Mental health week, just where is the help?

IMG_5921I write this in desperation. How do you get help? What has to happen before you get that help?

Faith is in his own world at the moment, he’s tried to detox himself, that’s not possible. But he’s been told if he doesn’t stop drinking he has 6 months. So he has reduced as suggested, his alcohol consumption. But that now leads to these symptoms of dementia.

He has been to A&E to be told come back if your symptoms worsen. How would he know?

He went to the doctor, he sent him to hospital for a blood test, I phoned the hospital to warn them he could be confused, please take him to A & E if he is.

He came back home.

Today he has had a party for his nephew at his flat, his girlfriend came back to find biscuits laid out on the table for this party that apparently I went to, his sister who is in Australia also went to. To him it is so very real and he will not be told otherwise.

She called 111, he would not talk to the mental health team so there was nothing they could do. He has walked out because everyone is getting at him. He came back, 111 was called again, there is nothing they can do because he won’t talk to them. HE’S NO IDEA WHERE HE IS OR WHAT HE IS DOING, WHY WOULD HE THINK HE NEEDS TO TALK TO ANYONE? sorry for shouting, where is the help? Oh yes, if I was rich like Declan Donnely with rich famous friends he would be safe somewhere being cared for. But I’m not, and he is not, he will be gone soon I know it.

Eventually in desperation his partner called the police, she was scared for his safety. And would you believe it they came, and they talked to him gently and kindly, it seemed to bring him back to some sense of normality  They gave him the address of a very local mental health drop in place where he could go and have a chat with some very nice people.

So I want to say thank you to those lovely policemen, I’m sorry you should never have needed to be called had the right support been in place.

I want to shout “why oh why had no-one ever told him about this place before”

I am so angry, so tired, so very very very sad.

Update………

I wrote this about a week or so ago but never got round to publishing it.

Faiths brain seems to have settled, he is taking his medication regularly which I think is helping.

I did something that the alanon “stand back and let his higher power decide” side of me would have frowned at, I got the number of the ad active group he goes to and called and eventually spoke to someone who knew him. I told her about the latest incident and how sick he is and how very worried I was about him. That was it, I told her, I got the old “because Faith hadn’t given her consent to talk to me she couldn’t discuss anything about him with me” I didn’t care, I just wanted them to be aware of how sick he is. I knew when asked, Faith would give her his consent, but I felt at least I had done something.

And it worked, the lady I spoke to called Faith, he went to see her and suddenly he was given a plan, he was given somewhere he could go everyday which he has been doing. But as happens so often, it’s actually a joke how often this happens, she has now gone sick, she will be off a while, so although it’s obviously written in his notes, is there anyone else that will care? Who will call him and arrange meetings to make sure he is attending? I doubt it.

The one thing I have learnt is this child of mine seems to have regressed back to a little child that needs my help, love and support again. I’m sorry alanon I can’t abandon him. I feel he has very few chances left. I am going to have to step in and try pointing him in the right direction. I know that’s all I can do, he has to take the steps, but he has me behind him again supporting him. And should that day come when I lose him, I will have no regrets of “if only I had done more” never-never-never-give-up-112-picture

He tells me most days he loves me, I’m trying to say it back more often.

 

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How much we lose when we have an alcoholic child

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I haven’t written much lately, life has been very emotional after losing both parents so quickly and unexpectantly, even though they were elderly.

But I write this with tears falling, for everything I feel I have lost, and that is not just my parents. Accepting that my beautiful daughter that I love so much is going to make a life for herself on the other side of the world, so the loss of the children, my grandchildren she might have. I know we will have contact, but it won’t be the same.

I think today hurts more because my partners x wife who I get on with fine, is off to London with her two daughters and my step grandughter, who I love to the moon and back and I know loves me too, but, I won’t be included in these special nan, daughter, grandughter events, why would I be? That is their special times.

And Faith, who after his last hospital spell was told if he didn’t stop drinking had 6 months left, is drinking again. And he has fallen and broken ribs.

He has had another good long period sober, 23 days, that’s good for him, where he has confided that he cannot carry on living with his also alcoholic partner, she drinks in front of him when he is trying so hard to stay dry, he wants to get her out of his flat and his life.

But now he is back drinking, and oh how the tables have turned. I’m strong, so everyone tells me, how do you deal with everything and stay so cheerful and smiley. I do, most of the time. But today the Facebook posts of my gorgeous granddaughter and her family enjoying their family time together and the drunken “I’m in so much pain” calls from Faith got to me. Got to me so much that, you know what I did? I did the unthinkable. I told him how much I am hurting.

And of course, all I got was more pain. How dare I have a go at his girlfriend. I didn’t. Didn’t I know how much pain he was in? Yes, I guess I did, but it was caused by his drinking, so I couldn’t be sympathetic. So tonight I feel the loss of my son also, and everything that goes with him, grandchildren that might have been, the family times that might have been, and have to accept this pain that he gives me, and he has no idea.

So I have done something I never do, I have turned my phone off, ignored the landline phone. Tonight I need to tend to my needs. I am still raw with the pain of losing my parents, accepting the loss of my daughter to Australia, tonight I have had enough hurting.

Writing here helps, my partner looks at me, he doesn’t know what to say, there is nothing he can say that will help. Tomorrow I will face the world and be OK. But tonight I just need to accept that I am sore and hurting, and missing everything that could have been.

Oh and the photo was snapped last night from my garden, what a beautiful world……

Happy Mothers Day

IMG_2093Yep so that was another great mother’s day!

I recently wrote a very quick update,   I think it’s time to explain a little more.

To be honest very little has changed with Faith, he’s still in the drinking until he gets sick then has to go to hospital, gets a few days treatment then is sent on his way, usually with the words of wisdom from the doctor “drink in small amounts as needed” well we all know what that means to an alcoholic!

Much more has changed in my life. After a lovely holiday back in October I came home and phoned my elderly parents to check they were OK. “Well your mum’s legs aren’t working” what do you mean, her legs aren’t working? Put her on the phone. When she spoke to me I could hardly understand her,  she was mumbling and slurring her speech. “Dad dial 999, mum’s had a stroke, I will be right over”

And so began a very sad time for me. She was in hospital a week before the family was called and it was suggested all support should be withdrawn, she died peacefully within the hour.

During this week in November Faith was also in hospital, because he had been so sick including having fits he was kept in long enough for a complete detox. He came out in time to see his nan, she knew he was there, he was always her favourite grandson. I wondered how he would cope with her death, as it happened it gave him a reason to stay sober.  He wanted to attend her funeral and I made it clear I didn’t want him there if he was drinking. So started his longest period of sobriety since his last admission to rehab.

I focused on my dad, he was just broken, losing the love of his life, they had been together 63 years. At 90 years old he was amazingly fit and well. But this just killed him, literally.

We spent a very quiet Christmas with him. It actually was OK, as my mum had become housebound he only left the house himself once a week to do the grocery shop. I think he actually enjoyed spending time with us, my younger son bonded again with his grandad.

We were invited to spend the new year holiday with my best friend. She was concerned about me and felt I needed a break. I worried about leaving my dad but left instructions with my two brothers to call and to visit him.

The first thing I did when I returned home was call dad to arrange to take him food shopping the next day. He seemed OK.

The next day he wasn’t answering his phone,  neither were either of my brothers as I thought they might have taken him out.

I started to get a bad feeling, and when we pulled into his road and saw the blinds closed, I knew.

I found him on the kitchen floor, he had been cooking his dinner the night before.

And so within 5 and a half weeks I was organising another funeral.

I should mention that Faith had managed a month sober, he even got through Christmas, but with his girlfriend drinking I knew it wouldn’t last. So by the time I lost dad he was back drinking. But that was the longest period he had been sober by just willpower alone and with no back up. I was hopeful seeing the reality of death had changed his outlook.

I have to say this was a pretty dark time for me. Understandably of course, but I was also feeling that I was accepting the reality that I had lost my daughter to Australia. She is my only child who I think will give me grandchildren  and when she does they will be on the other side of the world.

So to Mothers Day, you know that day when you should feel proud and blessed. And this year, the first without my mum was going to be hard I knew  but then maybe it was my time to be spoilt, I have three adult children after all. But I knew it wouldn’t be like that, and it wasn’t

I had arranged to take my mum’s bed and freezer over to Faith. I knew he was in a bad way, his girlfriend had just been in hospital and he doesn’t seem to cope on his own.

When we turned up his girlfriend answered the door but there was no sign of Faith, then she told me he was in hospital, he’d had three fits then another two in hospital. He went in yesterday but they hadn’t told me. Happy Mothers day!

But hey come on  you have two other children, surely you weren’t such a bad mum that they wouldn’t bother! To be fair on my daughter she did phone me  and that’s a rare treat, we get on really well but the difference in hours plus our working hours makes it difficult.

And then at 5pm I walk into my kitchen and there is a card. I smile through the tears  it’s written by my youngest from all 3 of them. I know who is behind it, my daughter will have told my youngest son to get down the shop and buy mum a card.

It’s just a day,  why should it matter so much? I think it’s the affirmation as to whether you’ve done a good job as a mum or not. I decided to stop looking at FB and all the lovely photos and mother daughter/son comments.

I still love my three to the moon and back. I just wish they hadn’t all been dealt such I don’t know what to call it .. I guess difficult lives, with battles to fight

That is one thing I know my three children have, compassion and understanding for others that suffer

So, I love writing my blogs, they are so therapeutic. I have realised whilst writing this, I have three individual adult children that probably between them have more sympathy and empathy for other suffering humans than a lot of other friends children do.

It might not be what I wished for them, but it’s not such a bad thing

So happy mothers day to every mum out there. Your children’s lives might not have turned out the way you planned in your head the day they were born, but be thankful for everything they learn along lives pathway.

I’ve had an unsettling update from Faith since writing this but that will have to wait or I will never finish writing.

Stay strong and have Faith x

 

 

A very brief update

Oh, it’s been a while. This is a very brief post. So much has happened in my life since I last wrote a post.

I am still here, Faith is still here and I thank the lord for that. I have had losses, my heart has been broken and my time has been taken over by other life issues.

But life goes on, Faith is still drinking but it seems things have changed, I will tell all in a later post.

But tonight I just wanted to reconnect, say Hi and I will be back very soon. X

New day, it was true, this too shall pass…..

IMG_1664How can 24 hours  make so much difference? Yesterday I was at war with the world.

Today I woke up, same old, off to work, nothing much has changed. Home late as I’m still doing holiday cover. My oven is broken and now it appears so is my front door lock, But, hey, the sun is shining and it’s warm.

I spoke to Faith, he has it seems finally got his act together and sorted his benefits out. Such a worry lifted, his rent will get paid, he won’t be out on the street.

How could I have complained about caring for my elderly parents, if my brothers don’t help that’s their problem not mine. I am blessed to still have them alive.

Tonight my partner and I found the energy to go for a walk. I had forgotten how very lucky we are in where we live. This is all is within 10 minutes walk from our home…

Tonight I feel gratitude for my family, my home, my job. And love ❤️ for one very trying person in my life. Today I received this…..

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This actually was last night, but I was too exhausted to publish

 

 

 

Rant coming up either move on, or forgive

IMG_1641.JPGOh, I am so tired tonight.

Faith is sober, but of course now dealing with his not so sober times. He has been sent a letter saying he is in arrears with his rent. Now this is for a mixture of reasons, being so out of it he was unable to comprehend the letter I forwarded saying his sick note was running out. Then sending his sick note twice but it wasn’t received, (wrong address? God knows) Then filling out forms only to be returned to him as his date of birth was wrong (it wasn’t) . Now if this was me I would be on the phone calling every number I had until it was resolved. But he doesn’t have the what? What do you call it? Get up and go? Fight for survival, just no fight in him I guess. I’ve told him I won’t help him out, if he doesn’t sort this out he will be homeless. So will he sort it.? Or will he be homeless?

I’m stepping back, I will at the last minute step in if needed, I so don’t want to, I’m so sick of doing this.

I don’t want to work full time, I had a cousin ask if I could meet for coffee today. What? Wouldn’t I just love to. No I’m covering wages, a job so difficult to pick up just 4 times a year, I have to get it right, people need their money. I only get 30 minutes lunch break anyway.

I’m feeling very much the victim, I’m 58 now, caring for my elderly parents alone, because my brothers won’t help, my daughter is in Australia, my eldest son an alcoholic, my youngest just starting to make his way I want to shout and scream “I don’t want to do this anymore”

But there is no one to listen, because my screams are silent.

OK rant over, this too will pass…….. please let it be soon

Birthday? What birthday? How very dare I?

IMG_1492I I had a bit of a meltdown last weekend.

I knew my birthday was looming,  the last few birthdays I’ve felt the loss of not having my daughter around on my birthday.  I don’t have a sister.  My friends who have sisters always seem to have such lovely birthdays,  it’s something women do isn’t it?

So I basically was feeling sorry for myself.  My partner stepped in and booked a meal somewhere special.

I am so lucky to live in an amazing and beautiful part of the country. The hotel where he booked the table has amazing sunset views over the sea. It’s always been bit of a joke between us, we once went in just for a drink and he walked out as he wouldn’t pay the prices.  So this really was a special treat.

Now,  if you have been reading my blog you will know Faith is in hospital.

He called me while I was at work.  I knew straight away his mind had gone again.  So I listened to his talk of all sorts of imaginary events.  I know he has no idea it’s my birthday so I don’t wait for, or be disappointed when he doesn’t wish me a happy birthday.

It’s a manic day at work. I’m covering colleagues who are on holiday. Whilst juggling my work,  trying to get the important things done, in the back of my mind I’m thinking I should call his girlfriend and the hospital.

In my lunch break I call Hope,  she doesn’t answer.  Mmmm that’s odd she hasn’t returned any of my calls since Monday when Faith went into hospital.

Aaahhh but he did say he had the phone charger.  Still odd. I thought she would have gone out and bought a new one.

I call the hospital twice. Can’t speak to anyone.

Back to the madness of work and I have no time to think about them.

When I eventually finish work,  I worked late to try and catch up, I don’t have a lot of time before we need to go out, and we need to vote also, I call Faith.  He is still totally out of it still. I can hear a nurse in the background telling another patient off. I ask if his girlfriend Hope is there, yes she’s here. “Can I speak to her, oh yes hang on, Oh I’m attached to a drip, I need to go and get her, He laughs “Ha ha, can you hear her? She is really loud and bossy, she’s trying to order everyone about” I know instantly she is not there. I tell him not to worry I will speak to her later. My house phone starts to ring. I tell Faith I will call him back.

When I pick up my house phone and hear Hopes mothers voice on the other end my heart sinks. She only ever calls when there is a problem, I know she’s going to say “have you heard anything from Hope” She does, and I want to cry. I know my evening has just gone how shall I say “tits up” .

Yes she’s concerned, she’s heard nothing from her since Monday, my heart is in free fall, I’ve been here before, then when she tells me they are in Wales on holiday I know this is going to be all down to me again. I am the only one with a key to their flat. The fact she has not been in to see Faith is extremely concerning, she just wouldn’t do that, for some crazy reason she seems to love him. My mind is working overtime, I can see her laying dead in their bed. I call the hospitals, last time she disappeared like this she was in hospital. No, she’s not been admitted anywhere. I feel sick, I call her mother back and tell her the news.

I also tell her it’s my birthday, I was just about to go out for my birthday meal, I will have to cancel it, there is no way in a million years I could go and eat my meal and enjoy it whilst thinking she could be laying unconscious or dead, this not being in contact with anyone for days is so out of character, she would have normally been keeping me updated with Faiths progress in hospital.

As you can understand she is devastated that I have to cancel my plans, And obviously very, very concerned about her daughter.

I tell my partner we will have to cancel the meal. He looks at me and shrugs. Here we are again, our lives being impacted again by the selfish alcoholics, I know that’s what he thinks. He’s right.

The journey takes 25 minutes. I ask my partner to please come in with me, I am so worried by what I might find.

As I walk into their room, there was no polite knocking, I am met by a very disheveled Hope. My immediate reaction is to hug her. Then, oh boy, does she get it. Like two barrels straight between the eyes, I am uncontrollable.

I get her mum on my phone so she can talk to her. I know the feeling of not knowing if they are OK.

She explains that she bought a cheap charger but it didn’t work, we try to get it working but I think she was right, we don’t manage to get the phone to turn on.

But I don’t stop, “you’ve had four days to get this working, you haven’t been to see Faith, what the hell have you been doing for four days?” The answer is obvious. The bed is stripped, she is shaking and slurring, uncomprehending, she offers a sorry… woah! Red rag to a bull, “sorry? Oh the explitatives that come out of my mouth, I tell her so many things that before I’ve not said. I don’t hold back.

We eventually leave, leaving her with strict instructions. I am yet again exhausted.

Now for my positive thoughts, yes I can find one. The birthday meal that was booked has amazing views when the weather is good. It was lashing down.

We found a really lovely authentic Greek restaurant that served us up the most amazing meal. The other restaurant can wait for a sunny day. So I get two birthday meals.