Saturday, September 20, 2014

When your mental health is bad, what can I do to help?

 This is a series of post answering questions posed by Kevin's daughter.  I asked permission to answer each of these questions as if I was answering my adult children.  I will also include a link to Kevin's answer.

4. When your mental health is bad, what can I do to help? 

Interesting question.  This question is from Kevin's daughter but my children have also offered to help me.  I'm so grateful for what my kids have already done.  When I was very sick, they stepped up and did all sorts of things I felt was my responsibility but didn't have the strength to do. Hard to put away the dishes when you can't get up off the floor.  Many people aren't aware of how physically taxing mental illness can be.  My mind caused my body to be ill.  Severe insomnia created a vicious cycle of loosing sleep and strength.  My kids helped with everything.  I am so grateful for the amazing things my kids did to help me to be as independent as possible.  As teenagers they would drive me to the store so I could do my own shopping.  By the time I was finished shopping, I would be exhausted and they would load up me and the car and drive home.  Time and time again, my amazing kids filled in when I couldn't do the simplest of chores.

All of my children now have homes of their own.  Their encouragement and love continues to sustain me as I learn more ways to live with PTSD.  Email messages, visits, phone calls if I am having a good day, asking me to babysit grandkids all these small events do so much to help me.   The reason I say phone calls on a good day is on a bad day, I can't hear on the phone.  Hearing gets worse when I am under high stress.  Sadly when PTSD gets bad there is little anyone can do for me.  Things like drawings from the Grandkids I can look at and feel their love and yours.  Unfortunately, when PTSD gets bad the kindest thing is to give me time alone without feeling like it is your fault.  Acceptance of my quirks goes a long ways to helping me cope with them.  Acceptance, laughter and love are powerful medicines that I receive in abundance. 

Trying to cope with PTSD symptoms is harder than herding ducks. 

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