It’s that special time of the year again. I’m sure this Christmas is difficult for many people with inflation and rising food prices. At least pork and potatoes are still cheap. My friend is having an especially tough time. He’s addicted to benzodiazepines and alcohol. A few months ago, he snapped into psychosis, and we’re still waiting for him to come back. Whether he will or not is uncertain. He refuses to see any more doctors and watches Harry Potter on repeat, as he analyzes his difficult childhood. Harry is the one person he identifies with, and soon the imaginary character of J.K. Rowling will be the only one he’ll have left.

His wife left him for Christmas and went to Slovakia. She couldn’t take anymore. It sounds coldhearted, but I don’t blame her. She’s living with a shell of a person. The man she married is gone and he now spends his time asleep, or in the garage drinking vodka and popping pills. It’s difficult to get anything sensible out of him. The other day, we tried an intervention. We made an appointment with a doctor friend of ours as a first step to getting him back into psychiatry. Ben went to his house for a chat and to bring him to the hospital for a general checkup. He flat out refused, got really angry, and threw Ben out of the house. At this point, we’re out of ideas. It’s really hard to get someone forcefully committed to a mental hospital which is what he needs. Not only would he be around like-minded people, which might make him question what’s going on, but also it would serve as detox. He no longer works, takes showers, changes his clothes, or leaves the house.

When she returns from her Christmas holiday, his wife wants to throw him out. Whether it would be a wake-up call or the final nail in the coffin is impossible to say. The strange thing is that with all my experience of being mentally ill, I’m unable to help him. It breaks my heart. If there’s one thing I know though, it’s that you can’t reason with the insane, the drunk, or the stupid.

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