When my children were infants I changed their diapers, cradled them, and fed them at my breast. When Patrick broke his wrist, Beth placed her hand fully on a burning wood stove, and Neil broke a front tooth straight off, I jumped to the emergency and saw them through to recovery.
Now that my daughter is an adult and I am sick with depression, anxiety and despondency; how do I help my beautiful girl who is crying out for help, who lives with emotional pain, fear, and turmoil every day. Tonight my depression is taking its toil on me. I'm tired. I'm sick with worry. I hurt that the recent efforts I have tried to make have led nowhere.
I don't have the strength or courage to be an active public advocate in the community all by myself. Beth doesn't have the ability because of her condition. At the moment she is reclusive; shying away from all social and public interaction because her symptoms are dominating every waking moment. Her sporadic sleep patterns add to the problem.
Yesterday we tried to go shopping. "They" were everywhere... strangers in the store making sharp comments aimed at her, the music on the store system specific to her past unhappy experiences, bumper stickers and license plates all "planted" by "them" to hurt her and let her know they were watching, judging, and enjoying their power over her. The paranoid delusion of a network of people conspiring against her, enjoying the living hell they making of her life. Will medication ever make that one go away? Is my beautiful child, now a lovely woman that no one any longer sees, doomed to live this nightmare the rest of her life, alone?
This morning she came over crying, asking me to take her to her scheduled mental health appointment, as she wasn't strong enough to make the drive herself, or go into the drug store to get the next new medication that the Nurse Practitioner hopes might help. It takes time to see if the new med will work, so her next appointment is scheduled for a month away.
As I started to write this post I was crying... working out the words makes that issue come and go... I was crying because no one has read this blog. No one has watched the "Minds on the Edge" video or gone to their website, though I post and post to my Facebook page links and info and ask and ask.
Who cares about the mentally ill? Apparently no one. There are no pink ribbons, no concern over the fact that my daughter is in extreme need of compassion, caring, and support; no uproar over the fact that services to assist her and others like her as so limited; no charitable giving of heart, mind or dollars anywhere.
How do you engage them?
Helpless... I'm helpless and ineffectual as a Mother now, the one that she should be able to depend on. I'm all she has and I'm not up to the task, or getting it done. From my sense of worthlessness I wait and hope for the day that my life is over. From my sense of responsibility and love for my child I pray for some help, some strength and courage for us both, for the determination to go on, and hope that maybe somehow, some way, some day it might get better.
And the cycle of mental illness goes on and on.....