First day of the new year has been very pleasantly spent with a niece, a nephew and the family dog, filled with funny made-up tomfoolery, cheating at card games and lots of laughter and cuddling! It is so disarming when this sweet huge dog places her chin on my lap and looks at me with those doleful eyes begging to be stroked! Completely melts my heart! It feels so good to be needed by somebody.
In the second part of ‘Secret life of a Manic Depressive’ Stephen Fry visits some patients and families dealing with Bipolar Disorder.
A few common themes emerge. The patients are often very capable and ambitious. They also take great pride in who they are and what they do. While these qualities are desirable, the pride often stops patients from asking for help. It also makes it very difficult for them to accept the diagnosis. I know for sure that my son could not bear the thought of never being who he was before he got the illness, either due to the meds or due to the illness itself. He worried about his future prospects. On one of our trips to Sainsbury’s, he said,”I should prepare myself for stacking these shelves for the rest of my life”. Suddenly, all his abilities were inaccessible to him which was frustrating. He could not play the drums or process French anymore which was torture for him. No matter how much I tried to reassure him, he did not believe me.
‘Behind a Glass Wall’ is a book written by Dorothy Schwartz, mother of Zoe Schwartz, who committed suicide at the age of 27. She is also featured in the film mentioned above. Here is an article about the book: http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/features/why_i_had_to_write_daughter_s_sad_story_1_76365
For me as a grieving parent, the biggest enemy has been guilt. It is strangely reassuring to know that I am not the only one. It is the most pointless sentiment anyway. I am being very aware of it and hopefully the troublesome dreams will stop soon too.