11th February 2019 – Dad and Mental Health

Today I decided to create my Word Press Site to release some of the feelings and thoughts I have. I have a lot of things to say and I feel like I want to say everything at once, while at the same time I feel like I am struggling to start.

Lets start with this, I am 33 years old, I am a man and i live in Yorkshire. I suffer from anxiety and don’t have the friendliest of internal dialogues. That has kind of been holding me back from doing something like this. A head filled with “who will read that” “no one cares” funnily these are the kinder thoughts…

I’m not sure when this started but i know when it got worse. My dad died a couple of years ago and with his death brought a lot of resentment, a lot of unanswered questions and a lot of repressed thoughts and feelings.

Me and my dad weren’t particularly close but we could tolerate each other. I left home very young as i just wasn’t happy there. I lived in a very poor household with 3 siblings, went to the worst school in the county at the time. Anyway i digress but just wanted to give a bit of background.

My rang me, i will never forget the day as it was my birthday, to tell me he had found out he had lung and liver cancer. I was completely unprepared as I thought he was ringing to wish me a happy birthday. The air was knocked out of me. I felt nothing, not sad ,not anything, just nothing. At first i thought it was shock of the news but after a few months of not feeling anything about anything i knew something was wrong.

I went to the doctors…correction a very good friend made me go to the doctors as i was just a walking zombie. I’d avoid going out id even lie to work to get days off as i just couldn’t handle people. The doctor referred me to a psychiatric service run by the NHS.

However, it was 3 months due to the waiting lists and the demand of the service. In the meantime he prescribed me some meds. Now personally i didn’t like these they made me feel worse and made me say whatever inappropriate thought i had in my head at the time. So i came off them.

My first experience with the psychiatric service was a group setting. Mindfulness, each week we would go and talk about a specific topic. Week 1 was depression, week 2 happiness etc. They also included mindfulness excersizes to help us when out in the “real world” to deal with things like panic attacks and anxiety.

This was all at the same time that Dad was getting chemo, blood transfusions and radiotherapy. In Nov he told us that he didn’t want anymore treatments they made his life hell . The chemo would effect him that badly that he would end up been admitted to hospital every couple of weeks and life got hard.

Mum also has health problems as she has COPD so at times we had mum in the hospital in one town and dad in hospital in another town. I don’t know whether this is country wide but we have some facilities such as Oncology available in one town and not the other.

Everytime either was in hospital i would go…apart from one night, 9th December, I truly regret. My mum phones me and asked if i would go to the hospital as dad was in again. Now i would normally but this was like 9pm and i had been drinking. I said i couldn’t as i would have to drive. That would / could have been the last time i could of actually spoken to my dad.

on the 10th i was meant to be at a mindfulness session but just had this feeling in my gut that i should go to the hospital. Dad had been moved to a private side room. I was the only person there dad was in a feverish sleep. Muttering, non cohesive words like matrix and arse……rambling dripping in sweat. The nurse came and said: “you should call your family and tell them all to come, i have seen this a lot i’m sorry to say but we don’t think he is going to make it through the night”. I took her at her word as she seemed genuine and I knew that someone in her position wouldn’t risk her job like that.

I called everyone my mum, my sibling, my uncles and aunties so everyone had the chance to say goodbye. at 11pm he died. Again i felt this nothingness again i thought it was shock, the funeral was the 23rd December again i didn’t cry couldn’t feel anything. That’s when I was referred to 1-2-1 psych help…

I am going to leave it there as this post is already seeming pretty long. I will write about my experience with the 1-2-1 in the next post and the things that came out of it.

Until then take care

yours truly

P