Dave's Progress. Chapter 6: Grief, Loss, Carl & Me.

It has been a veritable age since my last blog. So thanks again for your comments and sorry if I have not commented as much as I should have.
Anyway, I was going to talk this time about one of my more favourable experiences with mental health and social services, and that has been my relationship with my STR worker, Carl. It seemed that when all around seemed to be losing their heads and me not keeping mine that Carl was a voice of sanity and just common good sense, which, as people often say, just isn't that common. Indeed, while I was being what I felt to be largely misunderstood by mental health workers, Carl was a breath of fresh air in that he could actually see my point of view and understand some of the massive unfairness I felt about my treatment. While I was being treated as some sort of social pariah, largely, I think, due to my relationship with alcohol, Carl could only see the positive side of my personality and expressed a vehement belief that I seemed like just a normal, nice enough bloke who happened to have had an illness. If you had talked to some other professionals at this time, I don't doubt that they would have given an assessment of me as some kind of deranged monster with two heads.
At around the time I met Carl I was still suffering from a great amount of anger at the way I had been treated. Phone calls to the mental health helpline were regular as my anxiety about these issues still ran around my mind late into the night. I was often told that what I was experiencing was some form of grief or loss and this still has echoes of truth for me. Indeed, over the past few months I have begun to see that perhaps my whole experience of schizophrenia has been one of dealing with loss and grief. That is not to say that I have had lost lots of people who have died, rather that I have lost a huge chunk out of my life. I have lost friends, some of them very close, and at one point also found myself more or less estranged from my family and indeed, I think now that my initial emotional breakdown was due to some form of loss. The radical psychologist Rufus May also seems to see the illness in this way, that when people are faced with some enormous emotional upheaval, they, being unable quite to cope with it, instead retreat into a fantasy world. After my experience, though, it seems that that fantasy world can be just as terrifying as facing up to exactly what has happened to you. Indeed, there is a great qoute from the Freudian analyst Slavov Zizek which states: "An escape into dreams is for those who are not strong enough to confront reality. An escape back to reality is for those who are not strong enough to confront the terror of their dreams."
So, at least for now, I have escaped back to reality. After many weeks of talking it over with Carl, I no longer feel such searing loss, but on the other hand am quite positive about my future and lots of my feelings of inadequacy or low self esteem, while not disappeared, I believe are dwindling.
No doubt it is not only Carl who has helped me through this, but also my work at MAGMH, for example, but I would just like him to know that his input was extremely valuable to me at a time when I was very unsure of myself. Indeed, now, although my problems might be different, I still admire and am grateful for his common sense help.
So, Carl, here's to you, to grief and loss and all that no longer haunts me.
That's all for now from your average, normal delusional and paranoid man.

Comments

klahanie said…
Greetings David. I am so pleased that you have submitted another blog.
It is so good to read that you can see the positive possibilities in what can be perceived to be an overwhelming negative environment.
Carl does indeed seem to be "a breath of fresh air". It is so vital that people see through 'clouds' and reach out for the underlying positive aspects that we all can embrace. Too many people pass judgement and would rather put on convenient labels.
You appear to be reflecting and coming to terms with situations in your life David. I see much positivity for you, as long as you make that choice. I am most pleased that you are seeing the positive side. Using postive personal resources and trying to maintain a certain amount of activity that is condusive to your mental health wellbeing, has got to be a good thing.
Please know that I am here for you David. I hope to see you soon. Thank you for your kind comments on my recent blog. It means a great deal to me. Warm regards Gary.
emma said…
That's a great tribute to someone who has clearly touched your life. It was good to read it. Hope to see you soon, Emma.
dcrelief said…
Hi David:
Though I'm on the outside looking in to Mind Bloggling, I too have battled the haunting things. Some I've had success with; others still wait, but continuing seems to be my own key. Wishing you peace and positive thoughts. dcrelief

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