at the end. Whether the change is due to loss of income, illness, or a job change, a point comes when the new way of life is accepted.
The sudden burst of anger shook the entire household. Where did that come from? What triggered it?
It’s not your ill loved one ranting and raving; it is you.
Why? The human response when bad things happen – death, loss of job, disease, mental illness. Our inquiring minds go into hyper-drive seeking an explanation for the unexplainable.