Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 18-24 May 2020
Please see below our seventh article by Mental Health Awareness Week by Michelle Elvin who’s son Macauley performed at AGT and our Ambassador
Imagine if Lockdown didn’t have an end date ! That’s a post I read on Facebook on the National M E Association page. I have had M E since August 1999 after a bout of glandular fever which followed a particularly traumatic pregnancy and c-section with our younger Son Owen.
My husband Kenny and I are blessed to have two sons Macauley and Owen. Macauley age twenty-two, a singer and talented performing arts student and proud Ambassador for Anna Kennedy Online. Macauley has Aspergers but in the grand scheme of things he ‘copes,’ music and performing are his therapy, his coping mechanism and change to routine doesn’t really throw him off balance.
Lock-down 2020 has been ok for him, doing his College work online, doing zoom classes with Pineapple Performing Arts. Sleeping half the day, studying, tik-toking, singing, eating then gaming most of the night !
Our younger Son Owen is twenty-one, he is Autistic and has various other medical conditions, he’s beautiful, kind, helpful and can be an absolute Angel, however, when his anxiety is heightened, when he ‘overthinks’ things, when he goes back in time and talks about things he remembers when he was 2, 3 or 4 that he can’t change he has a meltdown. He goes from Angel to Devil at the flick of a switch and it’s heart breaking to see.
Lock-down 2020 has been more difficult for Owen because of the changes to his routine, he’s not going to his beloved Training Centre for young adults with Special Educational need, he’s not going to his favourite ‘Friday place’ Fairview Farm, he is missing his key-workers and friends. Owen has been colouring in all the rainbow pictures and the NHS appreciation pictures and reading his Covid 19 Time Capsule book which was sent to him.
He is clapping on a Thursday and his rainbows have decorated our porch but he just knows it’s ‘that virus’ – we don’t want to scare him.
Each day when the four of us get up (my Hubby Kenny currently signed off work as the four of us shieldin ) the potential of it being a good day depends on a few things.
- How am I today ? Is my M E or Epilepsy behaving – will I spend the day in or out of bed?
- How is Owen today – is it a good day or is it a meltdown day where he will bite himself and complain of a fuzzy head?
- How are Kenny and Macauley doing ? are they keeping themselves busy and not over indulging in Netflix which is not always good for their mind or health.
- Is it a warm sunny day where the boys can go for a walk with their Dad or we can all spend time just the 4 of us in the sanctuary of our back garden (an inflatable spa is a god-send).
- What will the daily government Coronavirus update say? Will the numbers of deaths have dropped or the rate of infection improved? Will we at least get back to ‘Normal’ sometime soo ?
The Elvin Family’s ‘Normal’ may not be typically normal because of the Autism and other health conditions severely impacting our lives but it’s our normal and we would like it back soon please.
Crossing off the annual Autism’s Got Talent show as cancelled and Pineapple London every Sunday – cancelled, seeing our Charity friends – cancelled, concerts – cancelled – we don’t like it. I keep saying to the boys ‘just focus on when we can all be back to normal, when we can get together with friends and family again – it’s going to be one hell of a Party.
Covid 19 we really don’t like you but we thank you for making us all appreciate the ones we love and how important it is to keep our minds healthy.
Reach out if you are struggling – there’s always someone willing to listen. Stay safe and well and look to the future because life is precious.