Saturday, August 23, 2008

Travelling along

Living with a mentally ill person is certainly never boring. Our mood fluctuations seem to mirror his, in a weird way. When he is sort of well, we get our hopes up and imagine there will be an end to this terrible time. When he slips back, we also slide towards depression, imagining a ghastly future for him.
This week the nurses at the mental health clinic where he is staying let him go. There was a note on his file that he was not allowed to go, but they ignored that. Then, two hours later, they rang us, to casually let us know.
Needless to say we had a sleepless night. It was a frosty night here and we knew he would have no money and no way to get anywhere.
It turns out he managed to find his way to the motorway and somehow walked into Wellington from Lower Hutt. When we caught up with him he was at Wellington Railway Station after a frozen and sleepless night.
You will notice we caught up with him. Not mental health services. We traveled 100 km to find him and return him to the clinic.
But, silver linings and all that stuff….
We finally got to talk to a sensible psychiatrist who was prepared to listen to what we said. His medications have been altered and he already sounds a different person.
Today we go down to the clinic to take him out for lunch and catch a show at the local art gallery.
The last thing Lavinia said to him and me when we left her was “Travel safely.”
It’s not a bad piece of advice, but maybe we need to travel hopefully too.

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