When a neat guy, a gentleman like the one we see on that picture, starts having trouble doing even the most basic of tasks – shouldn’t it be a cause for concern?
When I received this note below from my brother, I wept!!!
“… I did my laundry today … Gabriel Bebonbechem 13/05/2014 20:36.”
Frankly speaking, I felt so bad, not because I had never felt depressed enough not to even want to get out of bed, bathe or even talk to anyone, but because I realized how distorted my hero’s brain and thought pattern had become. I could identify with that feeling of ‘huge accomplishment’ after you had battled to even take that laundry to the washing machine and just dump it in there.
I must confess that some day, not to far ago (yes only last week), I did dump some laundry in there and just forgot about them until two days later. On another ocassion, I saw 1 pm meet me in bed, not asleep – but not finding it to get out of the ‘bad bed’.
And so what’s the big deal?
These episodes may be mild especially for those mentally challenged and ill who find even taking their meds, brushing their teeth, eating or refrain from eating – doing the mundane on a daily basis, an excruciating challenge.
When I read my lovely granny Jill’s memoir of her son David, one think that struck me was her determination to help her boy keep or stay neat. I am sure she understood that he just couldn’t do it anymore, and she even hired a help once or twice. Then she took it upon herself to go to his apartment on the agreed tuesday evenings – as she writes that they had agreed to do ‘cleaning’ of his apartment together. She says she ended up doing it all by herself and took his laundry back with her. Yes, this was an even bigger deal than my brother’s.
It is easy for those who have never had to face such a challenge or be a caregiver to a loved one going through such, to understand or even empathise. They are quick to remind you to ‘put a grip on yourself’, ‘pull yourself together’, ‘take care of your shit’ and what have you?
We see the people we often label ‘mad’, pulling their ‘gabs’ on the street, having the same outfit on since New Year’s eve whereas Christmas is already around the corner. They stench, irritate, embarass, and maybe get a nasty stare from us? Simpletons like that, how dare they even walk on the same streets right?
Many Families give up, they are helpless and hopeless. What resources do you have to feed yourselves before thinking on picking up and understanding such perilous care of a now mentally ill member? Has it boiled down to his not even able to bathe or do his laundry? No that’s not my son some may say.
I sincerely hope we do a lot of retrospection and take on resolutions. Yes, doing your laundry may be an uphill task for some. I once had a blogger friend in here whom I haven’t read from for long: She blogged over at paddling for Peace – but I just checked and they say the blog has been deleted. She once tracked her efforts to do her laundry and it took almost two weeks. I called her Pax and I always wished her to find peace.
Dear gentle readers and followers, maybe we can’t do much much but we sure can feel and wish others well. May we start there, and may caregivers not give up on their faith for their loved one even if they can no longer do their Laundry.