Monday, 9 July 2012

How are you?

In the film, Love Actually, there is a character whose mobile rings constantly. It's her brother who's in a mental health hospital and she is his only family. He rings all the time and she always answers. I imagine lots of people felt like screaming at her just leave it!!! Especially when she finally gets the man she's secretly loved for years back home one night.

If anyone bought the DVD you may know it shows a deleted scene involving the character and her brother. She visits him at the hospital and he asks her, "How are you?" She answers politely with an attempt at being cheerful that she's fine, that everything is fine and well. He nods and looks at her and says, "I'm in hell".

As a carer for someone with severe mental health problems that scene had a great impact on me. I often get told, "I don't know who you cope/do it". well believe me when the person you love and adore lives in hell - you just do cope and you just do it.

Over time I've learnt to look after myself first, not to pick up the phone every single time it rings and to understand that I am important too but I never forget that if someone asked us "how are you?" our answers - our true answers - would be very different.

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