Author Graham Morgan tells of his life and small wonders that help keep him sane and breathe much love into his life…
“Every day, when I am alone, I speak into the silence and say; “I want to die” and every day that I am besides the tracks at Central Station, I think; “You are disgusting” and I think of throwing myself in front of the train that will take me home. And I am meant to say something about this that might give comfort? Maybe I can, I do not know. My CPN often says it would be good for me to talk to a psychologist, to deal with my negativity and when she speaks to her, the psychologist says my delusions are so entrenched, that talking about them just makes it more real and painful, and I tend to agree.
What keeps me alive?
Well for me it is taking medication that I do not willingly take but which I know keeps me from a reality I would do anything to avoid. But far more than that is the everyday so many of us do not have. For me it is Wendy, my partner, giving me a kiss when I give her a coffee in the morning. It is Dash, my dog, leaping up for our cuddle when we say hello after my night in the snoring room. It is also the hub bub and the drama of getting the children ready for school. When I left my wife; when I was nearing fifty and was tired and lonely and traumatized. When I lost contact with my son and it was the worst thing that had ever happened to me. In those years and when I was in hospital; when I knew that I would never ever be in relationship again; knew I would always be lonely; that I would grow old and frail and lose the few friends I had. I did not look forward to my life. My world was mechanical; lifeless. And yet somehow; despite my sadness and with the help of new friends and the help of my new CPN, my life gained some color. I dared the dream of reaching out for friendship. I learned the basics of mortgages and buying clothes and books in charity shops; of finding wonder that I could go to bed at two in the morning without comment and that I could eat a pizza so laden with cheese it dripped into the plate. I learnt to do the things that pleased and delighted me. I walked long walks along the beach. I sat on the bench at the peat rich curve of the river Nairn. I sat silent but welcome with the parents and the dogs and the children at the Links café on a weekend. And I met Wendy and I realized that love was possible for me and to my astonishment that someone could love me, could want me, could enjoy texting me till two in the morning, could promise the first thing we would do would be to kiss when she got off the train to see me in Inverness. And this may not be for you; it may never happen. It may not be your solution and it certainly is not my cure but when life is beyond grey, when you cannot and do not want hope there may one day be things that give light to your day. Whether that be the feel of frost on your face on a winters day, a walk with the dog, a book you finally have the energy to read, the extravagance of chips and curry sauce or a friend who gives you a hug or a stranger in the street who gives you the first smile in months: it is possible. When I was at my worst, I had no idea of the impact my death would cause other people. It was meaningless, until a few years ago when my brother shouted down the phone at me when I said I wanted to stop my medication. He shouted and almost cried when he said; did I not know that the whole family waited for the call that said I was dead when I was in hospital again? And I never knew. I never knew that anyone would have cared, would have been hurt by my death and so when I wait for the train to come by I pause, I think of my partner who I never thought I would have, waiting for me to get home from work. I think to myself; this Is wonderful! I hope so much that you can have this one day too.
Graham Morgan is the Author of START – a memoir of love and compulsory treatment for mental illness, Twitter: @GrahamM23694298; Facebook: Graham Morgan – Author. Image: The boat by Divya Modha