Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sorry - I wrote this over a week ago but didn't post it!!!

Posted 3 May

Written 23 April

I took Sam back yesterday as we are going on holiday today.

We'll be away for a week and I don't think I'll have internet access - so see you when we get back.

The weekend was going fine.

Sam was fine.

We were all fine.

Then ...

out of the blue ...

the eyes were wide and staring again.

It took a couple of hours of talk and quiet and talk again and cuddles and support and all of a sudden ...

Sam was watching the television, laughing, as if nothing had happened.

But nothing had really.

Today we went for a walk and Sam started to talk about it.

I can't remember it all now but it started with him listening to some children laughing and playing as he sat on the step outside having a cigarette. Their voices turned into the voices in his head. Then everyone was speaking to him with the voices in his head. There was no difference between the thoughts in his head and those of others around him. All were one.

Then he realised what was happening - and took control.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

I've just linked to two more websites on the sidebar. I think you may well find them very interesting.

They are Spiritual Emergency and Spiritual Recovery.

Friday, April 21, 2006

I've just received an email that contains this:

"Some of us are dying to know... did Sam go on his date?"

Well ...

... not yet!

Though you never know it may happen still.

There were a number of phone conversations but it wasn't possible to arrange.

Sam's home again this weekend but he hasn't mentioned it. Should I suggest it to him? I'm still a little unsure. Sam's still on a section after all. But making new friends is all part of getting better and will add to his own self esteem.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I just found this:

"It's miraculous how people come back," he says. "If you talk to someone who is doing better, he or she will tell you that someone--a friend, a family member, a pastor, a therapist--reached out with warmth and gentleness and kindness."

at Rose Madder's House of Cards via Spiritual Recovery.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Nell phoned last night about eleven.

She'd popped out for a drink and a game of pool with Sam. He'd been fine until the last drink then suddenly gone funny. Worried. Strange.

They'd set off for home then on wasteland he'd seen a bonfire and rushed up the hill towards it. Nell has a bad ankle and was having problems keeping up. I said I'd join them.

There were a couple of fires lit by local youths. They'd run off as Sam approached.

He was heading back up the hill and I called him across to where I was standing. Nell struggled behind.

He looked frightened, unsure of what was happening. Eyes wide and staring.

I gave him a cuddle. Nell and I reassured him as we led him home.

There was much up and down to and from bed before he finally settled.

In the morning he was fine again.

Jane asked him about the night before.

"I just got a new crazy idea every five seconds," said Sam.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I seem to have spent the last few days in total confusion trying to set up a wireless internet network in the house. Bits worked straight away - then didn't - then did - then didn't - then did - then didn't for different reasons - then didn't for I wasn't sure whether they were different or the same reasons - then worked !!! - then didn't - then did - then didn't ...

... and so it went on.

I dreamed about it last night and came up with the solution - but didn't try it, seduced by the possibilities that it was nearly working. But eventually I used the theory I had come up with during sleep.

It worked!!!!!!!!!

Aren't dreams wonderful!

(Though I'm still very tentative and scared to switch the computer off lest it will not be working again when I switch back on.)

Jane picked Sam up today and we met at a rehearsal - more of a workshop really - that theatre friends had set up to get feedback on their ongoing work supporting mental health issues. Of course the funding agency hadn't turned up to see the wonderful work they were doing - but very special and knowledgeable friends had come who gave supportive criticism - well I hope mine was supportive.

You know when you've worked hard at something and you welcome feedback and need it to be honest but when it is negative you just have to grit your teeth?

There was lots that could have been difficult for Sam but he seemed to enjoy it. He didn't want to give feedback to the whole group but did privately to me.

Later the young woman Sam met last weekend phoned. Tomorrow is difficult but Saturday may be a possibility ...

In case I don't post again, do have a happy and peaceful Easter weekend.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

So we went to a concert with Sam again tonight.

He's seemed fine all weekend - very tired and quiet, but he's assured us he hasn't been having any "difficult thoughts".

So we went.

It's a small venue locally. Tonight a jazz/gypsy/folk group. We met friends there, had a drink, a chat, a laugh. Sam was able to join in. Well, a little. Though he made friends with our friends sister from Greece who was also a smoker so they went outside together for cigarettes. Greek cigarettes and Sam was given part of a packet.

He seemed to be really enjoying the music - then he wasn't there. Was he still having a cigarette? Jane went to investigate. He was smoking outside and chatting with a young woman.

Some time later he still hadn't returned. I popped outside again. I saw him still there talking so retreated and went to the loo. I bumped into he previous artist on the way back and chatted with her before searching out Sam again. I almost bumped into the young woman he had been with who was just coming back in. Smiling, attractive apologetic that I'd almost bumped into her. She'd been talking with Sam. They'd had so much in common. She has bee detained in hospital too, diagnosed with schizophrenia.

I don't know how Sam manages to do this. How do you just pop outside for a cigarette at a concert and by chance bump into an attractive woman who just happens to have had experiences that help her understand the serious psychiatric illness that has caused you to be detained?

So they have a date.


Sam is due back at hospital tomorrow.

Do I hope in the morning he forgets, sleeps through (most likely) or do I encourage him to meet with someone who might understand him though she still may have problems of her own?

When was the last time he was able to develop such a friendship?

Sam's missed out on so much of this part of his life.

Is that to be forbidden along with everything else ...

for his own good ...

Who decides such things?

What do I decide tomorrow if Sam wakes up in time and remembers his date ...


Friday, April 07, 2006

When Sam has been home recently he's spent time on the internet.

Occasionally he is looking at sites about climbing or music. But most often he is searching for information on "Kundalini".

My understanding is that this is a powerful, spiritual force associated with Indian religions.

Sam is looking for support to tell him that he is not mad but special.

One website he was looking at today was called
"Kundalini Survival & Support"

The implication being that Kundalini can be a dangerous force.

Another site he visited today posed these questions:

"Madness Poll.

An activated Kundalini commonly results in symptoms that can be confused with mental illness. This often causes a fear that one is going mad, and actually may cause a diagnosis of mental illness.


How many of us have feared we were going mad. What symptoms caused this fear?

How many of us have been diagnosed with some form of mental illness?
What form?

How many of us have been hospitalized for mental illness? For how long?"

The answers are here.

There is much more of this sort on the internet some of it useful, some less so.

At times Sam has argued that he is being detained not because of his illness but because of his religious beliefs.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

It seems the Guardian newspaper linked to me today.

So welcome to any new visitors.

This is the second time the Guardian has linked to here - though the last time was a couple of years ago.

Monday, April 03, 2006

There was a good programme on BBC3 tonight about mental health. (It's repeated at 12.55 if you catch this post in time.)

We thought it was very good.

We also recognised people on it who we know.

Sam was filmed for the programme when we were in France but sadly was not enough of a success story for them.

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