Every one of them calls her Sara. She insists that they should. She always seems genuinely happy to see them each week. Every milestone no matter how small is a great source of rejoicing for her too. When they cry because of difficult times, even her eyes well with tears too.
Sara loves people. And she tells all who that she loves just how much they mean to her. She is quick to say that if a person doesn’t love the people she is to care for, then fatigue will surely set in.
Her days start early but really she knows she should always be available. All her patients know how to contact her and she encourages them to give her a buzz anytime they are feeling like they are a little under the weather. She always has a lot on her mind and today she is thinking about James.
James found out recently that he is a sufferer of bi polar disorder. Before he knew what was wrong with him, he had visited a host of doctors who really could not tell him what was wrong. From an energetic teenager, he had become a reclusive young man who didn’t want anything to do with anyone this week and the next week he was full of energy and no one knew why. One day, on one of his low days, as he was sitting on his bed, he started thinking of how much he was a failure. He thought of his less than stellar performance at school and how he didn’t make the basketball team. He thought of himself as tall enough. He was quick enough on his feet. He recalled of how he made his first basket at the age of seven. His father played basketball all through his high school years and college days and they always had had father and son games. James knew that he was good. He just didn’t know why the coach didn’t see it.
He then remembered his perpetual tardiness. Every day he got in school five to ten minutes later than the rest of his classmates. Maybe that was it. His records should show that and possibly the coach thought of him as a lazy, unreliable student. He knew who to take all the blame. His mother drops him in school and he imagined that if she got up thirty minutes earlier or spent twenty minutes less in the bathroom, she would get him to school on time.
His heart started beating faster. He made a fist and with every passing second it got tighter and tighter. ‘A car, my own car! That is what I need’, he muttered under his breathe. His breathing got shallower then deeper. He then remembered that his father had said that money was hard to come by so he wouldn’t get a car soon. James got so angry, threw himself on his bed and tears started flowing freely. He was so sure that his parents didn’t love him and wanted him to suffer. Didn’t they know how much he wanted to be on the basketball team? He just saw pure malice on their part.
The next day, James’ mother was surprised that she was ready to go and James wasn’t there to keep pestering her about how they were running late. She just hoped he wasn’t having one of his days where he has aches and pain that just spring up from nothing and the barrage of excuses of why he can’t go to school. She certainly wasn’t ready to start negotiating with him today. That’s when they found him sprawled on the bathroom floor.
At the first meeting James had with Sara, both his parents came. To her, they looked like a happy family. James’ smile won her over. His parents said they were relieved that they now knew what was wrong with their son. James was happy too. He said the drugs were working.
Sara looked him straight in his eyes. He was young. He clearly was scared and he just was trying to act like a confident young man with nothing to fear. So she asked him how he really felt. He looked at her, then he looked away. He stared at the ceiling and one could clearly see that his lips were quivering. Then he cried, just like a small baby.
He didn’t mean to cause himself any harm. He really didn’t mean to. He said to his parents that he is sorry for the worry that he had caused them. His mother was sobbing. His father was just quiet. He was scared that if he talked, he too would cry. They spent the rest of the hour crying.
They knew little about what was going on with their son and once they had some information on bi polar disorder, Sara was certain that things would get better for them.
At the next meeting that they had, Sara noticed that all three of them were a bit ill at ease. Could they have been embarrassed about their emotional display the week earlier? Sara wanted them to relax. She explained that the intense emotion that they felt, that they still feel, was something that every person who receives news that someone that they love is suffering from a mental health issue. Any emotion that they felt they needed to express could be expressed in her office without them feeling embarrassed. James’ mother looked and her and smiled. The pep talk had clearly worked.
School had changed in ways James couldn’t even imagine. The story of what James had done had spread like a wild bush fire. He was certain that no coach would want him on his team. He wasn’t sure of what his friends thought of him now that they knew what was wrong with him. Sara listened carefully to him. His parents looked at her. They had no idea what to say to him so all hopes lay on Sara.
Sara took a deep breathe in. She then asked James to look around the room. He was puzzled. She then told him that the people sitting in that room loved him more than he ever knew. That he now has to start to know who his real friends were. Those who loved him for he was, will never change their affections towards him no matter what. She then asked him to work on changing his view of friendships and if need be, build others and strengthen the ones that already existed.
He now clearly needed something to keep his mind occupied. He really wanted to play basketball but that, at the moment, was not possible. It could happen in the future but he needed something to keep him occupied now. Sara said that during the week, James should sit down and write a list of things that he believes he is good at and then during the next session, they would pick one that would be his after school activity.
At the next session, James came alone. Sara was surprised. He said that he needed to make that hour a time when he could freely express himself without the fear that his parents’ feelings would be hurt. He said that he had a bad week. He had been depressed and he couldn’t tell his parents because they believe that since he is taking his medication, he should be fine. He needed to be told that what he was going through would not be taken care of overnight. There will be ups and downs and what he needs to learn is how to be ok when things are down. He said that he discovered that going for a walk helped to boost his moods. Sara was happy that he had discovered what could help him and she encouraged him to talk a walk every time he felt overwhelmed. She then gave him some brochures which she told him to give his parents. They would learn a lot from it, she said. She reminded him about his list. He took out an A4 sized piece of paper from the back pocket of his jeans. He must have been carrying it around everywhere he went. She reached out for it. As she unfolded it, she saw James’ face drop. When she looked at the writings on the paper, she noticed that on it, he only had written 1 thing.
Am good with cars
A smile crept up to her face. James had thought that it was a short list but Sara thought it was the most impressive thing he had done so far.
James went on ahead to get a job working with cars. His parents supported him and were happy for him when he had saved up enough to buy a second-hand car. He was so proud of himself. He still did experience the effects of his illness but this time round he had people to talk to and ways to let off steam.
About the Author
Flora G Aleana is a freelance writer and currently working for Article Writing Service. From the experiences of several years in the writing profession, she is capable to deal with academic as well as non-academic papers.