By Gerry Moore
Key Themes: relationships, breakdown, grief, epilepsy, depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, divorce
“Everything I’ve written about in this book is an accurate account of the things I’ve done in my personal life to help me through the pain. It’s helped me a lot and I’m sure it will help you too.” – Gerry Moore
Gerry’s straightforward and descriptive book is the sad but true story of his emotional breakdown. Things began to go wrong for Gerry when he introduced his wife to the internet. Gerry lost his wife to internet chatrooms, he subsequently lost his job as his life spiralled out of control, culminating in several suicide attempts. Despite all of his problems Gerry has reinvented himself, he has combated his fear of women and rejoined the world of work. Gerry’s remarkable ability to pull himself back from the brink of despair is an inspiration to all. This book describes the steps that Gerry took to put his life back on track, as such this is a valuable book for anybody else who needs help recovering from a breakdown.
About the Author
When the time came for my wife to move house and live by herself I was left feeling extremely hurt – which affected me very badly. At the time of writing I’m still feeling the hurt and emotional pain that never seems to go away, and it has affected my being at work as well as my personal life. I am currently unemployed and living with a mixture of anxiety, depression and stress, all of which is a new thing for someone like me. I’ve always been a strong, confident easy-going sort of person but since the onset of this divorce I have changed a lot. I am receiving help from Community Options, having a support worker visiting me at home has helped to ease me through the pain and believe me I have needed their help, which I value a lot!
Eventually it proved too much as I wasn’t getting much from anywhere and started resorting to attempting suicide on at least eight different occasions, which proved to be unsuccessful as my common-sense stopped me. However on my last attempt of crying for help I found myself being collected by an ambulance crew who drove me to the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Woolwich, and there began my journey towards sorting myself out, at last getting the help I was pleading for so long.
I was admitted to the emergency ward for immediate treatment and had to stay in bed, flat on my back and with my feet laid flat too. I was emaciated and needed to eat, to put on weight, and very ill brought on by my depression. I tried to stay alert for as long as I could, but eventually felt the strong need to sleep, despite regular visits to my bed by nursing staff to check my temperature and blood pressure, it didn’t take long to get used to but it was often disturbing especially when I was resting or sleeping. A job that had to be done I suppose. The bed I was put into was a very new one, the type that would allow both the pillow end and feet to be brought up electrically for comfort, and was very comfortable to sleep in.
While being on the ward, I became aware of Gerry Wooder talking to me from somewhere and looking around the room. I couldn’t see him anywhere which lead me to being somewhat puzzled. His voice was extremely clear and loud too but where was he? We talked for quite a while about all sorts of things. It was strange for me to talk to a person who was in a completely different building from the hospital and yet was as clear as a bell, how was it possible for me to do this I asked myself?
During the time we were talking, Gerry helped me to learn some finger signs and talking in finger language when addressing a deaf person, and every once in a while would ask me if I understood him. He also taught me and reminded me of keeping calm and collected while in hospital which of course I had no trouble with at all. He also reminded me to keep flat on the bed and not to curl up in a ball when the fancy took me, even now I didn’t understand why that should be the case or any reason why I couldn’t move much, but I’m sure there was which I just wasn’t told of.
We stopped our conversation with the thought that Gerry would be going away on holiday with a group from the centre, but would be in touch with me as soon as he returned. I talked to Jenny from next door at Galsworthy Close and had an interesting chat about her having done something which she asked for forgiveness from me, whatever that would have been I have no idea but being the sort of person I am I duly gave her forgiveness, and nothing more was said other than an invitation to dinner and an evening out with Paul. Another woman spoke to me who kept telling me she loved me a lot and was looking forward to helping me recover and to show me her love in all sorts of ways. The voice was clear but I have no idea who it belonged to, but I’m extremely curious and looking forward to meeting her one day when the time is right. All of this was very natural and spontaneous but nobody was in the room and continued for two to three hours without a breather. Eventually I was so tired and had to go to sleep and said goodbye to everyone and did just that. I made friends with quite a few of the nursing staff all of whom worked different shift patterns, and took me a little time to get used to all of the various staff changes during the day. Following a period of approximately one week, I was then moved to another ward as I was showing certain signs of adequately recovering enough to warrant being moved into a different type of ward as the emergency criteria had elapsed and the crisis was finished. For twenty-four hours I was at a different ward before being moved into Oxlea’s House, which was more of a residence than a hospital ward. I had my own room, bed, table and back door.
There were something in the order of ten to twenty people living in one of the seven wards of the house where I was taken and would spend some further time away from home, all of whom had some form of mental illness and a mixture of men and women, again there was a mixture of different staff and volunteers working a shift schedule in just the same sort of manner as on the wards of the hospital. All meals were served at certain times during the day and never seemed to vary much, and in addition all medication was issued to everyone at certain times in the day just as the meals. Queuing up outside the issuing room was like waiting for a bus, gosh how insensitive and embarrassing at times. Who wants to know what each other is taking for goodness sake? The house was divided into several wards upstairs and each being given a different name; the name of my ward was Avery Ward. Possibly named after a particular person, but who knows. Not wanting to seem selfish, but I was more interested in myself more than the others and would spend a lot of my time on the ward in my own room to rest more than anything else, I wasn’t really in the right frame of mind to worry about anyone else as I usually would be. Yet again I would be disturbed when resting or sleeping for a pressure check and temperature check often during the night, when will this stop? I would think, how can I possibly rest with all of this going on? It never seems to end. I’ve not been this popular with people for such a long time – WOW! I hadn’t seen Petra for a quite a while now and she didn’t even know that I was in hospital. I was losing my routine a bit with all of this and started to lose sleep at times as a result. Sitting in the main room I would spend my time watching television a lot of the time, and would slip into my room at odd times to get away from any hassle that may be going on but other than that life was okay. I was in need of some personal items such as toiletries in addition to more clothes. Finally, someone contacted Petra on her mobile and she obliged by dropping into the house with what I needed. Her first reaction when she saw me was to ask what I’d done to myself to be there in the first place. It had been some few weeks since we last spoke – she hadn’t been in touch with me to find out. Petra was spending more and more time away from me. It was bad enough to be apart from each other in the first place never mind being treated like this, I don’t know what I have done to be treated like this. I guess that’s what a pending divorce means, coping with everything that could bring. I was slowly getting used to the feeling of being completely deserted from the one person I loved so dearly. I was slowly getting to thinking about her and talking about her without falling into floods of tears, but I was still feeling the emotion of all of it. There were a number of activities put on by the ward staff and the Day Hospital team which I could attend during the day which would keep me occupied at least, and would give me a chance to be involved in something active and positive as a means of occupation temporarily.