Do you know what one of the most important things you must do when you have people in your life who have mental health or addiction issues? Take care of yourself.
It makes sense because logically if you are not taking care of yourself then you are useless. Useless to those you are supporting. Useless to yourself. Useless to your family. Useless to your pets. Basically you are a puddle of goo who can’t think and make good choices and who can’t accomplish anything.
This weekend was rough on me. This weekend started out with a call from a social worker telling me that my son was on a ventilator supporting his breathing. This weekend was me not knowing if he was going to wake up, wake up and have brain damage, wake up and be perfectly fine or what it was going to be.
I just talked about how I haven’t had to deal with this and how thankful I was. I guess I just spoke to soon. It was a social worker calling means . Thankfully, this time it wasn’t an officer letting me know he was gone or a social worker. You can read about it all here.
The sad thing for me is this doesn’t and can’t change anything. I can’t turn around and take him in. I can’t take over and do everything for him. It still has to be up to him. He has to be the one who wants to get the help. He has to be the one to make better choices.
It breaks my heart. I just want to take it all away from him. I just want to make him feel better, to feel loved, to feel normal, to feel like he is important and cared about.
I had to take care of myself this weekend, even though I only slept two hours in a forty-eight hour period. When his grandma offered to stay overnight with him I said yes. I went home and got a full nights sleep. I got up and went to church. Then I went up to the hospital. Took the stairs when I could. It was a part of taking care of me.
Even when you take care of yourself, you get worn out. It is a different kind of worn though. I have this unbelievable peace about everything and at the same time, it makes me tired.
It is hard to stare into your child’s eyes and see yourself. It is hard to look at your child and know that life could be different, but know that he has to figure it out himself, just like you did. I talked about a lot of this before here. When your past is staring at you and all you want to do is take the pain away, but the reality is you can’t. This baby of yours has to learn for themself.
It isn’t that I haven’t tried. It isn’t that I haven’t been there. I have been and I always will be. My being there just has to be different now than it was in the past. I love him but it has to be that he makes things happen and come from within himself.
I am going to work on a notebook for him though. I am going to find typical thoughts (I’m not good enough, No one loves me, etc) and put the Biblical truth on the other side of it. I will also find some just pick me up quotes to put in it. While he may or may not look at it currently, I am praying he will keep it with him so he has it when he is ready and needs it. It will be truth in a notebook for him! It will also give me something else to focus on and getting in the Word to find Truth is always worth it for me!
Before he was taken from the hospital to the mental health hospital we had a talk. We talked about him needing to want it. We talked about him needing to open his mind and heart. We talked about him needing to love himself. We talked about him being important and loved and how he has to work through his anger and find better ways to deal with it.
I am praying God gets back into his heart. That he opens his heart up to the Light, Love, Faith and Hope. I am praying that he never tries this again. I am praying that I never have to bury a child of mine. I will continue to pray and hope for him to feel the love not only from his family here on earth, but from his Heavenly Father.
Mental health is hard. There is never an easy answer. It would be an easy answer if those with have mental health issues just did what was needed instead of reacting. It would be easy if there was one medication that worked for everyone. It would be easy if we all had to be on medication, see a therapist, have a psychiatrist and was given respect and help.
Life is messy for normal people. Life is tornado messy for people with mental health issues on medications. Life is tsunami messy and deadly for people with mental health issues who are on no medication, no care, and self medicating.
God is my sustainer. I have a peace and I know that no matter what is going to happen down the road, He loves my son, He loves me and He is with both of us. I can support my baby boy but I can’t do for him anymore.
It is so hard as a parent when you know what is causing all the anger and aggression and can’t do anything until your child decides to help themself.
Mental health issues can be hereditary, because of sexual, physical, verbal abuse, because of pain both physical and emotional. Men and women can suffer and be affected by mental health. There isn’t anything that anyone can do to prevent it because everyone is going to suffer from some sort of mental health problem at some time in their life. There are different degrees to it all, just like anything.
I won’t get into my true feelings about how mental health problems are handled with health care but I will say we are the only advocates that can make a difference. We are the only ones who can be there for each other and help make changes to our systems.
Do you suffer? Do you have a child who suffers? Do you take care of yourself?
Suicide happens every day. Suicide attempts happen every day. Thoughts that lead to those attempts happen every day.
This weekend was a huge struggle. This weekend was full of tears and prayers. This weekend was scary. Thankfully though this weekend was not the end.
Do you need prayers because you are dealing with something like this? Are you the parent? Are you the child? Are you the spouse? Let me know how I can pray for you!