The four weeks were over. Anti-psychotic medication increased. Group therapy sessions having proved enlightening. Diagnosis confirmed – paranoid schizophrenic. Hilary was being released back into my care, with a host of out-patient opportunities to be explored. Much different than back in 2005.
I was carrying her bags out into the parking lot. I was crying softly. And not about my wife being released to the fresh air in time for Mother’s Day. It was all about my self-pity. Yeah think about her best interests. Suppress the negatives of 4 weeks ago. Let’s be positive. There are new opportunities. Pace yourselves…And you Care-giver, buck up.
Thankfully that crap in me did not continue for long. I am emotionally weak. It hurts to be told that the sickness never goes away; can only be treated and monitored. Now about 14 years of it with the suspicions, accusations and arguments about what is logical.
But already I have seen a change. A willingness to try being out in public. A curious examination of some interest groups. A delightful special breakfast yesterday with our daughter Lauren. Hopeful phone calls from our son Jordan in Montreal.
I am reminded of some of my own words not too long ago to an acquaintance, “God is delighted when we ask large issues of Him”.
Is this a betrayal of my wife’s stigma? She doesn’t read much of my stuff anyway. No this is stated about an illness; not about culpability. There is much that I have handled poorly. In many respects mental illness is still a mystifying swamp. Some laugh. Some run. Some just get very quiet in its presence.
In September Hilary and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. As the Canticler said “my sister, my spouse, my watered garden”.