Thursday, January 12, 2012

“We’ll Hang in There Together…OK?”

Some of you may have read the story I wrote about my Mom and her condition before the three of us boys made the extremely hard decision to have her forcefully taken to the mental hospital. It was just about the hardest period in my life.

Having just come from Arizona, she was living with me a few weeks before and I saw firsthand how bad she really was. Myself, and my family witnessed manic – depression, the extreme highs and the horrible lows, along with schizophrenia that to this day most people have only read about. My poor wife being there alone with her during the day had just about lost her own mind in the process. As we know it is hereditary, and it does not necessarily mean it is evenly spread out among the children... guess which of the three boys got the major portion of it? Yep, it’s me…big time.

Now, years later after court order my oldest brother having guardianship and literally picking her up each month and driving her to the clinic for treatment, I am more than proud to state mom is living by herself, and doing reasonably well. She “has her days” like all of us, but to be honest is even doing much better than me!

I gradually brought the subject of my problem to her attention and over the last several years I have found we have “bonded” more than I thought was possible.* I’ll mention my bad days, and she seems to understand if I don’t call or stop by during those mood swing periods. She always wants me to call and update her as to how my doctor visits turn out, and will always ask me “are you hanging in there?” Now we have made a pact together: I promised I would hang in there as long as she did. Unfortunately for my part, I did not think she would be better off than me! So, on my bad days, she asks “are you still hanging in there?” and I reply “I’m hanging by my toe nails” and we laugh together.

Some of you have noticed during my reply to your comments, or messages you send “we’ll meet back here another time, and we’ll hang in there together.” Now you realize that phrase had more meaning than you thought. Just as serious as I am with mom, I am with you also - but you have to do your part for this to work – YOU have to “Hang in there with me, OK?”

“In solitude, where we are least alone.”
― Lord Byron

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