It’s been a while. A long while. There’s SO much to tell you about, but we’re still in the thick of some mental messiness and I don’t even know where to begin. Who knew compulsive hoarding could cause such havoc.
Deep Dark Depression
Back in July, my Mother called me in tears. She had been hiding it from me, but she finally revealed she’d been sliding down a dark tunnel with her depression. By the time she called, she was feeling suicidal.
There’s nothing to prepare you for hearing your mother express her wish to be dead.
Her sobs. Her confusion. Her complete and utter lack of hope. She was overwhelmed by blackness and to her, ending it all seemed highly appealing. I was at a loss of what to do.
With Mom’s permission, I called her doctor and was able to talk about how to support Mom at this time while living hours away. The doctor said to just stay supportive and let her know I care.
The next few weeks were a roller coaster. I checked in with Mom every day to see how she was doing. There were times when she didn’t answer her phone for what felt like forever. She would call me back sobbing, incoherent even. She told me she was imagining all sorts of ways to kill herself. How she didn’t have the energy to try to get better. That the pain and loneliness was just too much to bear.
The scariest was the night she called me from a parking lot and confessed she couldn’t remember how she got there. Her mind was erratic, and she was convinced all sorts of plots were being hatched to hurt her. She was having black outs, she wasn’t sleepy or eating, not taking her medicine, and was spending way too much time sitting in her van roasting on hot, hot summer days.
In the meantime, I was researching a course of action. Could I take her to the hospital? Was there a mental health walk in clinic option? Should I call the police to check up on her? I talked to my employer about taking time off so I could come down and get someone to evaluate my mother before she did something serious.
Then, the day before I planned to head home, something happened. Mom’s doctor tried calling my Mom, and became alarmed when she couldn’t get a hold of her. Knowing her fragile mental state, the doctor called 911.
Mom awoke to the sound of voices in the hallway outside her bedroom door. She had finally gotten to sleep and didn’t hear the phone ringing or people banging on the front door. A police officer, paramedics, and a social worker were all there to make sure she was ok. The social worker later told me it took about 20 minutes for the police to actually find my mother in her home. Moving through the piles of stuff in her house would be difficult, indeed.
The 911 response team wanted to take Mom to the hospital for a psychiatric assessment. She refused, and there wasn’t anything they could do to change her mind. Apparently the paramedic used the term “hoarder” and that made her really mad. At least the social worker was able to get Mom to agree to come chat with her the next day.
When I learned of all this, I was relieved to know I wasn’t going to have to deal with this all alone. A team of trained professionals was now on the scene and I thought we’d finally get Mom some help. Turns out, it’s harder than it seems, and the story continues.
I’m pretty drained at this point, so the story will come in bits and pieces as I feel up to it. There are plenty of ups and downs to this story, and it’s not even close to over.