When you have to slow down your world and handle a family crisis, we tend to think in moment by moment frames of time. A lot of what happens is out of your control. You have to let the powers of insurance and treatment centers dictate a lot of the care necessary for your family members to get healthy. If you could make the process faster, you would.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. From the time we are in the emergency room to the time a doctor medically clears a patient on to talking to a therapist and then finding a bed, making sure insurance will pay for the bed and getting a patient on their way can take days. I did not stutter. We’ve been very lucky that most of the time our daughters have been placed before 24 hours- but that doesn’t happen for all patients.
You wish people would come by the room and give you updates every couple of hours. The clinicians are busy with multiple evaluations at the same time, so this often becomes a cat and mouse chase to get the care you need. It takes a tremendous amount of patience on all sides to make things go smoothly.
I know the system is what it is. It’s often why people don’t seek out mental health help through emergency rooms. They want to be treated within a 3-5 hour time frame, and not have to spend so long to get the care they need.
So all I can do is take life moment by moment. I’m not upset that my daughters need care. The flashbacks and trauma they are having is very scary to witness and experience first hand. I know they want to feel better. I’m certain they don’t want mom and dad to be feeling their pain. They need help and we are going to make sure they get it.
My wife and I need to be patient with each other as these events unfold. In crisis we’ve been losing our cool quicker than normal, and this doesn’t help our children or ourselves. We need to make sure to take care of ourselves, getting plenty of rest and eating healthy meals. They may not be with us in the short term but I know when they return they will be healthy and happier, ready to use their minds and treatment skills to hopefully stay safer within the home when they are feeling these out of control moments.
It’s why I read and write so much. Music also becomes a brain dump, because I can listen to the lyrics and feel the rhythms to transport me to another place. Bowling is another stress release. Watching the impact of a bowling ball going down lane and crashing into the pins- beyond the social aspect of being with my friends, I know that I’m not hurting anyone in the process. Talking about this with other like-minded individuals also helps. My friends and family may not fully understand the 24/7 process that goes on in my house, but at least I feel better when I’ve gotten the deepest worries and fears off my chest.
So if you feel like too much is coming at you all at once, write your fears and worries down. Tackle things slower and one by one- you can’t be successful at life if you feel pushed and pulled in ten different directions all the time. Good luck and keep up the great work, leading the life you dream of.