Patricia grew from strength to strength. After a few months she left the Avril Elizabeth home for the disabled and started grade 10 at school. She was quite behind with her work and was tutored until she had caught up with the other pupils. She adapted and did fairly well at school. Patricia went on to complete her 10th grade. Well at least she almost completed it. A month before her final exams she relapsed and experienced a full blown psychotic episode. She told the vice principal of the school that she was a detective and she was investigating criminal activity in the school. The vice principal handled her with care and admitted her to hospital.
I can still remember the gossip, how everybody was discussing this freak at Sunward Park High. It was really embarrassing for me being her brother, and people were even treating me differently.
Sadly Patricia always seemed to develop a resistance to the medication. The illness always evolved and formed a new strain. She had been diagnosed with so many different forms of the disease to the point that nobody knew what her exact condition was. Thankfully Patricia was given a pass on her grade 10 because of her previous annual results.
At the same time I was in grade 8. I achieved well at school and when I was fourteen I experienced a long period of depression. This was the first time I had ever felt this way and it was a dark and cold place with very little relief found in whatever I did to try and escape it. It was a difficult time for me and my school grades depreciated. I tried to cope with the overwhelming heaviness that I was trying to overcome, but soon felt that it was far easier to just give up.
It was an intense pain at the pit of my stomach like an overwhelming heaviness dragging me down. It wasn’t a case of feeling sorry for myself because my life could not have been more perfect at the time. It was as if my focus was taken from the daylight and placed in a black tunnel of doom. I felt hopeless and longed for my death.
My mother was gravely concerned. She could detect the first signs of mental illness dragging me down to the pit. She took me to see a psychologist and he talked me through my feelings. The dog could have barked me through my feelings for all that was going to help. The psychologist said that he did not want to medicate me; he first wanted to see if things would improve.
I can remember that the depression lasted for exactly eight weeks and just as suddenly as I felt that way the depression lifted and vanished. It was like a chemical imbalance that radically altered my mood.