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Does Illness make you selfish?

Posted Jul 31 2009 8:05pm
I've been a bad blogger recently I apologise not posting or reading as much as I should or would like but truth is the first half of the year has been a funny one for me, in and out of hospital these last few months out of work changing care workers and just trying as we all do to find that something be it meds or counselling or some other Ephiphany that will give us some quality of life.(still searching)

Now that I have been reflecting on my time in hospital, namely the fact that in the last five months I spent nine weeks there and was admitted three times. I have started to thinking the effect this has had on the people close to me for the first time.
Whilst I was in hospital dancing on window ledges, climbing room divides, getting restrained, laughing, joking, sometimes shouting and running off the wards I didn't think about how my partner or mum and siblings would feel about this. Does this make me selfish?

My Mum never knew I was ill until I was admitted in March, she knew I was a bit down but not anything warranting hospital, and never a lifelong disorder like Bipolar. To go from not knowing anything to being told your daughter was recued from top of multi storey car park is hard hitting. I later found out she cried for three days. My sister along side her. How could they have missed this. I had always been the one they came to the strong perfect one. Always taking everything on the chin, happy, easy going. They thought.

My Partner knew about all the suicide attempts he has been with all the crap over the past few years so was not as much of a shock. Still doesnt prepare you for your girlfriend ringing you to pick uo your son becuase she in a cell under a section 136 for the third time in two weeks. He not really knowing much about mental health and such assumed I was going to get carted off to a specific mental hospital for months to years. Having to make decisions as to whether I should be sectioned up to six months or not, whilst being told by social workers the wrong decision could be fatal is a tough one. Having to bring me clothes and leave me in those places. Having your son ask for mummy but not be old enough to explain what was going on to.

I never really considered this. In my eyes. All I could see was the injustice of being locked up and thats why I escaped the ward twice, tried to leave another 2 times, and asked to leave nearly every day. I had to endure 24 hour days with little to do. Poor hospital food and sometimes frightening company so I had it worse right? That's all I could think of.

So I think Illness doesn't necessarily make us selfish, that sounds a little harsh, but what it does do is make us very short sighted at times, so we can only really see the difficulties in front of us as we experience them in the throws of a particular episode etc. And we forget what we are doing to other people. Every action has a consequence not just for ourselves but those around.
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