I’m taking this Saturday to write about my family.
I live in Lichfield Staffordshire with my parents and my brother. I have done so since finishing university two years ago. Without sounding ungrateful for my disease, I am glad it happened whilst I was here. I contemplated for a long while – whilst miserable and depressed – what would have happened if I had got sick in Norwich. I would have been completely alone and it would have dramatically screwed up my degree. It would have added so much more pressure; not that it hasn’t here in my present life, but life at university was completely different to being at home, and not always best for me; I know this much now.
So I spend 6 weeks in hospital over four admissions in a 4 month period. I finally got better 4 months ago. Every single day I spent in my isolation bed on Ward 18 I had my parents visiting me. Every couple days my brother would visit and so would other relatives. I really didn’t want anyone to see me sick. I was thin and fragile and had no energy. I tried to remain positive and happy, but it was very very difficult. I had alot of weak moments – both physically and mentally – and I only ever talked to my mom and dad about them. They gave me the encouragment to get better and to get out of Good Hope. I didn’t share absoultely every detail, but I tried my best to explain my fears. It was easier then when I was actually sick. Nowadays, its difficult. I have others to talk to now. So, sometimes I don’t always communicate to the best of my ability. It’s one of the things I want to solve in counselling; among other issues.
Each time I got out of the hospital I needed to be taken care of, more so than actually being in the hospital. I wanted to do as much as I could for myself, but I had to admit pretty early on that I was going to need some help. They helped with that, as much as they could whilst working. It took alot out of us, put a huge strain on our family. In some ways my condition did make it better, we were closer and more open. Sometimes, I worry that we are losing that, that I am pulling away from them, lying about things, spending more of my time outside of the house than in it.. but now that I am finally well again, why not, right? Striking a balance between them is very hard some days.
Despite the problems we’ve encountered and still struggle with, I am glad they are here. And that they were there. It would have been a completely different struggle and journey without them. I really don’t know what I would do without them. I know that their care and concern for me in every aspect of my life – despite how much I struggle and pull away and then push against them – is genuine. And it is deep. And it is needed. I need someone to take care of me, when I am unable to. That time hasn’t come around yet, but when it does, I think they want to be sure that whoever I am with is capable and willing to be my ‘carer’. As much as I can do for myself, there will come a time when I can’t. And I want a person who won’t leave at the slightest bit of trouble. Because, let’s face it, I am going to be trouble.