It was a week ago that I had a full day with my darling baby for the very last time. I forced him to shave his beard before going to see the GP as I thought that is only ‘proper’. The GP said that he thought my son was getting better and on being told that he was quite low, he doubled his antidepressants. On requesting a referral to a psychiatrist, he thought they would do the same thing so it was not necessary. Well, this was not the first time he was seeing a case like this so he would know.
We went to the high street for some chores, picked up some fruits and browsed through some lovely little shops together. Came home for a light lunch and then a nap after which I requested him to come down to help me put up a curtain which he did. We counted the number of rings, put on the correct number of hooks at the right gaps and then readjusted them as required. It looked lovely! We were quite pleased with ourselves – me more than him, as usual.
Thereafter, a trip to the therapist and back to his room to watch ‘The office’. I called my brother in tears as I had not seen my child smile all day! It was heart-breaking as this was not him. I suppose that was to be expected because of his illness. Nonetheless it was really difficult to watch and impossible to understand!
Then came a short trip to the gym, picked up some groceries on the way home and cooked a lovely Prawn Paella together. It was delicious! We sat together in the living room for a change and ate while watching ‘Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners’. There were a few reactions from him and at the end he just rested his head on my shoulder. I caressed his head and we had a real moment of tenderness. I shall cherish that moment forever.
Today, I went to the local Funeral directors to make arrangements for the Cremation.
This afternoon, a friend brought a framed picture of my son and we put it on the mantlepiece with a little candle in front of it. Suddenly, it became a reality that he has passed. I dip in and out of this reality all day long. The moments when it is very real are the most painful!
It has been a very tiring day! I feel absolutely drained and exhausted.
More so because all my fears about the inadequate management of my son’s condition are being confirmed. Another psychiatrist friend who visited today seemed to think that in his condition he should have been hospitalised. He was not even under the care of the Community Mental Health team! How appalling is that! My head is just reeling ………
Slept somewhat better last night as compared to the previous 2 nights. The tiny dose of melatonin definitely helps.
Woke up with a feeling of immense sadness and despair. Didn’t see the point in getting out of bed.
After about an hour and a half of crying and breathing and sobbing and sharing my thoughts with my partner, I managed to drag myself out of bed.
As the day progressed, the point of getting out of bed started to become clear. One of my young friends came to see me and broke into floods of tears. We took some time to be together in private and he shared his angst as he had come very close to the point of taking his own life just a few days ago for a wide variety of reasons. I realised there is so much pressure on youngsters these days! What is it about our society? The lack of personal connections, the high level of competition, the sense of doom and gloom all around us……….
Another theme that emerged during the course of the day, while speaking with 2 of my friends who are psychiatrists was that Bipolar disorder is one of the least well understood conditions. There are no clear guidelines for the carers, the patients or the doctors. This is the situation when the condition has a mortality rate of 25%!!! 1in 4 people diagnosed with this condition will die! They are usually in the age bracket of 16-25 years. How can this condition be managed so poorly? Who are the experts? Where is all the information? How can such young lives be allowed to go to waste?
The love that has been pouring out of the hearts of all our friends and family had been overwhelming!!!
Thank God for all this love! I hope my son can see this from wherever he is and know that he will always be the superstar that he always was!
Wow! It’s amazing how everytime I see a dear one’s face, I break into tears. One would think that this process could only be repeated a certain number of times but the fountain seems to be endless.
All this while I had a feeling that I was missing something. Today an expert in the field of psychiatry happened to mention to me that the risk of harming oneself when one is suffering from depression is relatively higher when they are just beginning to come out of it, which is exactly where my son was. That made me really angry as no one told me! I felt just awful!!! It just added another ….only if I had known……
Aside from that, some of his closest friends called to tell me how much they loved him and missed him. I felt such love for all of them, as though they were all my very own. God bless them all.
The reactions of all my friends and acquaintances who are mothers has been unequivocally filled with heartfelt love and sympathy. Most of them have immediately burst into tears!
I have found a bit more peace today and had the first good laugh in an couple of days. It felt good.
Last night I think I passed out for a couple of hours and then lay awake in bed, just breathing. Quite blank. Then a thought struck me – did he have the Samaritan’s phone number? I kicked myself for not making sure he did. May be that would have helped. I dwelt on that for a while and then gave up. Got tired. Broke into a sweat! Felt absolutely parched. Had water and the cycle repeated itself a few times.
This morning I was going through some pictures to see which one might be suitable for enlarging and framing. Then I realised that I would never see him again. This is final.
Put his washed clothes out for drying and found his ear-phones that he had been missing for a while. Typical!
I went upstairs and made his bed. Sat in his room for a while. It felt really empty.
The coroner’s liaison officer phoned to confirm the identity of the body. Despite all the information that was irrefutable, there was an iota of hope, which also died.
Friends have been incredible! Constant stream of hugs, tea and food and other support of all kinds in the house.
Meditated for a while and realised that he is ‘infinite’, just like you and me.
This was just one leg of his journey.
Today I was told by my 20 years old son in a hand written message that he ‘could not take this anymore’.
‘This’ being his recently diagnosed depression.
Half an hour later the Transport Police was at my door informing me that indeed, a young man fitting his description had been found on the rail tracks at our local train station. They handed me the keys and wallet in his pocket and described his clothes.
This happened 6 and a half hours ago.
I had been thinking of starting a blog for a long time but today seemed to be the perfect day to do it as my dearest friend who knows how to do these things is staying over tonight and could help me do this. On my own I am useless. As my son would say with a snigger – it is funny to watch ‘old people’ working on a computer.
Seeing it is Day 0 today, I am numb and exhausted. Yet, I am grateful for the gift that he was and always will be.
Kids are gifts, to be loved and cherished every moment of everyday!