Supporting and promoting the well-being of mental health carers and their families.
Mental Health Carers Austalia.
Looking after ourselves
23-09-2022 10:53 PM - edited 23-09-2022 11:19 PM
A Guidebook To Coping
Distraction IS Key
A Guidebook to Coping
Sandwiched in the land between knowing where you stand and if you are over with a partner who is having a schizophrenic episode?
Have you been exhiled unduly from his life by unfit in-laws, corrupt shelters and generally a financial lack of means to do anything?
Going slowly and steadily out of your mind begging for answers and advice while you are fed a steady vile diet of opinions from those around you both that haven't a clue what they are talking about or of what is going on?
So fed up with people forcing you to watch him suffer while they take any resources to help him away from you then tell you to "move on" like he was an old favourite sweater that's worn out and not the love of your life?
If yes to any of these!
Then Distraction IS Key!
Stupid as it seems here are my hard-lernt tips for mildly surviving wrongfully forced exhile from a loved one with schizophrenia (for whatever reason)
1. Get the (insert bad word here) out of your life!
Where possible remove from your phone, your online media, your life, those that try to posion you.
That's right I said it. You will have jerks tearing you apart and it will break you. Like it or not (and if you are like me I know you wouldn't!!!)
You are going through a brutal break up....even if it isn't forever, even if he comes back, even if it's just his condition not what he actually wants....hell even if his no-account-vile-deceiving-two-faced mother that you TRIED to befriend ends up happening to be right about whatever discriminative text she sent you late at night ......
(Side Tip: Don't ever try to befriend a woman who called you a gold-digging hussy the moment she met you and who threw her son in a homeless shelter that aggravates his condition to nearly subsequently leathal levels because she couldn't handle his condition anymore and then actively attempts to separate you from your partner for either one of two reasons,
One. She's jealous that a 33yr old homeless girl can make progress in helping her son in just three weeks, where she herself failed for 21yrs.
Two. She adamantly believes her son can't have a life with love and marriage and kids if he wants simply on the grounds of his condition and therefore will not let girlfriend succeed at showing her son he can if he wants too very easily, therefore tries either in cruel action or in by simply sitting back and watching the local corrupt shelter do the job for her and say nothing to prevent harm to her son and by extension the girlfriend. THOSE kinds of "mothers-in-law" must be avoided at all costs!!!! They alone will make you feel like jumping off a bridge and won't help your relationship recovery prospects or your sanity and self worth in the mean time. They are posion 101. Avoid at every possible point and most definitely retract your offer to invite her around for a cup of tea.)
...even if all that is the case, yes even if you still love him so much it's like someone is ripping your guts out with a spoon* to think of him being in danger and not likely to be even informed if it were true.
Even if he really does still love you and it is only his condition mudding clarity into grey.
All this is secondary to the here and now.
Right here and now you are living with all the vicious symptoms of a broken heart 💔 that is not going away until your partner's present episode "gose away" and you get to speak to him directly and find out....
Sure that sounds like a nice plan, even as you fear everyone's ruthless, unprofessional and snuffy opinions maybe right.
Everyone around us has a story that's nothing like ours but is painted as the dreadful deathcanall to our relationship, they maybe right but they don't have to ram it in your face while you are grieving. You HAVE to take time out away from those people, tell them to get lost or leave them for the dust like they forcibly tell you everyday to do to him (even though he hasn't done a bad thing to you and isn't a bad person but is merely unwell)
Get away from them! Heck, do what I have to and lock yourself in your bedroom watching TV, Reading a book or crying your eyes out till you pass out asleep.
Whatever it takes to keep you sane and alive.
2. Don't forget to eat!
I know, I know being in my shoes or caring for a loved one in different (but similar) situations is VERY stressful and at times you won't wanna eat.
Well, at those times just think of it like this; no amount of bad food can be as hard to swallow as your pride or comebacks to bad in-laws or twisted workers or even as painful as watching the man you love give your necklace to another woman and not remember it was yours. Food can never be that hard to swallow.
"Have you eaten today?"
"I'm not hungry."
"Still, you should eat something"**
We are no good to the ones we love, to ourselves or in fighting off despair if we haven't eaten. So try not to listen to the demons telling you that you are not hungry. They are no better for you than bad in-laws.
3.Take the time - whilst in unbearable, unjust, gut slicing, heart breaking exhile away from your partner to tick off these things
[ ] Sleep as much as you can!
It'll pass the time, ease the pain, and help you heal. Also if you are anything like me you often miss out on sleep when you're with your partner whilst they are in need. High power, low rest days. So enjoy the chance.
[ ] Fortify yourself.
New to this life? Had a bad in-law neglect to inform you of her son's condition at an opatune time so you were thrust into it, right in the thick of it, not understanding what's happening to the point you feel like they were gaslighting you?
Take the time now to fortify yourself.
Build GOOD support structures for yourself. (Keep looking I know they are out there, like this forum)
Establish a flexible routine. One that gives good support to you but can adapt to include your partner later.
Educate yourself on all you can. Try and make the path to getting help easier for your partner when they want to get help by compiling a lost of places that offer REAL help. Strike off the list the ones just in it for the money not the person. TRUST ME needing help and reaching out for an unknowningly bad help place can be leathal.
Offer the one you love a quicker, calmer route to help when the time is right.
You may want to try writing letters to your absentee partner about things happening in your life while they are "away" - you may want to exempt the parts about his terrible mother however. Even if he himself warned you and yet you still got sucked in by her.
Include photos and trivial things like maybe how the set up of the new house is going (or somethingin your life). You may not send this but it then again it may help them see all they missed out on and may help them understand from your side of things later on. I'm told as odd as this tactic sounds it is really good for you and I've found it soothing.
Acknowledge or accept any mental health conditions you yourself may have or may have acquired whilst in a Narzi-like shelter. (Like I did)
Acknowledge and learn and see what you need to help you recover.
Remember bad guys take many forms but they will always try to bring you down. They will make it seem like the bad is all there is in the world. Don't let them win.
Find a group, class or youtube videos that teach you how to be more emotionally fortified against crippling in-laws, and people that are gaslighting you....and then send me the link. ☺
[ ] Work while the going is good (okay bad phrase I know ohhhh believe me I know)
Still it holds a bit of truth, if you have a situation like mine.
(Did you meet a gorgeous, sweet-as 21yr old young man in a homeless shelter after you ended up homeless because of a corrupt housing agency? Did you then get behind on months of work because when thing were hectic with his health you were worried, overwrought and when things were good you were....distracted for all the good reasons? Are you a writer, student, or anything really, where you've not been able to work since you met above stated gorgeous, sweet and ever-so-complicated-but-impossibly-dear-to-you guy?)
Then get back to work!!! 😂
I know a broken heart will make this heard to do but let's face it everything is hard with a broken heart. Even writing this for me has been hard, I've packed it with every pun and comical turn-a-phase I can think of just to hide the fact it's a support manual for how to get through the day when you are in a relationship with someone who has serious mental health issues whilst you likely have some of your own as well. That's more stress than a fighter pilot gets and we do it with less training or back up.
My point is try to fill the days and nights in healthy proactive ways. If nothing else it'll help pass the time till you can wake up without feeling like your internal organs are trailing behind you like a gory comfort blanket.
However your story gose, or my own, I have learnt these tactics can distract and get you through.
[ ] Movie favourites VS never-seen-before gambles.
For me the biggest distractions are found in movies and books. However, before I was seeking distraction from violence or hunger, not love. So for me a HUGE list of books and films are now triggers not assists.
This would be different for all. My deepest regrets to author Amanda Ashley on her book Night's Pleasure as I can't read about Mara right now, too close to home. It is still a fantastic read as are all her works, if it isn't a trigger for you I'd suggest you check out her website.***
Some days I lean towards films with similarities to my situation so I can learn. I'd suggest Cinema Therapy****
If you are as deep into storytelling and entertainment as I am this youtube team are incredible!!!
Then there are times when I want to switch off.
That's where the dance between helpful and harmful comes into play for me.
If I stick with films I know well, then I know they won't trigger, excluding romances at the moment cuz ALL romances trigger with a broken heart.
If I watch something I've not seen then the chances of distraction are higher, yet not knowing the film can make it hard to avoid triggers. Such as the lovely film about a writer who had complex issues that I saw at the movies recently that was good, PG thing really but I found myself having to step out numerous times as the smallest things set me off. Such as her nervousness at shaving his beard off for the first time and how that was reminiscent of a moment with my partner (as is common place) still it sent me into a tail spin.
Sadly...I have not discovered a solution to this issue. It all stems back to the reason I'm writing this, as in, I can no more know what movie won't trigger or help than I presently can tell if he will come back to me or not, but I take the gamble on both for the same reason.
I love movies, so I watch.
I love him, so I wait.
I hope anything in this article can help you. No matter what works for you be it more inclusion with friends or more excluding of the venomous.
Remember Distraction IS Key!
I hope you all fair really well in your own stories and that you find the will and pen to keep writing your own life.
All the best to you all.
*Alan Rickman in "Robin Hood The Prince Of Thevies"
**Caroline Anderson novel "Assignment: Christmas"
Written purely from personal experiences not a medical guide.