Its has now been twelve weeks since Jack was sectioned, those twelve weeks seem to have flown and the circumstances surrounding his traumatic admission seem like a lifetime ago. Now I am not sure if it is because I have tried desperately to block it out or if it is because we have been working so hard to get back to some sort of normality.
I genuinely believed that the most difficult part of this whole episode was Jack being in hospital , and while that was absolutely horrific and brutal, his journey back to health has been really difficult too.
In the early days Jack cried a lot as he struggled to process what had happened to him, he followed me literally everywhere and sought constant reassurance that I wouldn’t leave him . I took leave from work as we tried desperately to reassure him while all the while being terrified that he would end up back in hospital. The help that we were promised from mental health extended clinical service never materialised , so it was down to us once again to take charge and get Chan rehabilitated. Now I should point out that neither Ian or myself knew anything about mental health rehab but we do know Jack so I just started taking him back out into the community as we had always done and hoping for the best .
This is where the bumpy ride really starts. One of our first outings was to the GP surgery to collect a prescription, straight forward enough right? Yeah not so much as it turns out, we arrived and collected our prescription easily enough , however Jack decided that he wanted to stay at the surgery and assume the role of meeter and greeter, when I disagreed with his new career choice and tried to get him to leave he took a dive that Christiano Ronaldo would have been proud of . He lay in front of the reception desk ( all 6ft of him) screaming bloody murder. Now I am pretty sure that there is an approved technique for dealing with this type of situation, but I don’t know this technique so I tried a tried and tested Port Talbot technique and said ” get up you bloody tit”, I’m fairly certain this is not a recommended technique as theorised by E Emerson et al but it worked for us. On another of our outings Jack was feeling unsettled and vulnerable in Aldi so he grabbed a little old lady whilst crying hysterically, as I tried desperately to extrapolate him the old doll started to panic that he was trying to steal her purse , FML.
We decided to try Swansea for a shopping trip , we went into a designer shop as Jack wanted underwear. When they were not immediately apparent Jack physically grabbed a man that worked there and demanded to know “where are your pants?” Again I should point out that Jack is big and loud so I am pretty certain that the guy crapped his pants whilst I desperately tried to explain. On to the next shop, Debenhams the department store to buy make up , all going well until Jack turned around to speak to the lady standing behind us in the queue. Now unfortunately the lady had gone a little overboard with the old make up and her eye brows looked like they had been drawn on with a bingo dabber, Jack said ” hi (pause) oh I am sorry about your face love”, it was difficult to tell if she blushed but I most certainly did.
The following day we went out to a supermarket to print some photographs and do some shopping , pretty safe right? Well on that day the printers weren’t working and Jack lost his shit , started crying and shouting and ultimately headbutting the screens. We attracted a lot of attention whilst the security guard quickly made his way over to us, we made a quick exit. However our outings started to become less fraught as Jack adjusted to his new reality, his new meds slowly started to work and things became a little easier. The outbursts are far less frequent now, well apart from this week when Jack took a fancy a nasty faux fur coat in a shop , I said he couldn’t have it and he started grabbing the coat whilst shouting ” I am f*****g having it” while I walked away and pretended I wasn’t with him , oh and on Wednesday he decreed that he was going to sleep the night in Tesco because I wouldn’t buy him full fat Pepsi.
Through this bumpy ride I have felt like giving up many times, it just seemed too difficult and so incredibly overwhelming . However where my babies are concerned that is never ever an option . The hard work is now paying off as Jack is so much better , he is laughing and smiling again. I mean things are never going to be “normal” but normal is boring anyway.