This monster is not hiding under our beds, it’s hiding in our biology.
Meeting The Monster: Surving and Thriving when Mental Illness attacks a Loved One is a mother’s journey on her son’s mental illness. She tells her story, hoping it will:
• shine a warm light into other people’s darkness;
• empower others to understand they are far more resilient and capable than they may feel they are;
• help others believe a mental illness experience does NOT define their life ~ it is simply an experience in their life; …and, most of all…
• help others feel less alone.
The Break ~Fall 2002
After spending a strange and confusing day together, we were driving home.
Son: ” can you take me to the airport “
Mom: “why do you need to go to the airport honey?”
Son: ” I need to get to Egypt”
Mom: “Egypt? Why do you need to get to Egypt? “
Son: “My people are coming for me”
Mom: “What people, honey ?”
Son: ( he looks up into the night sky) “I need to go home, I need to be with my people. The spaceship is picking me up in Egypt.”
Mom: (panic fills every cell of my body. Alarms are blaring in my head. stalling required to think clearly ~ is the only message my brain is capable of registering). “Do you have money for the ticket ?”
Son: ” I won’t need money when we get to the airport, you’ll see”
Mom: (the most frightening thing about this whole frightening thing, was how sincere and calm he was!) “Let’s just stop by the house first, and you can get all you have saved,just in case, ok?”
Son: ” Sure, if you want, but I won’t need it”
** I pull up in front of the garage and say I’ll wait in the car. He heads into the house and I dial his father (my exhusband) FAST ~ praying he is close to his phone.
He answers. I say I have NO time to talk, but I am headed to the airport right NOW – please meet us there ! I don’t know WHAT is happening, but something is VERY wrong with our son!
He’s back in the car and we head to the airport 20 minutes away. We drive in silence. He is calm. Our town is small, the airport is small. I easily see his dads’ car and the police cruiser he had enlisted immediately, having assessed the unfamiliar urgency of my phone call!.
My son sees it seconds after I do – and turns to look at me, his eyes filled with panic, betrayal, and fear.
And so it began.
Three deeply internal heart-centered philosophies:
1. Learn to celebrate MORE than you worry or grieve. Be conscious and purposeful about self-care and finding ways to be happy!
2. Mental illness is NO ONE’S FAULT. It is an INDIVIDUAL, INSIDEOUS, neurological mystery.
3. Albert Einstein said: “Either: NOTHING is a MIRACLE…or ….EVERYTHING is a MIRACLE… choose !” I choose EVERYTHING! And I find miracles every day!
Seven concepts to share from a mother’s journey that might help in yours:
One.- There are no answers, no cures, manuals, timeframes, logic, and no perfected medicines to count on.
I’ve stopped looking for logic, answers and something to blame. Living each day looking forward and in high vibration is the best use of my time.
Two.- Connecting within the “community”, education, sharing, and helping others, helps me with balance.
I believe there are surprisingly FEW resources for this incredibly HUGE need.
Three.- I utilize Doctors as often as needed AND as infrequently as possible!
Doctors appointments tend to cause our loved ones GREATstress! GREAT stress can lead to additional psychotic breaks. Which we NEVER want!
Four.- Never debate the mentally ill!
There’s NOTHING you need to be THAT right about !!
Five.- I believe in the importance of independence.
Both the caregiver and the carereceiver need SPACE!
Six.-Voices are real to them.
They are always loud. Always hostile. Always degrading. Never kind, never positive. Never.
Seven.- I believe in focusing on HIS interests when spending time in HIS world.
Does ANY man really WANT to hear us babble on about our day.? ( let’s be honest!) My son is no different !