“No one will ever be able to keep me safe,” were the final words Matthew uttered during our conversation, a phrase we had heard before.
Matthew was back to delusional thinking and questioning life almost daily. All the progress he made slowly slipped away.
I decided for Matthew’s long-term care it would benefit him to be close to home, and despite my apprehension, the best location for him to recover was where he started, UNC.
We told Matthew he would move him from Life View to UNC on October 28. I arranged for the same transport service to escort him to Florida.
Matthew was excited to relocate at the end of the month. His mood significantly changed after he was told of his upcoming return to Florida.
Kathy was cautious and said, “Improvements in mood should be viewed with caution, as he will likely return to a depressed state once the realization sets in that he continues to be in residential treatment.” (Life View discharge summary)
Life View kept Matthew on suicide precautions until his discharge, “as he becomes high risk when experiencing change.” (Precaution Review Note, Life View)
The last recreational therapy activity Matthew participated in was Halloween pumpkin carving. Matthew smiled as he agreed to keep himself safe with the carving tools and remembered that this was the first activity he engaged in when he arrived at Life View, and here he was participating in it again 376 days later.
Thursday October 28 at five p.m., Erik and I sat in the lobby of UNC awaiting Matthew and his transport team. We looked around and then looked at each other, having the same thought, crap here we are again!
Matthew entered through the two locked doors. We had come full circle.
To come full circle can have a negative or a positive connotation. It's what you choose to do with the situation that matters. If you use "starting at the beginning" as a learning tool, it can give you immense strength.
Matthew changed within four months from saying, "No one will ever be able to keep me safe," to an enlightened and motivated young man.
When he finally left full-time psychiatric treatment after seventeen arduous months, he wrote this in his journal--
Relish every moment you succeed. Starting over doesn't mean starting from nothing. Tools for growth and enlightenment are all around. Grab one and use it wisely.