Taking Action

I apologise for repeating myself, but it’s my world at the moment. Everything repeats itself over and over again. I’m trying to find ways of coping with these constant interruptions and it’s not easy.

Yesterday, I found myself in tears. Over nothing. The tears welled in the morning and I just couldn’t push them away, no matter how hard I tried. I sat at my desk at work, and hoped that it would be an easy day, a quiet day. Luckily, it was. The men I work with seemed to know that it wasn’t a good day, and they mostly stayed away from me. For that, I was grateful. In the afternoon, my eyes dried and I pushed on through my small pile of work until home time.

During those hours, I decided that enough was enough. I can’t go on like this. Lack of sleep isn’t allowing my energy levels to be restored, and I’m finding it increasingly difficult to cope. I decided it was time to visit my doctor.

An unfriendly man, I thought it would be easy to tell him what I’m feeling. It wasn’t. As soon as he asked me what was wrong, I crumbled…again. It was harder than I can possibly say to get words to come out of my mouth, to say that my son had taken his own life. While I spoke, the doctor typed. I saw concern on his usually expressionless face. What I had planned to say didn’t happen as I only managed to say a portion of what I’ve really been through during these last nine weeks.

Usually, I’m quite healthy, so I don’t need to visit him on a regular basis and he is good at what he does. For the first time I saw the human side of my own doctor. He talked over the options. He could put me on anti-depressants, but they wouldn’t kick in for three to six weeks. Or, he could just give me sleeping tablets, but that wouldn’t be a long term solution.

I know that I am depressed and I have good reason to be. My life is at rock bottom… well, no, in reality it’s not. Things could get worse, it always can, so I’ll rephrase that, my life is as low as it has ever been. However, I want to work through the grief without medication. I don’t want to be on anti-depressants. I want a clear head, or as clear as it can be in these circumstances. I told the doctor that all I really wanted was to sleep. With sleep, I’ll be able to cope on a day to day basis. He prescribed a mild sleeping tablet.

I then went on to tell him about Daniel’s suicidal thoughts. I told him that we had both seen a counsellor, but Daniel wasn’t keen on going again and, besides, it’s really expensive and I couldn’t afford it. (It would cost me $200 a week for both of us. Short term, I was willing to pay this, but as I’m on a low income – and Daniel can’t afford to pay for himself – this would be a financial burden on me. Besides, the fact that I would be paying for it would be added stress for Daniel.) I asked about community counselling. The doctor shook his head and said that Daniel was in a crisis and couldn’t wait for community counselling. He needed help now.

When I left the surgery, I went and sat in the car…and sobbed. Sobbed for Barry, sobbed for Daniel, sobbed for myself. How can life be this cruel?

I’ve been given a phone number and, shortly, I will go and dial that number. I’m nervous, yet I wasn’t given the opportunity to help Barry and I lost him. I won’t ignore this warning and risk losing my only other son.

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