I read a quote once that you can take certain people with you wherever you go. At the moment in South America, I sometimes have my younger brother Patrick with me, well in my heart and my mind. We´re 10 years apart in age, he´s 21 and myself, 31, and he´s still in Australia.
Around 5 years ago, when he was 16, he started spiralling downwards into depression, suicidal thoughts and social phobias. He´s still this way, separated from the world, living with my parents, who are his only company, plus his 5 sisters, myself included. He´s been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but then had that diagnosis taken away, had numerous mental health rehabilition sessions at hospitals throughout the years, tried many pills, but he usually takes himself off them before they take effect, much to my parents concern. He´s even had electrowave therapy or whatever the hell you call it, around 2 years ago now, which made me feel sick when I found out he was getting it done, I had that sad and scary image in my head, American Horror Story 1950´s style, of him being strapped down in a bed with violent electric currents shooting through his body. But it´s not like that at all, since he had it done I´ve talked to people about it, and a lot of them have relatives that have received the treatment and its pretty gentle and safe in comparison to the nightmarish situations your mind concocts.
To add insult to injury, he was diagnosed with diabetes type 1 at age 19, which is suspiciously late to be diagnosed, so now the poor little bugger has to face a life of injecting insulin every few hours. This was the last thing he needed.
My parents are beside themselves with worry, but my Mum has the most beautiful faith in God, (I´m envious of it in a way) and she says she leans on her a lot. We have every faith and hope that he´ll get better. In my mind, he will. I have to believe he will. I have to admit I don´t understand his depression one little bit. Before he got sick, he was the most popular kid in school, full of life, charm, humour, good looks. All the boys wanted to be him, or at least be his friend, and all the girls had crushes. He´s still gorgeous to this day and my sisters and I laugh that certain girls (family friends, his only connection to the outside world) still are attracted to him, even with his ´depressed hair´ the only way to explain it is ´Heath Ledger goes dark and doesn´t wash for a while´Him and I have a very similar sense of humour, humours a big one in our family, and that´s still my biggest connection with him. We watched on repeat the wise wizard scene from this stupid movie ´Your Highness´ approximately 20 times, nearly wetting ourselves with laughter. He´s hilarious, deadly funny. He´d do stand up comedy far better than I ever could. He´s also becoming one of the most idealistic little turds you´ll ever meet, holed away in his room watching activist videos on what´s unfair and fucked up in the world, the establishment, corporations, conspiracy, and then ways to enhance the world, refugee policy, permaculture, veganism, Bills Hicks and George Carlin stand up videos. Any time you´re sitting down not doing anything, he´ll come up with his laptop and force you to watch a video on how evil Nestle are and how they´re trying to privatise water. I agree with everything he shows me. Pretty much all of the family share his views, and most of my sisters are turning/have turned LOLZ into hippies. I can´t help but be proud of the people that they are, and to this day I crave their company and humour, their lightness. Dey´re my best mates!
So it´s in South America that I´m taking Padsy boy with me. I imagine his heart bleeding on the pavement every time he sees a stray dog, he would adopt so many I reckon, and become the pied piper of stray doggies, not caring about the rabies risk. I can just see him getting so worked up and UPSET at the poverty. I can see him hugging trees on hiking tours. I just want him to get better so bad, my family and I say, that once he´s better, he´ll be a saint. Having experienced the depths of depression, he´ll be so compassionate and use that charm and effervescence to afflict change in ways that I sometimes dare to dream. His pretty power! I used to shut it out, avoid it. But now I´m open about my sadness that this has happened to him, and I´m starting to pray. Will you pray with me?
Please let Patrick find his right as a human being, the right to wellness and to participate in the world. I´ll see you Pads, when you get here, I´ve saved a seat for you at brunch. Xoxo