On Wednesday, I posted about how distressed I’d been, especially not being able to check up on how Morrigan was doing at boot camp. That evening, we finally received our first letter from him. He was…not well. Sleep deprived, stressed, in physical pain, lonely, homesick, wishing he could quit, feeling like a failure, etc. He missed home so much, he said. He needed to hear from us.
I started having panic attacks that night. It was doing my head in, not being able to DO anything. I finally calmed my anxiety long enough to write a long letter, and to send his address to everyone I could possibly think of who would write him quickly. All four of us wrote and sent separate letters that night. We hoped a good bit of friends and extended family would send quickly, too, and within a few days, Morrigan would be flooded with positive words. The problem was that he’d written his letter on about Day 6 of his stay, but we received it roughly on Day 13. Letters back to him might not get there until Day 17ish. That’s a long time with no word and a lot of suffering.
I managed to sleep Wednesday night despite anxiety, but when I woke up and checked my phone, I saw that I got a call from an unknown number in Waukegan, IL at midnight. A lot of solicitors call from that area, but not usually at midnight. Waukegan is right next to Great Lakes, where Morrigan was stationed at boot camp. Let me tell you: there was Immediate Dread. Jason told me not to worry – if it had been an emergency, they would have called more than once – but I couldn’t help it. I could feel that something was wrong.
Mid-morning, Jason called me from work. Something was wrong. Morrigan called him, and yes, he’d tried to call me at midnight. He was in the hospital and was being medically discharged from the navy. He’d turned himself into the hospital when his thoughts turned dark and dangerous. The navy got him back on an antidepressant and will be sending him home in a few weeks, essentially with a zeroed out record so that he could reapply in the future should he want to (he doesn’t). He was worried that we’d be disappointed, but frankly, we’re just so relieved that he recognized that his thoughts were wrong and turned himself in rather than trying to tough it out and possibly hurt himself.
So life pinballs again. We don’t know what Morrigan’s next step or plan will be. I know he’s discouraged, and that he feels like a failure, and that he’s frustrated that until he gets home, he can’t do any research or take any steps toward his new future. It’s going to be my job soon to try to help him move to the next thing, and to learn how to put these things into perspective. Wish us all luck!! We’re all going to need it.