“you are crazy”

My friend is spending another two days on the psych ward, we will call him Bob.  It is the second time he has been committed in the last three weeks and it has been something of a mix of him going voluntarily and him being committed against his will.  And while UVa 5 East is the best psych ward i have ever visited (so far just as a guest), it is still no picnic.  Another patient had to be removed from the ward when he attacked Bob a second time without provocation. 

most popular image in google under madness insanity - very interesting

It has been quite something of a rough ride with me and Bob’s partner, who called the police on him with this most recent restraint.  Our basic desires are the same, we want Bob to be safe and not make stupid mistakes.  And Bob has what some might call a borderline personality to start with, amped up, gregarious, high energy.  Being clever, Bob has turned this structural  low-level mania into a top-level sales job where he has been quite successful.

Bob’s partner and i have been in a disagreement about how to interact with him when he is “up”.  Bob’s partner has called in many of his friends to try to explain to him that he is manic and that he needs to do various things about it.  Bob has been generally pretty responsive to these suggestions, including a period of “house arrest” where he was not drinking, not driving, not leaving the property and taking his new anti-mania medicines, which he has obtained therapeutic levels at for a while now.  During this period i organized several house visits, which felt helpful.

Over time i have acquired quite a few friends and intimates who have occasional manic episodes.  After repeatedly trying to “talk sense” to crazy people, i have ditched this approach.  What i find instead is that they want to be listened to, respected and often laughed with.  So that is what i have been doing every evening visitor period for the last three days.

My experience with supporting folx with mental health challenges is that they are generally a combination of lots of painful guessing, unclear shades of gray, navigating conflicts of rights and riding things out. 

i’ve got your back my friend.  Hang in there.

About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

4 responses to ““you are crazy””

  1. cardin says :

    Your a Good-Good friend Pax. I think the thing with lost of people is- they have no vision for dealing with these types of challenges and their shifty mysteries-(grey areas). Its all boils down to how people handle status, control, and safety. I would NOT want to be in a grey state with any of these-unless I was able to asses the risk.

  2. Lotus Allen says :

    Paxus, the first photo is quite a hoot… she looks like she’s certainly having a good time & communing with the Beloved. 🙂 Seriously, though, I empathize with the challenges of supporting those with mental health struggles or having them oneself. Psych wards are indeed awful places; communities seem more conducive to healing, and I applaud your efforts to be a kind person/friend and a good communard living with an inclusive, loving vision. Thanks. I also believe listening, holding, soothing with empathy, and giving our mindful presence is the BEST we can offer to serve and love one another … and support healing of those who hurt. At the same time, we heal ourselves, our communities, our world — that’s the part that a lot of people just don’t seem to get, yeah?

    So why do you like comments on your blog? Do you know that having lots of comments (and your response), discussion raises a blog’s ranking in search engines? I’m learning about blogging… and it’s slow. 🙂

    Be well & love from afar. Thanks for the amuzing and informative posts. Remember… take excellent care of your Self while you’re caring for others, but you seem to do a good job of that, yes?


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