A sad and scary weekend

A few of you who know me directly know that I’ve talked of a friend and how she has been going downhill for a while. Sadly, this downhill trek took a very unexpected and scary turn on the weekend. I wanted to write about it as a sort of tribute to her and way to help myself too, I swear my hands are still shaky as I type this.

It all started Friday night after a phone call to her family member to update him on her status so he could make the decisions that needed to be made for her health and safety. He lives far away so can’t be here all the time, I get that.

I was watching tv in my room about to fall asleep and I swear to you I could feel tension in the air…apparently I was correct as, for the first time ever, there was a very loud, and very very angry pounding on my wall. At first I thought maybe she was hanging a picture as it sounded like a hammer nailing. Very odd, but I brushed it off. Then it came again, louder and more violent. I called my other friend and was on the phone for about 45 minutes with her deciding finally to wait until the morning to see how things were.

5AM. My husband and I and our furballs were sleeping, I had nightmares and bad dreams all night long, and the pounding started again. My husband agreed it was her fists hitting the wall and it was VERY VERY angry in nature. I called my friend again and we agreed to wait until 8:30am and see what happened then.

We didn’t get that chance.

My phone rang beside me and I jumped, it was after 6am and my friend was in an absolute panic. Her front door was being pounded on, her doorbell being held on and, well, it was awful, we’ll leave it at that.

I’ve never been so scared and I even had my husband beside me. He stayed on the phone with her while I started making calls. As the friend is in her 70’s we were all surprised with her strength and scared by her anger and energy that came with it. This is not normal for her.

Suffice to say action had to be taken and we all remained in our homes on the weekend with the doors locked and phones at our side at all times. Thank goodness I have unlimited weekends on my cell let me tell you, I was on that for hours I think.

It was the outburst we never wanted to witness and I while I was terrified and upset, I am also very very sad. This was not the woman I had known since ’02. I keep telling myself that woman is now gone and it breaks my heart.

This is the lady who showed me all of my plants in my garden as she had helped plant them with the previous owner. When I was gardening on a hot day she would be there with a cold drink or, my favourite, a Fudgeicle! She helped me hide and then wrap a surprise gift for my husband when he was simply my boyfriend for Christmas, she got into the Harry Potter movies and we went to one or two of them. We would spend hours chatting and she would keep an eye on my home if I was going to be gone for any significant amount of time. She made the yummiest pineapple creamy breadcrumb crust treat and always made me some too as a treat. I always made an effort as she was alone, to check on her during holidays and made her a scarf one time for Christmas and took a Valentine over this February and also a Lindor bunny for Easter this spring. We laughed, we had fun, she was a gem.

Mental illness is terrifying on so many levels. I’ve seen her go from fully aware and alert to unable to control her emotions and being disoriented. I can only imagine how terrifying it is to be somewhere and doing something and then having no recollection of it at all moments later. This is not something I would wish on anyone.

If you know someone and see the signs, tell their next of kin before it’s too late. I would rather see someone catch this early and then take steps to ensure the rest of the time while they are healthy they get to enjoy it before the part of them that is ‘them’ disappears. I am hopeful she will enjoy the time she has left with safety and security for herself and others, but I will miss the lady who was so kind.

**Edited slightly by NonMom**

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