Having spent many years living with family members with mental illness and knowing other families with MI members, there are many that react to the return of bright sun and awakening of life with a sever depressive response. The joy I feel as I pull weeds and turn soil to plant my seeds, the warmth of the sun and the chilly embrace of the wind taking turns to get my attention, seems lost this evening as I brace myself anew to jump into the trenches beside a friend embattled with a family member’s misery.
This spring madness has been present for years in my family, I was beginning to relax and consider we might have managed a year with no hospital or jail time for the first time in many years – but alas, as the fickle weather, which brought us hail and snow over the weekend after such gloriously warm and sunny days, has prolonged the effect of the seasonal change. The strength of the afflicted has been tested too long. The holes in our mental health system are so large he has lost his grip and fallen through to a dangerously low place; a place he loathes and would never wish to be in lucid moments.
There is no telling how long the episode will last, what horrors he will have to endure, how he will face this experience and react when it comes to a close and if the meager amount of support he had before crashing will return or leave him further stranded in a life he would rather terminate than pursue at the moment.
How do we, the family and friends that do our best to love them whole and healed, prepare ourselves to fight for our stricken brothers & sisters? How do we amass arms and protect ourselves when it is the society and social structure we live within that seems to be the adversary? Good question, I’ll think more about it when the crisis has passed.