Being an Advocate and a Friend

I went and visited my mom today.  I saw her yesterday too and she was basically 'alive' but had no response-they call it catatonia.  I have never seen her like this before and it scared me tremendously!  As I held my mother she just stared at me with little or no response.  Today was better but she was not herself at all, and I barely see her the way I once knew her when I was young.  I was always embarrassed of my mother because I was never afforded the pleasure of someone educating me or offering me a detailed explanation of what was going on with her.  It was not until I was diagnosed with bipolar did I understand our shared illness.  I was pervaded by confusion and judgement when I possessed no knowledge about her illness and saw my mother as someone other than my mother…not the mother I knew.  She too has a rare form of the disorder that they can be barely treated due to the fact that all of our brains are so intricate but really they don't know what she has, they are just trying to help her.  There is no cure and we can hope for the best.  People often say they don't know their parent/relative/friend anymore after a breakdown and they will never be the same person they knew, but actually they are.  A mental illness or any illness is not who we are, it is what we have…my mother has always been my mother and nothing will ever change the fact that she always will be.  I gained a new appreciation for my mother today as I did her makeup and read her poetry…and encouraged her to write more.  I felt like I lost my mother yesterday as she failed to have any response, I got what it would be like to lose her…it killed me.  I am so thrilled to now be here for her and show her my love by conversation and being with her just enjoying her company.  Although shaky and spacey, she talked to me a lot today and I have really educated myself on our shared affliction as it allows me to understand better what she is going through and how the world may appear to her.  We never truly know, but if we try, we can get an idea and it creates a beautiful empathy and understanding. While I have been here this week, I have taken an active part in her recovery by learning about her medications, side effects and have even talked to her doctor and posed over 20 questions and I am working with her social worker to ensure she has everything she needs.  Today I have been in touch with records services in Ontario, inquiring about her passes to the lounge today and even to getting her toe nails cut.  I am learning what it is like to take an unmoveable stand for somebody.  Mostly learning about the illness itself is the first step.  I feel very blessed as she may be moved to Hillside Psych Hospital to a nicer facility and I know that I have been key in her recovery by taking an educated and proactive approach and that helps me feel close with her and eases with my heart.  I am so pleased to be staying longer because and spend more time aiding in her recovery.  Most of all I tell her I love her and prayer for her recovery and I hope you will too. 🙂 Babe 😉