‘Let’s dance it’s Friday, the fifth day of the week’, CBBC sings as I try to keep 17 month old ‘Big Son’ still long enough to secure his nappy. I for one am very pleased it’s Friday, less pleased though to catch sight of the clock 8.22am. No time for that double shot skinny latte to go but a parking space at least. A quick peek in the reer view mirror – no vomit stains, check; dried weetabix successfully removed from hair, check; barely visible under-eye bags, check – God bless you Yves-Saint-Laurent.
Not only am I thrilled it’s the fifth day of the week but by all accounts our in-patients were improving when I left yesterday (sadly not in time to catch santa’s appearance at nursery but in time for our daughter’s christmas dance show – the class of 3 year olds performing YMCA a personal highlight). So I go to the ward round with a spring in my step, driven by the promise of a ‘brief review’. First patient, improving, moving swifty on to the second, improving, the third is in the gym, a good sign surely. And this I’m afraid is where the morning took a swift nose dive with the remainder of our patients either having absconded and taken an overdose or regaling us with stories of fraternization with a ghost.
This is where things get tricky for me. I have no problem understanding depression, feelings of worthlessness and having little hope for the future are clearly bad, that is a no brainer. But psychosis, delusions of grandeur, thinking you’re going to marry a ghost and they are in love with you, running down the corridor and answering the non-ringing payphone to be told you are the best thing on earth……really, is that so bad? So bad that you require a medication that may lower your immune system to such an extent you’re at risk of overwhelming sepsis. Ok you might not get this particular side effect but what you will get is better, and with this comes insight. Insight into the fact you have spent the majority of your life going in and out of mental health institutions, insight into the fact there is no lover, there is no imminent marriage, in fact most people don’t seem to think you’re that wonderful at all. Maybe I’m the crazy one but I think I know which I’d prefer.
And so the work day is over, there is snow on the ground and eight more sleeps till christmas. And I leave you to ponder this: ‘If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities’, Maya Angelou
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