Wednesday, April 23, 2014

For a fleeting moment...

I cannot begin to imagine her desperation, her motivation.
I cannot begin to understand her feelings, her mental state.
I cannot fully appreciate the support (or lack of) that she received from her family and friends, from health care professionals, from her local authority and government, and from charities.

I cannot put myself in her shoes; no one can. 
I cannot comment on her story, I have no right to do so; no one has.  
I cannot judge her; nor should anyone.  
No one can or will truly understand "why?",  although many questions will be asked and the truth will be sought.

I cannot condone what she may have done, but I can say this: I remember the despair I felt at the point of diagnosis.  I remember the raw pain that broke my heart in two and ripped it from my chest.  I remember feeling as if I could not go on, that the prospect of a disabled child was too much to bear.  I remember that I wanted the pain to stop.  I remember lying in the darkness with my husband and the fleeting moment when I realised, and confessed to anyone who may be listening, that I wanted to die.  I remember wanting to take my family, too, ending their pain forever, ensuring that we were not alone but instead together as a family in to eternity.

I have never reached such despair and desperation again; it was but an evanescent moment.
I would not wish it upon any one but many do fall prey to such anguish.
I was lucky.
I realised that disability didn't matter; that my child would forge her way in life, teaching me instead of me teaching her.
I developed the coping mechanisms to get me through the day to day, minute by minute and hour by hour.
I had the insight to know to ask for help from my GP and was pragmatic enough to take medication.
I had the support of my friends and family to support me, carrying my heart when it felt too heavy to carry alone.
I had the love of my husband and the unconditional love of my children which I am grateful for now and for every day that has passed since that moment.

Slowly but surely life improved; hope and joy paramount to my (our) recovery.  I cannot, however, colour it perfectly, this perfectly imperfect life we live.  It is hard - no it's bloody difficult! - I cannot shirk from the truth, the duty, nor the responsibility for there is no where to hide.  I cannot depend on others wholly for they have lives of their own, but it's important to ask for help.  I do not have all the answers and no single person, government, authority or charity has all the solutions, but we can - and need - to learn from each other. 

I am lucky and so very grateful, but I do need to seek the joy in every day as a simple reminder that life is worth living.  Above all,  I know that I am not alone and that is perhaps the greatest comfort of all.

I cannot begin to understand why and I cannot condone what she may have done, but I do remember... I do remember that fleeting moment when thought I could not go on...