A day off.

The boys are out this afternoon and I am alone in the house. It really needs cleaning but I am hiding upstairs in the office, making slow, slow progress with my latest big artwork, listening to L’il Nas X and drinking tea.

The news.

Oscar is still quite poorly. He’s not in school at the moment. We are paying for private therapy and are on various lists for other help. I have no confidence that these lists will manifest in any concrete way for months. We looked at a private psychiatrist this week in an attempt to get him some medication to take the edge off, so he can at least sleep better. We can’t get medication prescribed by the gp without a full assessment, which is why we are on a list. We can’t find a private psychiatrist whose list is open either.

This is not a time to have a teenager with mental health issues.

My heart breaks about three times a week, currently.

Jason and I are juggling caring for him between his job and mine. My job is less mentally demanding so I take most of the night shifts. The rest of the family are helping out when we can’t manage.

We are lucky. We have enough money to get help. We have family and friends who are supporting us.

Some days it’s hard to feel lucky though.

I am exhausted.

I am still gainfully employed. I find the job difficult for many reasons, not least of which is that my son is unwell and dealing with people who want to know why the latest Lee Child book isn’t in paperback yet is not something I particularly want to prioritise right now. Having said that, everyone I work with is lovely and the strain on our finances is considerably less now that I am more or less working full time (I should be part time, but there are staffing issues), and that is a good thing.

Contrary to popular belief, I spend very little of my day chatting to people about books and most of it dragging huge, book filled totes from the basement up two floors and loading them onto various trolleys whereupon I get to push them around a shop that is already full, looking for space to shelve things. It is a hugely physical job. Most people I work with have bookseller’s back. I do not. I have bookseller’s knees.

The house looks like a bomb site. We are mostly existing as best we can from day to day right now. Finesse can come later when we all have room to breathe again. When we’re not holding it all together and trying to believe that things must be improving, incrementally, but improving nonetheless.

I keep telling myself this is happening. It’s easy to lose sight of. Most days are a cross between some kind of hideous endurance race and feeling trapped on a hamster wheel.

I am doing nice things from time to time. I am mostly too tired to appreciate them fully and not entirely relaxed due to being worried sick every time my phone beeps at me in case something terrible has happened.

It will change.

I thought I might feel a bit better writing some of it down. I’m going to go and have another cup of tea and think about it.

Still here.

Still hanging on.

11 responses to “

  1. I’m so sorry to hear this, it must be completely heartbreaking to see Oscar suffering and unable to access the help he needs. I hope the therapy does some good and that you get a referral soon. Sending love x

  2. Sally Griffiths

    This too will pass… ❤️

  3. elspeth liddell Cunningham

    You are doing particularly well so just keep hanging on

  4. Heartbreaking, I do hope Oscar gets the help he needs and that you all pull through as soon as possible. If there is anything I can do, please let me know.

  5. Poor ol’ All of You! Hang in there, be as kind to yourself, and the others, as you can.
    It’s never been a time to have a teenager with mental health issues. It’s never been a time to have mental ill-health issues yourself, but you know that.
    And of course, now everyone appears to have mental health issues, probably particularly the overstretched mental ill-health professionals.
    None of which is any help to you, I realise.
    But those of us who read your blog are rooting & praying for you all.

  6. I’m sorry to hear that things are so tough right now for you all. I really hope you can get the help you need, though like you, I don’t hold out much hope for anything you don’t actually have to pay for yourself. It does indeed seem to be a dreadful time to be a teenager with mental health needs, or the parent of one. I wish you all the strength you can find.

  7. so very sorry to hear how unwell Oscar is. He is lucky to have such fab parents as support (though he’s not able to appreciate this now, he will look back and see that this was so). Sending you love and light from Ireland. Sarah xx

  8. Good wishes for lots of better days in the near future. What a hard time to be a teenager, it’s plenty hard enough for an older person like me.

  9. Hi Katy. Reading your latest post and the ones below. I didn’t want to read and run but acknowledge your feelings and say that I’m here I’m reading and I feel your pain. While I will never really know just what you and your family going through, I came here to say I share your burden of weariness, can’t say much here but we are going through hard times with a family member So I hear ya and I get where you might be. I say might because of course in not in your head and I cannot really understand. We are experiencing bad physical health and yes the endless bloody hamster wheel of fighting for appointments (nothing can happen fast enough! ). I wish you and your family courage and hope and peace. Please keep the flame. of hope lit inside you. We are here in spirit and listening. Take care xxx

  10. I’m so sorry you’re going through this! I feel this, I’ve special needs child & it’s utterly utterly never-endingly exhausting… You’ve got this Mumma and are doing a great job!!!! 💓

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