Tuesday, 14 April 2015

The Big Question

On the edit profile page it offers the opportunity to generate a random question. Today however there's only one question on my mind: what do you do when somebody you love goes mad when you're a little mad too?

Oh it's not a very politically correct question. I could certainly phrase it much more politely, in a way much less likely to cause offence. But that was the way the question presented itself to me when I asked it of a dear friend.

Today I have had to witness from afar as one of my partners, H, goes through the gruelling process of getting another partner, B, (who just happens to be my oldest friend and one of my dearest loves) emergency psychiatric help. Obviously, the initial answer to the question, especially in this situation, is that you provide as much love and support as you can. You offer advice, you have telephone numbers handy, you provide a sounding board for the decisions of both parties.

But then what? I've recently been told that I am an incredibly self centred person. That I have to make everything about me. I sincerely hope that this isn't the case, but it would be a lie to say that this event doesn't affect me, or anybody else who loves or even knows B. It's well documented that putting a loved one into inpatient psychiatric care can be incredibly stressful and gruelling for those close to them. So, if you're already affected by anxiety, depression or any other of a myriad of problems, these can definitely be exacerbated.

I know that for me, my anxiety levels have rocketed, my self doubt is sky high (the main question clouding my mind being could I have done more to help?) and I'm reverting to negative behaviours (only minor ones like having nicotine in my vape and tugging at my nails). So, what do you do when somebody you love goes mad when you're a little mad too? My initial response is that you get a little more mad.

But I think that the most important thing is that you don't allow yourself to get worse. There's no point self flagellating; the best thing you can do, both for yourself and for your loved one, is get help of your own. I think it's obvious that this help should come both in the form of shared support with mutual friends and partners but also in the support that you as an individual need from your own friends. It might be that, as in my case, my close friend knows and has met B, but the friendship is between her and me, meaning although I'm sure the news of B saddens her, the personal effect is much less,

Of course, said friend might have studied to become a psychologist. Which is how your jokey question becomes a full blown blog post. Catharsis. Has this made me feel better? I'm not sure. But I do know that if it ever helps anybody else to know that there's somebody in the same situation and it helps them, then I'll be happy. Mind, that relies on anybody else phrasing the question the exact same, politically incorrect, slightly dopey way that I did to find this blog.

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