I’m laying in bed staring at the clock. In 9 minutes I’ll be 35.
I’ll be 35, with two beautiful children, a great career, a degree, a decent car, a loving dog, a supportive family and friends and a dead husband.
I’m not throwing a pity party. Well, ok, maybe just a little…. but it’s true. I’ve accomplished so much, and I’m surviving the death of my husband by suicide and I’m only thirty-fricken-five.
I’m dreading tomorrow. I’m dreading right now. I’m exhausted and can’t sleep. I know I’m not getting my morning coffee, and more importantly, I won’t wake up to him with me. I don’t want to fall asleep for fear I’ll have a nightmare because I’m dreading tomorrow and I’ve thought of him all day.
I miss my morning coffee with him.
But instead of wishing he were here,( well not instead of, I’ll always be wishing he were here)I’ll dedicate my pre-birthday blog to him by honouring his battle with mental illness and all of those who are fighting their own battles. And to those caring for those affected.
Remember someone out there loves you. You are beautiful and you are worth it. It’s not your fault your ill. Depression, schizophrenia, bipolar, anxiety, whatever it is it’s not your fault.
Get help. Medication, counselling, psychiatrists are all like shopping for the right pair of shoes. If it’s not a good fit keep looking. Keep moving forward. And TRUST your closest people. Please. Sometimes those who are caring for you and supporting you notice something that maybe you don’t.
Many care givers see there is something off or not quite right prior to the person affected. I knew Anthony was ill long before his diagnosis. His illness prevented him from seeing his actions and decisions as a part of bipolar disorder. I believe he suffered from anosognosia.
“The word anosognosia means that a patient does not recognize or understand the nature of his illness. People sometimes experience anosognosia after strokes or brain injuries, and with diseases of the brain like Alzheimer’s.”(http://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/schizophrenia-caregiver-guide/recognizing-the-illness/)
Anosognosia makes it hard for care givers to fully support loved ones, and makes it even more difficult for patients to comply with treatment regimes. Why would you take medication when you’re not sick?
I remember watching him unload his truck full of old electric covers and wires and storing them outside of the shed. I remember finding the box of appliances from our home in the shed. I remember asking him why he thought it was necessary to have all this stuff stored in the shed when we used it in the house. His explainations always made sense to him. He wasn’t in denial, he just didn’t know he was mentally ill.
I wish I knew then about the term Anosognosia. I wish the psychiatrist had filled me in a little better that there was a possibility he wouldn’t believe he was ill. Maybe I’d be better equipped to help stay on his medication, maybe I wouldn’t have responded with anger, or tears.
The website everydayhealth.com has suggestions on how caregivers can cope with and help loved ones who are suffering from anosgnosia get back on track with treatment. Additionally, a book called “I am not sick and I don’t need help!” By Xavier Amador http://www.xavieramador.com is an excellent resource for how to help a struggling loved one who doesn’t believe they need help.
I hope someone finds this information beneficial.
I hope someone will read this and either reach out for help or find they are not alone.
It’s my birthday; and that would be the second best gift I could get aside from that morning coffee with my husband.