Hello, my name is Lisa Marie.  I am a single mother of two children, both adults now.  They are my life and my loves. Throughout this blog, and out of respect, I will refer to my son as “my son.”

This is my journey which made a sharp left turn when my son became seriously ill with a diagnosis of Schizoaffective Disorder in 2004. I’m going to take you through the ups and downs during my son’s recovery beginning with his first psychotic break with an initial, and incorrect, diagnosis that almost took his life.  After his third stay in the mental ward, and after being accused of causing my son’s illness, being in the most vulnerable phase of my life, I decided this is going to stop.  With faith, love, strength, and determination, I was able to get my son to a point so that he can live and function a normal life.  And I succeeded, but I had to get out of my state of denial which cleared my mind and changed my attitude and perspective about all of it.  With my son’s help, we rode the waves and got through this together.

I was alone in this.  Instead of living my life how I wanted or needed, and being a single mom, I struggled and made many sacrifices so that my son would never be homeless, that he would never end up in the hospital again, that he would grow up in a safe home with a loving family, that he would see life through laughter, that he will continue studying his passion in Physics, that he will graduate from college with a degree in Physics (2016) and attend graduate school in the fall (fingers crossed), that he will move to the rank of black belt in karate…so that he can live a normal life.  He has achieved all of this plus he has taught himself to embrace, love and control his illness and he is doing exceptionally well because he knows it will never take over.

This means my job is done here and it’s time to live my life for me, which I have been doing for the last year or more, discovering the new me and loving every minute of it.  I’ve rediscovered my love for hiking and photography, I’ve discovered I can write beautiful things, I can paint and draw, I can teach classes and produce videos.  This is a short list of a longer list that keeps unfolding right before my eyes.

But mental illness will always be a part of me. I am paying the price, I struggle financially and I struggle emotionally, I feel I’m a prisoner of the state.  But being an advocate for mental health, along with my spiritual practice, I have strength and I keep going.  I am a Family-to-Family and Provider teacher, and state trainer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).  I fight stigma and will share how I do this as my blog evolves.  I will share articles and videos as they come to me.  I am currently putting together all the resources available in one website which I’m hoping will help people as they struggle to find something, to get answers.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

(¯`´¯) ..•*¨`*.•
 ´*.¸.*´   Peace & Light